Representative blames pornography for school violence

Elliott Dupont, Staff Writer

In another strange example of school gun violence being blamed on something unsubstantiated, Republican Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee recently cited pornography during a listening session with ministers at Safe Harbor of Clarksville.

In the recording obtained by HuffPost, Black pondered what is causing the extreme violence in schools saying, “What makes them do that?”

“Because as a nurse, I go back to root causes.”

She then quickly touched on other root causes like the deterioration of family and violent movies.

“Pornography, it’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store. Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there,” she continued “All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause,” she said.

Black also momentarily addressed mental illness stating that, “we’ve got something to address.”

These remarks come at a time when the United States is experiencing nearly weekly school shootings with 23 since January first alone.

Advocates for stricter gun control point to statistics that indicate that the exorbitantly high prevalence of guns with few restrictions is the most important factor when analyzing why the United States has the most school shootings of any nation.

Gun rights activists point to other causes like intense news coverage of mass shootings, video games, and inadequate school safety as the largest proponents for school gun violence.

On the other hand, most experts note poor socioeconomic and cultural conditions along with exorbitantly high prevalence of guns with few restrictions, as primary drivers of gun violence.

The claim that porn is one of these possible contributing factors, or even the notion that porn causes violence in adolescents is entirely unfounded as since the arrival and subsequent rise of internet porn, the statistics of many violent sexual acts (serving as an indicator for the supposed violence caused by porn) have actually decreased.

Take for instance sexual assault which, according to the Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey, since 1995, has fallen in prevalence by 44 percent.

Meanwhile, search queries pertaining to pornography have risen to become more than one quarter of all internet traffic.

Clearly if there was a correlation between porn and the resulting prevalence violence in adolescents, we should see an increase in related sexually violent crimes. But we don’t.

Even with rare and relatively arguable cases where porn is attributed to causing someone to become violent, these are entirely negligible as a factor when, in comparison; there are an unfortunately high number of examples of people with a mental illness gaining access to a weapon and killing dozens of innocent people.

That of course is proven.