House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. According to Louis Gohmert (R-Texas), if everyone had prayed more, 19 children and two teachers would not have been murdered by a gunman in Uvalde, Texas. elementary school last month.
The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday on gun violence and mass shooting testimony from victims and families of victims in Uvalde and Buffalo, New York. Among the speakers was an 11-year-old boy who covered himself in the blood of his friend and died after being mauled by his classmates.
Gohart complained in a House floor speech that Democrats “definitely don’t want to hear more about prayer” as a solution to the issue.
“They hate hearing about prayer,” he said.
“Look, maybe if we had heard more prayers from the leaders of this country instead of chanting God’s name, we wouldn’t have mass murders like we didn’t have before the school ended the prayer,” he said.
Scalise used a similar line of reasoning. at a news conference, arguing that “we had AR-15s in the 1960s. We didn’t have those mass school shootings. ,
“We actually prayed in school those days,” he said.
In “the days” when school-sponsored prayers were still going on, schools were hardly peaceful. Many schools were still isolated, and violent campaigns were launched to keep it that way.
In 1957, for example, a white Nashville elementary school was bombed a day after a black child was admitted, five years before the Supreme Court canceled state-sponsored prayers in government schools in 1962. Members of the White Church were leading a violent crusade to oppose the integration of the city’s public schools.
The AR-15 was first produced for use primarily by the military two years later in 1959. It was not until the 1980s that civilian models were mass-produced.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an arms embargo banning the AR-15 and similar semi-automatic rifles following an increase in mass shootings involving those types of firearms.
There was a decrease in mass shootings in the subsequent decade compared to the decade before and after.
Skellis and Gohart are far from the first Republicans to cite a departure from Jesus as a contributor to rising gun violence. During Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) argued that guns were always readily available in the US but that mass shootings were a recent phenomenon.
He correlated it with “family breakdown,” “erosion of trust” and the proliferation of social media. Rape. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) argued last month that “we don’t need more gun control. We need to return to God.” And Oklahoma GOP Senate candidate Jackson Lahmeyer said the Uvalde shooting After that it was time to divide the teachers and “bring back prayer in our public schools. ,
Other Western countries have become increasingly secular without seeing the increasing gun violence. For example, in Australia, comparable mass shootings have not occurred since 1996, when a massacre prompted mandatory gun buybacks to remove semi-automatic firearms from civilian possession.