Tennessee lawmaker says pornography is a ‘root cause’ of school shootings

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WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 24: Committee chairwoman Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) questions Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney during a House Budget Committee hearing concerning the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget, on Capitol Hill, May 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mulvaney defended President Trump’s proposal to cut $3.6 trillion in […]

Washington (CNN) — Republican Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee recently cited pornography, along with the deterioration of the family and violent movies, as a contributing factor to gun violence in schools.

Black made the remarks during a listening session with local pastors last week, according to audio obtained by HuffPost and posted Tuesday.

“Why do we see kids being so violent? What’s out there? What makes them do that?” Black said. “Because, as a nurse, I go back to root cause. And I think it’s a couple things,” Black said, listing off deterioration of the family and violent movies, before mentioning pornography.

“Pornography. It’s available. 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,” Black says in the audio. “All of this is available without parental guidance.”

She adds, “And I think that’s a big part of the root cause, that we see so many young people that have mental illness get caught in these places.”

In the audio, Black does not detail what it is about pornography that she believes contributes to school shootings.

“I think the context is pretty clear,” Black’s campaign spokesman Chris Hartline told CNN Tuesday. “Diane believes the breakdown of families and communities plays a significant role in instances of school violence.”

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts criticized Black’s comments, writing on Twitter that “despite all of the data and experts at her disposal, (Black) chooses to blame ‘grocery store pornography’ for school shootings. And she doesn’t mean the magazines that glorify guns.”

CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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