The U.S. has seen more than 15 mass shootings since the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. But of course, despite the increasing concern of gun violence in the U.S., some lawmakers continue to claim guns are not to blame. Instead, some have even jumped on the opportunity to use gun violence to advance their anti-abortion agenda.
In an interview with a radio station on Wednesday, one Republican lawmaker not only failed to acknowledge the role guns play in mass shootings, but blamed abortion for shootings taking place across the country. When asked by The Eagle 93.9, “Is there any appetite in D.C. amongst Republicans to look at doing some things differently as it relates to guns, Congressman?” Rep. Billy Long of Missouri claimed that “inanimate objects” are being blamed for tragedies, and that gun control is not the solution to ending gun violence.
“Unfortunately, they’re trying to blame inanimate objects for all of these tragedies, and there’s so many things that can be done,” he said. The interview focused on Uvalde and whether Republican lawmakers would support changes that enable stricter gun laws.
He not only implied that schools could be better designed to prevent shooting deaths but suggested the increase in gun violence could be traced back to when abortion became legal.
“When I was growing up in Springfield, you had one or two murders a year. Now, we have two, three, four a week in Springfield, Missouri. So, something has happened to our society. I go back to abortion, when we decided it was okay to murder kids in their mothers’ wombs. Life has no value to a lot of these folks.”
Long’s comments come as no surprise. A section titled "Preserving the Second Amendment" on his campaign website reads: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. I am a proven supporter of your right to keep and bear arms and will fight gun-grabbing politicians from infringing on that right. As your Senator I will work tirelessly to defend your 2nd Amendment rights and I won't back down in protecting this fundamental right."
It continues: "I am 100 percent pro-life. I will support Supreme Court nominees who support ending abortions in the United States. I will continue to advocate for the rights of the unborn and will actively fight against legislation that allows taxpayer dollars to fund abortions."
Of course, there is no data to back up his claims. But he isn’t the first to suggest that abortions cause mass shootings, as opposed to guns.
After 10 people were killed in Texas during a mass shooting in 2018, the state's Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blamed abortion and video games instead of guns in the wrong hands, CNN reported. “We have 50 million abortions," Patrick said during a press conference in the wake of that shooting. "We have families that are broken apart, no fathers at home. We have incredible heinous violence as a game, two hours a day in front of their eyes. And we stand here and we wonder why this happens to certain students."
According to HuffPost, while data doesn't support the claim that mass shootings increased after abortion was made legal, it does show that mass shootings are linked to the production of guns and the lax processes in place to obtain them.