Editor's Note: This column reflects the views of its author, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the Cortland Voice or its staff.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney recently said in an interview, "It's interesting that so many of these people that [sic] commit the mass murders end up being Democrats.”
Her statement is outlandish and unprofessional. It is also untrue. According to an online fact-checking site, the statistics supposedly showing that Democrats are more likely to commit mass murder are deeply flawed: they ignore shootings carried out by known conservatives (e.g. Robert Lewis Dear, Dylann Roof, etc.), and mistakenly identify some shooters as Democrats.
Why would Tenney make such an absurd statement, especially when it is easily refuted, and is offensive to over 40% of her constituents?
- She has received $46,529 in campaign contributions from the NRA. To keep the money flowing, she does everything possible to confuse the debate over gun control.
- She voted to repeal a rule that restricts gun sales to the mentally ill. Whereas there is no connection between mass murder and political affiliation, there is a correlation between mass shootings and mental health. So, by voting as she did, Tenney is partly responsible for allowing the mentally ill to acquire assault rifles, and for the resulting carnage. She tries to avoid criticism, however, by cynically blaming Democrats.
Dr. Thomas Besom
Dept. of Anthropology, Binghamton University