Justice

Congressman Blames Gun Violence On ‘Diversity In America’

CREDIT: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

Rather than acknowledging the clear link between lax gun laws and deadly shootings, a Texas congressman has found a new culprit: multiculturalism.

On the Chris Salcedo Show last week, the radio host asked Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to weigh in on the horrific shooting on live TV of two journalists in Virginia. After acknowledging that widespread gun violence is a daily occurrence in the United States, Sessions zeroed in on what he viewed as the real cause.

“It has a lot to do with distrust of people. Chris, I have been in lots of societies, we could say like Japan, where they have a homogeneous society, where people are more alike,” Sessions said. He went on to discuss “this thought process that we have to have diversity in America.”

Although Sessions did acknowledge that “we should and we need to work for” a kind of mutual respect across diverse groups, the thrust of his remarks was that diversity breeds a kind of mistrust that sparks gun violence. “We have a group of people that are in our country that we’re afraid of, that have created chaos and confusion. And now our country is confused” he told Salcedo, without elaborating on precisely who that group of people is.

Listen to it (relevant section begins at 1:23):

Immediately after this effort to lay the blame for gun violence at the feet of diversity, Salcedo steered the conversation to legislation Sessions is introducing to crack down on many immigrants. “We have repeatedly seen, not just as the murder in Virginia,” Sessions said in making the case for his bill, “we have repeatedly heard stories as they have occurred across our countries [sic] … about criminal aliens — people who have come to this country, people who are not legal, people who have created or come here after creating chaos.”

Vester Flanagan, the man reportedly behind the “murder in Virginia” that Sessions refers to, is not an immigrant. He was born in Oakland, California. A 2013 study determined that first generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Sessions is no back-bencher among congressional Republicans. He currently chairs the powerful House Rules Committee and chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee during the GOP’s massive gains in 2010. He is currently serving his 10th term in Congress.

Still, Sessions isn’t the only conservative to offer unlikely explanations for gun violence. Others have blamed “welfare moms,gun-free zones, not enough guns, overmedicating kids, absent fathers, and video games.