GOP lawmaker says God — not gun laws — will end school shootings


Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern also said he thinks 'red flag' laws will let anyone disarm their rivals.

Arizona state lawmaker Anthony Kern, a Republican, told a tea party gathering last week that he does not want to see any "safe schools" legislation, because the absence of God in the "social construct" is the reason for school shootings. And, he warned, if the state adopts "red flag" laws, people would simply be able to disarm their political and personal rivals.

In three videos posted by American Bridge 21st Century, a progressive research organization, Kern, the Arizona House Rules Committee chair, explained why he opposes legislation to address gun violence and mass school shootings, and suggested that, should Democrats someday gain a legislative majority, terrible things will happen.

"It's all gonna be about 'safe schools,' 'keep kids safe,' blah blah blah," Kern said of potential gun debates. "But it's really not that. You're hurting law abiding citizens. And it's a slippery slope when you start saying, 'Oh, that person's got a mental disorder or a possible red flag.' And I report that person, when in reality I don't like that person's politics or I just don't like the person."

"Red flag" laws establish a process by which courts can temporarily disarm those deemed a safety risk to themselves or others. But much like any other statement made to Arizona law enforcement and courts, making a false statement would be a crime and judges would need to determine whether to step in. Even Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and the National Rifle Association have backed such a plan in Arizona.

Kern then complained that, after mass shootings, "right away you go after the guns."

"What about the knife attack you had on the London Bridge just a few weeks ago? Are you gonna confiscate all the knives?  What about a truck attack?" he asked.

Then he blamed the absence of God for gun violence. "It's a mental health issue, it's a moral issue, and it's the further degradation of our society. That's what you see when you take God out of the social construct.  That's what you see. What you see now is now is repercussions of what did in the last 50 years and that's take God out..."

Additionally, Kern warned that a Democratic majority in the Arizona legislature would mean "chaos." He cited the example of California, where he complained "the cops can't even shoot somebody" unless they are being shot at.

Like many states, Arizona has seen numerous mass shootings in recent years, including one where a sitting U.S. congresswoman was shot in the head in 2011.

Kern also made news at the same Dec. 11 right-wing gathering for his claim that if Democrats win a majority in the state legislature, kindergartners will be "taught sex education" based on content from the adult website Pornhub.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.