Epidemic of transgender killers: Say what?

Betty BeanKnox Scene

There was probably still blood on the floor at Nashville’s Covenant School when Republicans hatched their talking point. The first clue to where they were going was when Tim Burchett started demanding to see the deceased murderer’s “manifesto.” I checked around the internets and sure enough, hard-core MAGA media platforms had started identifying the perp as a “tranny” killer.

It probably took them about five minutes after the Metro Nashville police chief identified the shooter as transgender to start pushing out this duplicitous theory. By the following day, you’d think transgender murderers were stalking Drag Queen Story Hours from Memphis to Mountain City looking for children to kill.

This is, of course, a deeply dishonest distraction. Republicans will talk about anything to keep from addressing Tennessee’s lax gun laws – remember state Sen. Janice Bowling’s claims that school children “identifying as cats and snakes” were refusing to use toilets and demanding that schools provide them with litter boxes?

That, of course, never happened anywhere, but, hey, anything to keep from talking about their relationship with the gun lobby. Anything to avoid answering questions about the connection between Tennessee’s gun-friendly laws and our soaring rate of gun violence.

Transgender people make convenient targets for cynical politicians who, having met their goal of passing the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, need new scapegoats to vanquish. There’s no point to kicking Planned Parenthood around anymore.

Every credible study of violence and the LGBTQ community has concluded that they are far more likely to be victims than predators, and it’s hard to believe that Republicans don’t know that. A comprehensive study conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law concluded that transgender people are four times more likely to be the victims of violent crime than cisgender people.

Mass shooters are more likely to be angry heterosexual males who have a tough time finding women who will sleep with them. These losers have even earned a nickname – incels (involuntary celibates) – and have a manifesto of their own, penned by Elliot Rodger of Southern California, a pampered rich kid who went on a murder spree in 2014, killing six people and injuring 14 more before killing himself. Rodger shot some of his victims, stabbed some and ran over others with his car because he couldn’t get a girlfriend.

This past November, five patrons of Club Q, a gay bar in Colorado Springs, were killed and 17 more injured by a mass shooter. In 2016 in Orlando, Florida, a lunatic walked into a gay nightclub called The Pulse and shot 102 people with a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle. Forty-nine of them died.

There are no equivalent stories about LGBTQ killers stalking heterosexuals.

It is dishonest, dangerous and cruel to shift the blame for the school shooting in Nashville to transgender people. This was the work of a sick individual.

There is no “epidemic” of transgender killers, and those who are spreading this lie know better. This is just one more clumsy attempt by posturing politicians attempting to shift the blame for a problem they helped create.

Betty Bean writes a Thursday opinion column for KnoxTNToday.com.

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