DeSantis Defends Parental Rights in Education Bill in Wake of Club Q Shooting

Governor Ron DeSantis defended The Parental Rights in Education Bill again, this time from a rain of criticism brought on by the recent Club Q shooting.

A Colorado nightclub and bar known as Club Q was attacked last week, killing five and injuring nineteen. However, many were quick to blame recent conservative legislation regarding children and modern gender theory for the tragedy.

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MSNBC host Katie Phang wondered how Americans can “curb” politicians who, in her view, were supporting “pure hate.” She also said that violence against LGBTQ Americans was being “legitimized” by politicians.

Chris Hayes made a similar point during his show “All In,” arguing that recent conservative talking points on the topic had created the “context” for the crime to take place.

Besides the media, multiple democratic lawmakers and activists added their voices to the chorus.

This blaming of general political speech for violence is known as stochastic terrorism and is becoming increasingly common. The idea is essentially what Hayes implied; that if one expresses dislike for a thing, idea, or person, and then the subject or something vaguely connected to that dislike is violently attacked, one has meaningfully contributed to the violence. The implications of this idea are far-reaching.

Hayes and his panel revealed those implications during the extensive segment on the shooting, attempting to tie DeSantis’ signing of the Parental Rights in Education Bill, as well as growing nationwide concerns about transgender surgeries for children, to the attack. The panel went so far as to suggest that Republicans are “grooming people for extremism” on social media and even suggested that government should penalize social media companies for that kind of free speech.

But for those watching DeSantis, these attacks largely backfired. When asked about the topic, the Governor told the reporter that if stochastic terrorism is at all to blame, the mainstream media is contributing to it by “propagating false narratives.”

“You are contributing to that by propagating a false narrative. ‘Don’t Say Gay’ is a false narrative…..especially the national media corporations, I mean they tried to run with this they were trying to smear the legislature all this other stuff…”

The Parental Rights in education bill does not ban all mention of the word “gay” from public schools. Instead, it mandates schools keep parents involved in their children’s education and awareness of the curriculum, bans instruction on sex and gender from school personnel for students in third grade or younger, and requires all instruction on the topic after third grade to be deemed age appropriate by the locally elected school board. The word “gay” is not mentioned once in the bill.

However, it was reported soon after the response to the shooting had started that the shooter identified as non-binary and requested the use of they/them pronouns in court documents, throwing cold water on the notion of conservative politics motivating the evil act.

Regardless, DeSantis commended his state for resisting these narratives.

“The difference, in Florida, is we fight back. We don’t let the media cow us into accepting that. We don’t play their game. We told the truth to people., we told the truth to parents all throughout the state of Florida… the people here they, saw the facts, they responded, and they supported us.”

 


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