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UPDATED – Rick Perry: Charleston Church Shooting Was A Drug-Related ‘Accident’ (Video)

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2016 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry today blamed the death of nine Black churchgoers shot to death by a young white man on drugs, not guns.

Blasting President Barack Obama‘s brief speech on the massacre at Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rick Perry opted to try to change the direction of the nation’s discussion from guns and race to drugs. The former Republican Texas governor also oddly chose to classify the slaughter of nine Black churchgoers praying at a Wednesday night Bible study class as an “accident.”

Editor’s note: The Perry campaign says the governor misspoke. See update below.

During the President’s comments yesterday, he lamented that guns are easily obtained. Noting that not all the facts are yet known, President Obama said, “once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.” 

EARLIER: (Heart)Breaking Video: In Court, Victims’ Family Members Tell Charleston Shooter ‘I Forgive You’

Governor Perry, talking with Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg, took serious objection to those remarks, accusing the president of using the attack as an opportunity to bring up gun control.

“This is the MO [modus operandi] of this administration, any time there is an accident like this — the president is clear, he doesn’t like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message,” Perry accused.

So Perry used the opportunity to try to move the conversation away from guns – the shooter reportedly had received a gun for his birthday this year – and on to drugs. Roof has a small arrest record related to drugs.

“I think there is a real issue to be talked about. It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used,” Perry said. The Huffington Post reported that “instead of discussing the racial motives, he suggested not enough people were talking about Roof’s previous drug arrest.”

As Right Wing Watch notes, Perry had “said that such drugs are responsible for high suicide and joblessness rates.”

He also said that “there are a lot of issues underlying this that I think we as a country need to have a conversion about rather than just the knee-jerk reaction of saying, ‘If we can just take all the guns away, this won’t happen.'”

Oddly, Perry also seemed to try to downplay the severity of the attack. Asked if it was terrorism, he said he didn’t know, “but I think the facts, once we get them – there were more people than that killed in Paris.”

Raw Story notes that Perry was “changing the subject to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, which claimed 12 lives.

Watch:

UPDATE 5:54 PM EDT –
In a just-published article, Business Insider reports that a Perry campaign advisor says the governor misspoke.

“When watching the entire interview, it’s clear from the context of his comments that Governor Perry meant incident,” said the adviser, Lexi Stemple.

Neither Governor Perry nor Newsmax anchor Steve Malzberg seemed to have a problem with the characterization as “accident.” It was only after dozens of media outlets reported it that the campaign thought it important to correct the record. 

 

RELATED:

Jeb Bush: ‘I Don’t Know’ If The Charleston Church Shooting Was Racially Motivated

Santorum: ‘Indiscriminate’ Massacre Of Black Churchgoers By White Man ‘Assault On Religious Liberty’

‘This Wasn’t A Tornado, This Was A Racist’: Jon Stewart Drops Comedy For Charleston Shooting

 

Image: Screenshot via NewsMaxTV/YouTube
Video: Right Wing Watch

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Marjorie Taylor Greene Suggests July 4 Mass Shooting Was a False Flag ‘Designed to Persuade’ GOP to Support Gun Control

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted several very different responses over the past few hours to the July 4 mass shooting that left seven people dead, scores injured, and a two-year-old boy orphaned.

The Republican from Georgia went from promoting the right wing’s latest talking points, that antidepressants are to blame for the massacre, and demanding to see the alleged shooter’s medical records, to claiming it “sounds like” a false flag operation, “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with” gun control.

“Now, here’s what I have to say,” Greene declared on her podcast. “I mean, two shootings on July 4, one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display.”

(There were 218 shootings on July 4, according to information from the Gun Violence Archive.)

“Almost sounds like it’s designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control,” she announced, strongly suggesting false flag operations. Police have offered no indication anyone except the alleged shooter planned the Independence Day massacre, and have said he spent weeks doing so.

“I mean, after all, remember we didn’t see that happen at all the Pride parades in the month of June,” she lamented angrily, ignoring all the right-wing violence at Pride celebrations this year.

“But as soon as we hit MAGA month, as soon as we hit the month that we’re all celebrating – loving our country,” she said, implying Democrats don’t love America and don’t celebrate Independence Day, “we have shootings on July 4. I mean, that’s a, you know, that would sound like a conspiracy theory, right? Of course. But what’s the definition of a right-wing conspiracy theory? Well, by the way, it’s the news that’s just six-months early.”

Watch below or at this link:

 

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COMMENTARY

Antidepressants, Pot, and Women to Blame for Horrific July 4 Mass Shooting According to Tucker Carlson

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Barely hours after authorities announced charges against the 21-year-old police believe shot and killed seven people and wounded scores of others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Tucker Carlson explained to his Fox News audience why Robert Crimo allegedly committed mass murder: women, marijuana, and antidepressants, along with a life filled with pornography, video games, and social media.

Experts disagree.

Carlson said Crimo seems “like a nutcase,” but he “he didn’t stand out, maybe because there’s a lot of young men in America who suddenly look and act a lot like this guy.”

“That’s not an attack, it’s just true,” Carlson insisted, as Media Matters reports. “Like Crimo, they inhabit a solitary fantasy world of social media, porn, and video games. They are high on government-endorsed weed. ‘Smoke some more! It’s good for you,'” he mocked.

“They’re numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors,'” Carlson claimed, apparently referring to antidepressants, also known as SSRIs. School counselors, unless they are also MDs, cannot prescribe SSRIs.

(SSRIs are prescribed for “depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, migraine (prophylaxis), and other conditions.”)

RELATED: Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre

Then Carlson arrived at the root of what he determined drives these young men, presumably these young men who kill.

Carlson, who has been labeled a “white nationalist,” and a “white supremacist,” neglected to mention the young men who are pulling the trigger at mass shootings are almost always white.

Instead, he says, “they are angry.”

Why?

Because, Carlson declares, “the authorities in their lives — mostly women — never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male! You’re privileged.’ Imagine that. Try to imagine an unhealthier, unhappier life than that. So, a lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised?”

Meanwhile, very little is known about the shooter. It is not known if he’s taking antidepressants, using pot, has a mother who attacks him for his privilege, or uses porn. But Carlson and others at Fox News are suggesting to viewers they know why he flooded more than 70 rounds into an Independence Day parade.

There have been 320 mass shootings in America this year – and we’re only on day 187.

The nation has suffered 22,583 deaths from guns just this year alone. That’s 120 deaths on average every day.

Despite those numbers, the vast, vast majority of people taking antidepressants, or using pot or porn, are not pulling the trigger in a mass shooting.

Carlson points to no statistics to show women “never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege.”

In fact, he offers up no statistics, no proof at all of any of his claims.

Same with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who blames the mass shooting on pot.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene quickly dredged up the “psychiatric drugs” allegation less than 24 hours after the shooting started.

“What drugs and/or psychiatric drugs was he on for his mind to be ruined in alternate reality games that caused him to commit a mass shooting? His parents know. The police know. School, arrest, hospital records? The public DESERVES to know.,” she tweeted.

Dr. Sherry Pagoto is a licensed clinical psychologist, social media researcher, professor at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. She’s also the former president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

And she’s pushing back against the SSRI blame game.

“Psychologist here,” writes Dr. Pagoto. “Yep. And far more women take SSRIs than men and yet women never commit mass shootings. The SSRI hypothesis has absolutely no scientific support. Quite the contrary, SSRIs save lives.”

In 2019 Politifact looked at the “dubious claim that psychiatric drugs fuel mass shootings?” The fact-checking group talked with six medical experts, with one explaining “that in her view there is no evidence that psychiatric medicine is linked to mass shootings.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Christian Right Facing ‘Credibility’ Issues — Just as They Try to Force Their Will on Everyone Else: Analyst

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On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC’s ReidOutBlog, Ja’han Jones outlined how the Christian Right is facing renewed moral scrutiny and a crisis of “credibility” — at exactly the moment they have captured the Supreme Court and have begun striking down rights and protections they have long declared to be counter to moral society.

Specifically, he argued, the latest rash of sex abuse allegations against conservative Christian institutions puts their moral authority on the line.

The Catholic Church has long faced criticism for overlooking and shielding priests accused of molesting children — but now, noted Jones, other denominations are coming under scrutiny for similar alleged misconduct.

“First, there’s the scandal still unfolding at Agapè Boarding School, a Christian facility for young men in Missouri that’s facing a slew of child abuse allegations. Agapè pitches guardians on its ability to ‘biblically teach your child the importance of submission to authority and the joys of being an obedient law-abiding citizen,'” wrote Jones. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been investigating Agapè for systemic child abuse for more than a year now. On Monday, The Daily Beast reported new details about several students who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and beaten by workers at the school.”

IN OTHER NEWS: ‘Striking’ how close Georgia election investigation is getting to Trump: legal expert

“That alleged culture of abuse sounds similar to the one victims say was fostered by the Southern Baptist Convention, an ultraconservative denomination of Christian nationalists,” wrote Jones. “In May, church leaders released a report showing hundreds of pastors and church workers have been accused of sexual abuse. The SBC, which is in ideological lockstep with the conservative movement, has since released the names of pastors it says were accused between 2000 and 2019. When the news dropped, SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement there ‘are not adequate words to express my sorrow at the things revealed in this report,’ and that Southern Baptists ‘must resolve to change our culture and implement desperately needed reforms.'”

All of this, he noted, comes as many right-wing Christian organizations are claiming that their hate speech and discrimination against LGBTQ people is in the name of “defending children.” And this is “an impossible sell when the worlds they operate appear even more broken than the one they want to ‘fix.'”

You can read more here.

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