Republicans declare porn, but not guns, to be ‘public health crisis’

Louis Weisberg, Staff writer

The Republican Party yesterday adopted an amendment to its draft party platform declaring internet porn a “public health crisis.”

The move has unleashed a new volley of criticism against the GOP for banning the classification of gun violence as a public health issue.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has signaled that he’ll accept the party platform, which delegates continue to amend today in Cleveland ahead of next week’s convention.

Porn is just one of the issues on which the party’s religious right has exerted its influence on the draft platform. The platform also opposes President Obama’s executive order allowing transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity. In addition, it calls on the Supreme Court to overturn its decision last year legalizing marriage equality and calls for support of so-called “pray-away-the-gay” therapy.

The porn provision, introduced by a member of the fundamentalist Christian group Concerned Women for America, states: “The internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography, which closely linked to human trafficking.”

The amendment passed with little debate.

Some critics of the porn amendment cited evidence that few users of porn experience ill effects. Other critics ridiculed the hypocrisy of the porn amendment, given Trump’s well-documented lascivious lifestyle.

The Daily Beast opined, “In the 2016 Twilight Zone, it’s no surprise that the Republican Party is attempting to label a largely victimless non-crime as a public health crisis, while simultaneously facilitating the epidemic of gun violence in America.”

“While there have been exactly zero porn-related deaths reported in the United States this year, there have been more than 28,000 shootings, including 7,239 gun murders so far in 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive,” reported the Daily Kos. “Those staggering figures include 181 mass shootings and nearly a thousand people shot by police.”

The Guardian reported that at least one delegate blamed the nation’s epidemic of gun violence on marijuana. The British newspaper quoted delegate Noel Irwin Hentschel, who said, “All the mass killings that are taking place — they are young boys from divorced families and they are smoking marijuana.”

Not surprisingly, delegates rejected a proposed amendment to encourage states to legalize cannabis oil for medical reasons. Some of them linked marijuana use to the nation’s heroin epidemic.

The American Medical Association has labeled gun violence a public health crisis and vowed to put its considerable lobbying muscle to work in Congress against the NRA, which has prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun-violence.

“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us … determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital,” said AMA president Dr. Steven J. Stack in a press statement issued last month.

 

Leave a reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *