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Friday, July 8, 2022
Newsmax's Kessler Falsely Blames Marijuana For Mass Shootings
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler wrote in a June 1 Newsmax column:

President Biden and Democrats favor stricter gun controls when virtually none of the Democrats’ proposals would have stopped any of the mass shooters who have plagued this country in recent years.

Instead, virtually everyone ignores the obvious reason for the dramatic increase in these tragedies: Democrats push legalizing marijuana, which has become three to four times more potent than it was only a few years ago, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse leads to psychosis at a rate five times greater than among those who do not smoke pot — not to mention a reported link between marijuana use and schizophrenia, paranoia, and other psychotic disorders.

But marijuana use has been linked to more and more mass shooters, including the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter who killed 17 people; the Aurora movie theater shooter, who killed 12; the Umpqua Community College shooter, who killed nine; the Texas church shooter, who killed 26 people; and the Pulse nightclub shooter, who killed 49 people.

A 2020 U.S. Secret Service study of mass attacks found that nearly half of the perpetrators had a history of substance abuse, including with marijuana and illicit drugs.

Kessler then politicized the issue by blaming Democrats for loosening marijuana laws:

Pushed by Democrats, 18 states plus D.C. have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Almost universally, Democratic presidential candidates have favored legalizing marijuana at the federal level. Indeed, as Politico has said, "Legalizing pot is the new Democratic litmus test."


Democrats who push stricter gun control measures as a solution to mass shootings are "completely oblivious to what the legalization of marijuana has done and is doing to an entire generation of Americans — with violent consequences," [Fox News host Laura] Ingraham said.

It's sadly indicative of the right-wing media bubble that Kessler thinks Ingraham is a credible source on anything. In fact, there's no proven link between marijuana and violence, and anyone who's claiming there is is confusing correlation and causation. Further, as Media Matters has noted, a lot of people use marijuana, so if there was a direct link, there would be much more violence -- but there isn't.

It seems that Kessler is looking for a way to blame anything but guns for mass shootings.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 8, 2022 2:52 PM EDT

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