Florida House Declares a Public Health Risk from Pornography

Florida House

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had killed 12 people inside the school and three outside it on February 14th, including someone standing on a street corner, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. On Thursday, February 15th, the authorities charged Mr. Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Florida's House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to reject gun control measures demanded by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shooting. The same day the Republican-controlled chamber moved on to a proposal to label pornography a “public health risk.” The pornography bill was sponsored by Republican Rep Ross Spano, who is running to become the state’s attorney general.

The resolution, approved by a voice vote, says that the Internet is exposing children to pornography at an alarming rate, which could lead to low self-esteem and deviant sexual behavior. It also says pornography contributes to mental and physical illness, difficulty with relationships, and unhealthy brain development.

"Unfortunately, just five days after 17 people were gunned down at a Florida school, the Florida House just passed a bill that declares pornography a ‘public health risk,'" Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith told the Independent. "Basically, what they have determined is that these are the Republican priorities in 2018: Wasting our time with debate and legislation that declares porn as a health threat, meanwhile we can’t even get a single debate, vote, or hearing on anything related to assault weapons."

The resolution was introduced just after the House voted 71-36 against a motion to open debate on an "assault weapons" ban. Democratic state Rep. Kionne McGhee proposed the motion as students from Stoneman Douglas came to the Capitol demanding action on gun control, USA Today reports. During debate on the resolution, Smith asked Spano if pornography had ever killed or maimed anyone and if first responders had even been forced to seek counseling because of pornography. Spano said he did not know the answer.

Congress has refused before to tighten restrictions on gun ownership, even after 20 children and six educators were massacred in 2012 in Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. It seems that, for the Republicans, pornography is a more pressing public health risk than guns. That’s the message Florida's House of Representatives sent to survivors of school shooting by approving the resolution about pornography and rejecting gun control measures. Not only that they have adopted a resolution that does not help people in any way, they also disregarded the demands of the majority to control weapons at a greater extent.

Pornography can really be a health risk if, after watching porn,  someone takes a pistol and kills himself or someone else. But assault weapons pose a much higher risk to public safety that pornography does. What are Florida’s legislators thinking?

Photo Credits: Veterans Today

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