U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, known for her anti-LGBTQ+ rants and conspiracy theories, has reached perhaps a new low by using the Colorado Springs mass shooting to spread falsehoods about drug trafficking and to, of course, argue against gun control.
“Tragically, 300 Americans die of fentanyl poisoning everyday in America and Biden says and does nothing,” she tweeted Sunday. “Tragically, 5 people were killed in a shooting in Colorado and Biden immediately demands a ban on assault weapons.
“The solutions are this: 1. Secure the border and stop the drugs. 2. Defend our right to keep and bear arms so that people can defend themselves from killers who could care less about laws.”
However, she ignored the fact that most of the fentanyl sold in the U.S. is sold by citizens. A recent study by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, reported that 86.3 percent of convicted fentanyl traffickers are U.S. citizens. The study used government data.
A reporter from The Independent confronted Greene about this at a press conference Thursday where she contended the U.S. is doing more to protect Ukraine than to protect its own border with Mexico. The reporter cited the Cato study, and Greene responded, “The Cato Institute is not the border patrol. I’m sorry, is the Cato down there securing our border and stopping illegal aliens and human trafficking and drug trafficking? I’m sorry, you’re going to have to get a direct source, and when you bring the border patrol in here and quote that, then we may take you seriously.”
Biden indeed called for reinstating the assault weapons ban after the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, where five people were killed and at least 18 injured Saturday night. But he has backed the ban on many occasions throughout his career.
“Today, yet another community in America has been torn apart by gun violence,” he said in a prepared statement. “More families left with an empty chair at the table and hole in their lives that cannot be filled. When will we decide we’ve had enough? We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms. Earlier this year, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, in addition to taking other historic actions. But we must do more. We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”
The gunman at Club Q is believed to have used an AR-15 assault rifle, one of the weapons that would be banned, according to The Independent. When Biden was a U.S. senator, he championed a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which passed and was in effect from 1994 to 2004. Efforts since then to reauthorize it have failed.
Biden’s statement, issued on Transgender Day of Remembrance, also cited violence against transgender Americans. “While no motive in this attack is yet clear, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years,” he said. “Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing. We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history. We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women — especially transgender women of color. And tragically, we saw it last night in this devastating attack by a gunman wielding a long rifle at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.”
One of the five people killed in the massacre at Club Q was a trans man named Daniel Davis Aston, according to the Colorado Springs Gazzette.
The Human Rights Campaign, which has tracked violent deaths of trans Americans since 2013, recently released data noting that of the 300 such deaths confirmed during that period, 69 percent involved a firearm.