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What Terrorizes Americans Most: Guns or Sexual Freedom?

America treats sex, not violence, as the biggest threat to families and the nation.
 
 
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“Just know that you are loved. And show your love. Every day, okay? That’s what matters,” I said as I hugged my 10-year-old son goodbye at his robotics camp not too far from Aurora.

We had just talked about the cowardly gunman in gas mask and body armor mowing down mostly young people at The Dark Knight Rises midnight premiere, killing 12 and wounding 58, some badly. We talked about America’s glorification of violence and sacrosanct gun culture, making mention of gun control taboo no matter the carnage from a formerly banned assault rifle firing a 100-round drum magazine.

I’d rather talk about sex.

America treats sex, not violence, as the biggest threat to families and the nation, starting with Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings bestowing action flicks that brutalize half-naked nymphets a PG-13, but anything suggesting female pleasure the deathly NC-17, as happened with the marital cunnilingus scene between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. A common argument against gay marriage or condom commercials is, “What would I say to my kids,” as if sex talk destroys childhood innocence.

Some awkwardness aside, sex talk has come naturally as I raise my son, whether explaining how babies are made, or naming body parts and their functions, including the clitoris, or explaining gay and transgender people in our lives. The Batman massacre so close to home forced our first big “violence talk,” done through my reluctance and tears. How do you explain something so sad and senseless to your baby, who not too long ago donned superhero costumes, often demanding to know the good vs. bad guy in movies or the news, because the good guy always wins, right? No matter the justice delivered, no one wins when the dreams of a 6-year-old girl just starting swim lessons, or a newlywed celebrating his 27th birthday, or a U.S. Navy vet who served three tours of duty in the Middle East are forever snuffed.

On the day America awoke in pain to another historic shooting spree, the designated hate group Family Research Council—media-coddled Christian right defender of “faith, family and freedom”—skipped the relevant violence talk in its daily email alert for its usual, more politically potent sex spin. FRC head Tony Perkins, who a few days before the national tragedy met with Mitt Romney about picking an anti-abortion VP, offered at the bottom of his Washington Update cursory condolences to the families of the Aurora shooting. His lead outrage instead slammed President Obama for allowing more than 300 uniformed military members to march in the upcoming San Diego gay pride parade. Next he praised the Republican-led congressional vote to block Pentagon funding for allowing same-sex weddings on a military base.

Right. Guns don’t kill, celebrating gay love does.

The day of the Denver-area’s second gun massacre, the Colorado-based media powerhouse Focus on the Family emailed its Citizen Link Report entirely on Congress endorsing sexual abstinence policy and blasting comprehensive sex education, declaring teens must be taught there is no safe sex unless within a monogamous lifelong marriage.

Right. We must protect our kids. Guns don’t kill, sexual knowledge does.

During a radio interview with the Heritage Foundation—the conservative think tank behind federally funded “abstinence-only-unless-married” legislation—Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) blamed the latest slaughter on “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs,” and wondered why theatergoers weren’t packing heat to stop the bloodshed. Townhall columnist Doug Giles also blamed the victims, saying he carries at least one gun everywhere he goes just to stop some James Holmes wannabe: “the good citizen is to get equipped with a gun—a fire-breathing dragon of a weapon…[m]ake it like a cell phone….”

 
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