In the week since the Florida school shooting, several legislatures across the country have delayed or blocked gun control debate — with at least two preferring to talk about pornography, The Hill reports.
House Republicans in Florida's legislature scuttled a Democratic effort to revive debate on a measure to ban assault weapons, even as survivors of the Parkland high school shooting watched from the balcony.
"It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say 'no,'" Sheryl Acquaroli, a 16-year-old student from Stoneman Douglas, told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Soon afterward, Florida legislators debated a bill that declares pornography a threat to public health.
Likewise, Arizona, Republicans blocked debate over whether to ban bump stocks, which convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic ones, but then voted to debate anti-porn bill.
And in Wisconsin, Republicans rewrote a bill that would have tightened background checks to instead fund armed guards in schools, a policy the National Rifle Association advocates.
CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin relentlessly pressed Florida House Rep. Matt Caldwell to explain why "porn is a bigger health rise than semi-automatic weapons in the hands of a deranged individual?"
Caldwell repeatedly resisted answering the question, finally saying the House would not engage in a "political stunt," by rushing through a gun control bill, but eventually would pass gun legislation.
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