During CNN’s early Tuesday coverage of the recent school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem argued that any discussion over the shooter’s transgender identity is a “distraction” from the real issue of the crime, guns.
Dismissing CNN anchor Don Lemon’s assessment that discussing the shooter being a member of the LGBTQ community is “important,” Kayyem stated, “Pronouns do not kill children, people with guns kill children.”
The discussion happened during “CNN This Morning,” with Lemon bringing up the topic of the school shooter’s trans identity. The perpetrator, who killed six people at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville – including three 9-year-old children – on Monday, was a trans man, or biological woman identifying as a man.
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Lemon, a gay man, mentioned the shooter’s “identity,” claiming, “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I think this is important to bring up.”
He continued with the details of the case surrounding the shooter’s identity, saying, “So the police are identifying the shooter as a trans woman, it would actually be a trans man. So there’s sort misidentification there, but this is all new.”
He then prompted Kayyem, asking, “Would the identity of being a transgender person and also being identified as a woman, does this pose any sort of difference or difficulty for police because it’s not typically a woman, regardless of how they’re identifying?”
Kayyem acknowledged that the shooter’s identity made this crime a “unique case” but noted that every mass shooting has unique elements that separate them from one another.
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She said, “So each of these cases is always going to have a particular difference, right? Whether it’s, someone is angry at their father or someone had something happened at the school, and this is a unique case, and we have to be sensitive about it to the extent that Audrey Hale identified as a woman.”
Kayyem also noted, “We do not see mass shooters who are female, especially in particular, school shooting murderers,” adding it is “the first time” she can remember seeing a female shooter.
However, she eventually claimed that the particulars surrounding the shooter’s identity are “distraction” from the guns used in the shooting.
Kayyem mentioned that “the means” of the shooting, or how it was carried out, reveal that it’s the same as the other mass shootings in America. She said, “That’s when you get the connectivity, right? That’s when you start to see, these are all starting to look the same. I sort of think now, we don’t own guns in this country, guns own us at this stage.”
Forcibly throwing away the pronoun discussion to push the gun topic, the pundit declared, “Look, pronouns do not kill children, people with guns kill children. And it’s going to be a distraction in our coverage and keep us from what we now know which is, each of these cases has a similarity of more than any difference.”
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