US congresswoman insults UK journalist
A US congresswoman, angered by a question from a UK reporter over a controversial gun control bill, suggested the journalist should “go back” to her country.
Channel 4 representative Siobhan Kennedy confronted Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Wednesday over Greene’s opposition to the bill.
Speaking at a press conference of the Second Amendment Caucus, Greene and her fellow pro-gun Republicans hammered the 14 GOP Senators who voted to advance gun control legislation. The bill was then passed by the House on Friday and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Saturday.
Greene has called the Republicans who helped pass the legislation “RINOs,” an acronym for ‘Republicans in Name Only.’
Reporting from the press event, Kennedy accused Greene of putting gun rights before public safety.
“We don’t have guns in the UK, that is true, but we don’t have mass shootings either. And our children aren’t scared to go to school,” she argued.
“You have mass stabbings, lady,” Greene responded. “You have all kinds of murder and you’ve got laws against that.”
“Nothing like the same rates here,” Kennedy shot back.
“Well, you can go back to your country and worry about your no guns,” Greene replied. “We like ours here.”
Both Taylor Greene and Kennedy posted videos of the exchange to Twitter, with Taylor Greene accusing the “British press” of questioning Americans’ “God-given rights,” and Kennedy insisting that the gun control legislation in question “is not about taking her guns away.”
.@RepMTG isn’t happy with me for pointing out that the proposed gun legislation is not about taking her guns away! nor is knife crime in the UK in any way comparable with gun crime here. There are no “mass stabbings”in the UK. Yet here kids are frightened to go to school? https://t.co/Na8rw8bKft— siobhan kennedy (@siobhankennedy4) June 23, 2022
The legislation in question – the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – tightens background checks for gun buyers under 21, forbids convicted domestic abusers from buying weapons for five years, funds mental-health services and school security, and criminalizes “straw purchases” – where one individual buys a gun on behalf of someone else.
However, its most controversial provision is its funding for so-called “red flag” laws, which permit authorities to confiscate guns from someone a court rules is a threat to themselves or others. Conservatives have argued that left-leaning prosecutors will use these laws to target them on political grounds, and the National Rifle Organization has said the entire package of laws will be “abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians.”
The act is the first major gun control bill to become law since the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which forbade the sale of most semi-automatic rifles for a decade. Its passage through Congress came within weeks of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman massacred 19 children and two adults.
The US’ homicide rate is around four times higher than that of the UK, while the US records 646 times as many gun homicides per year as the UK does. However, gun homicide rates vary wildly between US states and demographics. For example, Mississippi sees more than seven times as many firearms homicides per year as Massachusetts, and young black men are 21 times more likely to commit murder with a gun than young whites.