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KJP Shrugs Off Categorizing Shooting That Targeted Christians as a Hate Crime

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Six people were shot and killed last Monday, three of whom were 9-year-old children, after being targeted at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. It doesn't look like we can get our hopes up about the shooting, allegedly carried out by a transgender former student, being classified as a hate crime, though. Despite it having been more than a week later, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave no reassurances during Wednesday's press briefing that the shooting would be classified as such or that the administration was even making it much of a priority.


It's not merely current Republican officials who have strong views on the shooting being declared a hate crime. As a reporter pointed out to Jean-Pierre, former Vice President Mike Pence said if the shooter was motivated by hate toward Christians, the crime should be designated a hate crime. Upon being asked what the president "thinks about that kind of designation," the press secretary merely responded, "It's not up for us to decide." 

Attorney General Merrick Garland offered no assurances when asked by multiple Republican senators as he testified before Congress last Tuesday if he would classify the mass shooting as a hate crime. President Joe Biden even laughed about the shooting in response to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) calling on the administration to investigate it as such. The laughter came after Biden had also joked about his love for ice cream during the same remarks where he addressed the shooting at an unrelated event. 

Making Jean-Pierre's brusque response even more shocking, and drawing a clear contrast to what the administration actually cares about, is that she had more to say when the reporter also asked about children who may believe they are transgender and state efforts to protect them. 


In Indiana specifically, a law was signed banning hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and gender transition surgeries, which can involve genital mutilation and sterilization. Jean-Pierre was asked about the president's stance on that bill and "at what age these kinds of therapies and surgeries are appropriate." 

"That's something for a child and their parents to decide," Jean-Pierre said about children who cannot legally consent and adults who may be unduly influencing them or have been misled or bullied on the issue. "It's not something we believe should be decided by legislators."

The president and his administration have made it clear that they have a preoccupation with pushing transgenderism on children while also condemning those lawmakers that would seek to protect such children. Its promotion of the "Transgender Day of Visibility" serves as a recent and particularly illuminating example. 

Jean-Pierre's most recent and less-than-helpful response is unfortunate but hardly surprising given that the president would prefer to politicize the issue by calling for a ban on so-called "assault weapons." Jean-Pierre also spoke passionately at length during a press briefing last Thursday about how the administration is concerned for the transgender community, which is supposedly "under attack right now."


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