Scott Keyes, Think Progress, August 31, 2015
On the Chris Salcedo Show last week, the radio host asked Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to weigh in on the horrific shooting on live TV of two journalists in Virginia. After acknowledging that widespread gun violence is a daily occurrence in the United States, Sessions zeroed in on what he viewed as the real cause.
“It has a lot to do with distrust of people. Chris, I have been in lots of societies, we could say like Japan, where they have a homogeneous society, where people are more alike,” Sessions said. He went on to discuss “this thought process that we have to have diversity in America.”
Although Sessions did acknowledge that “we should and we need to work for” a kind of mutual respect across diverse groups, the thrust of his remarks was that diversity breeds a kind of mistrust that sparks gun violence. “We have a group of people that are in our country that we’re afraid of, that have created chaos and confusion. And now our country is confused” he told Salcedo, without elaborating on precisely who that group of people is.
Immediately after this effort to lay the blame for gun violence at the feet of diversity, Salcedo steered the conversation to legislation Sessions is introducing to crack down on many immigrants. “We have repeatedly seen, not just as the murder in Virginia,” Sessions said in making the case for his bill, “we have repeatedly heard stories as they have occurred across our countries [sic] . . . about criminal aliens–people who have come to this country, people who are not legal, people who have created or come here after creating chaos.”
Sessions is no back-bencher among congressional Republicans. He currently chairs the powerful House Rules Committee and chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee during the GOP’s massive gains in 2010. He is currently serving his 10th term in Congress.