Following a shooting on Monday that left three 9-year-old children and three adults dead at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Fox News host Tucker Carlson warned viewers that the “trans movement is targeting Christians” because they are “its natural enemy.”
Carlson made his comments during his signature show on Tuesday night, a day after 28-year-old Audrey Hale—who police said identified as trans—entered The Covenant School in Nashville armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun. The host told his audience that he saw the attack coming, having previously warned of the alleged dangers posed by trans people.
The trans community actually faces high rates of violence and discrimination in U.S. society and across the world, as testified by several studies and polls. But on Tuesday, Carlson argued that the trans movement is getting “militant and possibly dangerous” and claimed that the movement’s alleged anger is targeted “specifically at traditional Christians.”
According to the television host, the trans community is in direct opposition to Christianity and its values. He then added that his “fears [of the trans community] were confirmed” on Monday with Hale’s shooting rampage.
Hale, who police confirmed was female at birth but used he/him pronouns, was killed by police at the scene. Authorities said they found a manifesto, but the shooter’s motives are not yet known.
Carlson argued that the manifesto is being hidden to conceal an “obvious and undeniable” targeting of Christians. However, police believe that Hale, a former student at the school, targeted the institute because of some form of personal resentment.
The trans movement, it turns out, is the mirror image of Christianity, and therefore its natural enemy. People who believe they’re God can’t stand to be reminded that they’re not. pic.twitter.com/yx6BJM5UIQ— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 29, 2023
Carlson is not the only right-wing figure to instrumentalize the gender identity of the Nashville shooter to promote anti-trans and anti-LGBT sentiment in the wake of the tragedy in Tennessee.
Conservative activist Charlie Kirk tweeted a video interview of progressive political commentator Cenk Uygur saying that trans Americans should get guns because they were in danger and “right wing lunatics are going to attack them.” Kirk commented: “Turns out the exact opposite was true.”
According to data from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, LGBT people are more than twice as likely to be victims of gun violence than their cisgender and straight peers.
Conservative author Candace Owens—who has called gender affirmation surgery “mutilation”—shared an image circulating on Twitter showing four individuals responsible for mass shootings in the past few years who identified as trans or non-binary, saying: “It’s almost like mental illness should [be] addressed, rather than ‘affirmed.'”
However, looking back at the hundreds of mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years, the vast majority of shooters have been cisgender, straight, white men. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control, there have been more than 300 mass shootings in the U.S. since 2009. The number of perpetrators who identify as non-binary or trans is less than 1 percent.