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Will Nashville Change the Debate on Transgenderism?

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This article first appeared in New English Review. 

The school shooting in Nashville has once again horrified the nation and revived the debate over gun laws. President Biden reacted by calling on Congress to pass his assault weapons ban. Republicans are calling for the presence of armed guards in our schools. Others are calling for stronger “red flag laws”. But there is also a new ingredient to this particular atrocity in Nashville. The shooter was a 28-year-old woman who self-identified as a male-a transgender person. Instead of your typical disturbed white male, we have a disturbed white transgender-not as victim but as the perpetrator of a horrible crime, the cold-blooded murder of three children, ages 9, and three adults. How do the media and the left handle this narrative?

It should be stated at the outset that we are not expecting a wave of murders committed by transgenders. As far as I know, this is the first mass shooting by a transgender, so I don’t want to stamp them all with the same label.

My question is whether this will cause us to put the brakes on “celebrating” people with sexual dysphoria and treat them as people with psychological problems per se. (I am not including gays, lesbians, and bi-sexuals in this discussion.) 

In recent years, there has been a push in our schools and universities not just to demand compassion and respect for transgender people (to include letting them use whatever public restroom they wish and for biological males to compete against women athletes), but also to “celebrate” transgenderism itself. In my view, it is becoming a fad to self-identify with the opposite sex. Transgenders are becoming more open and more visible. Is that because there are many more of them than we imagined and they feel they can now be public about their sexuality and self-identification? Or is it because young, impressionable people are being persuaded that this is a great lifestyle choice, kind of like covering your body with tattoos? I don’t know the answer to this question, but I am concerned. Needless to say, I am absolutely against promoting transgenderism to our children, let alone allowing them to undergo gender transformation whether it be surgical, chemical, or both. What I want is for young people who self-identify with the opposite sex to be treated with compassion and counseling. We all know the hormonal changes that teenagers go through. Could this also be playing a role?

But is it unreasonable in the wake of Nashville to at least discuss the possibilities that these people all need counseling-that there are psychological issues at play here? Again, this is not to suggest that all transgenders are walking time bombs just a trigger away from committing mass murder. The Nashville shooter clearly had psychological problems, and I assume she was committing suicide by cop knowing that she was not going to come out of this alive. We already know that the rate of suicides among transgenders is higher than the population at large. 

The problem is that the left and academia, where so much of this lifestyle is fostered, don’t want to admit that transgenders in general are in need of treatment-not to change their gender necessarily but to explore why they feel they are of the opposite sex. Obviously, if they are still children, they may well grow out of it, an argument against gender reassignment until they can make an adult decision.

So we are left with trying to close the book on a motive for the heinous crime in Nashville. At first glance, it appears the shooter was a former student at this Christian school (another aspect the left would prefer to downplay) and was angry at having to attend the school in the first place (many years earlier). Was she angry at how she was treated as a transgender? What else was involved? According to her parents’ statements, she had many psychological issues. But as former congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News, there is no motive for such an act that we can be comfortable with and say, “OK, now I understand”.  The only reason I am interested in the motive is, hopefully, to use the information to prevent future attacks (Call me naive.) The motive could also stimulate the debate over transgenderism itself.  It is clear that many in the media and on the left want to downplay the transgender issue as well as the targeting of a Christian school. But if we bury the transgender identity of the shooter, we ignore what should be part of the whole discussion over how to treat and deal with transgenders in general. We have only been dealing with this issue seriously for a few years now. We are still in largely uncharted territory. The Nashville tragedy must be part of the discussion.

It comes down to this: Do we treat this condition as a psychological disorder, or do we celebrate, promote it, and encourage it?  I vote for the former. Moreover, we should not let ideologies and politics determine how we go forward.


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