Louie Gohmert: New Zealand Shooter Should Have Pursued Legislation to ‘Resolve Controversies’ of Mosques

The Texas congressman suggests courts and legislatures could have resolved the New Zealand shooter's grievances.

Right-wing congressman and defender of the honor of his own asparagus Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has released a short statement about the massacre in New Zealand. It starts off with standard boilerplate about the attacks being reprehensible and the attacker and any compatriots needing to be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.”

Then there is this curious sentence: “There are courts, dispute resolutions, and legislatures to resolve controversies — there is no place for cold blooded murders.”

Exactly what controversy does Gohmert think could have been resolved through legal processes here? The shooter was reportedly a xenophobe who resented the presence of Muslims in Western, majority-white nations and, according to his manifesto, wanted them gone. New Zealand is a pluralistic democracy with Muslim citizens who have the right to worship freely. There is no compromising with the former without destroying the values of the latter.

If Gohmert thinks the presence of mosques and the Muslims who worship in them in a pluralistic society is controversial, he should just come out and say so. If he wants New Zealand to ban Muslim immigration as President Trump tried to do, he should just come out and say so.

Gohmert likely knows he can’t be so blatant about his racism as to call for kicking people out of a country. So he is casting the existence of Muslim houses of worship as controversial, as if freedom of religion is a negotiable tenet of Western democracy. Imagine if someone suggested the same thing about churches in Texas.

The congressman finished his statement with a lament that New Zealand doesn’t have the death penalty. Sorry New Zealand, you can’t have him. He’s ours.


Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.