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Louisiana AG Jeff Landry: ‘Protecting Innocence Means Speaking Up’

There’s a myth about the Titan god Cronus who, for fear of being overthrown, proceeded to devour each of his children. His wife Rhea, being cunning, protected their last child Zeus by feeding her husband a stone. Once Zeus was grown, he overthrew his father and banished him to the deepest pit of the underworld – beginning the Age of Mount Olympus.

Such myths, for their symbolism and imagination, are vessels for deeper lessons; and the lesson here is that certain Ages devour children. Perhaps, we are in such an Age right now; and it’s going to take good parents like Rhea to defend our innocent kids from destruction. As Louisiana’s attorney general, I have prioritized protecting children – especially from exploitation.

Major tech companies, such as Google and Meta, are not legally required to look for child pornography; but should they find it on their servers, they are legally required to report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. My office’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit then receives tips relevant to our State and connects with appropriate law enforcement agencies to investigate.

These tips can encompass everything from sexual conversations with juveniles to distribution of sexual abuse images or videos via social media. Over the years, the number of tips has grown exponentially with an enormous boom during the COVID lockdowns. In 2009, Louisiana received 172 tips; but in the first quarter of 2023, we have already received over 2,500 — each a potential crime involving children that likely need protection from groomers, abuse, and sex trafficking.

Yet American culture and entertainment have become increasingly sexualized and “pornified” across films, books, and music — with sexual identity becoming the sole identity of many. And as kids have become increasingly desensitized to sexual content, they have begun to reframe early sexual activity and inappropriate (if not dangerous) relationships as empowering, exciting, and mature.

This has only been encouraged by sexually-explicit content accessible to children in Louisiana’s public libraries, including material that emphasizes sexual relationships with older individuals and sexual exploration of minors as young as 10. With the vast majority of children being molested and abused by other children, placement of these products in sections not exclusive to adults is all the more disturbing.

Sadly, establishment politicians lack the fortitude to pull the weeds at the roots. While we were able to get the Legislature to place library card restrictions on certain books, sexually-explicit content is still accessible to children on public library shelves. When my ICAC unit requested additional funding to hire more investigators, their request was not approved by State government – despite the fact that these investigators are each responsible for roughly 1,000 tips per year, face burnout after three years, and many have been working for ten. And when a bill restricting “gender-affirming care” to those 18 or younger went before the Legislature, too many lawmakers argued in favor of the destruction and mutilation of children in the name of “science” and for fear of suicide.

The harsh reality is roughly 4 in 5 children who experience gender dysphoria will outgrow it. One study stated that up to 98% re-identify with their biological sex in time. Yet the damages done by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are often permanent, including brain damage, vision loss, and sterilization. Those are heavy costs for something children may soon outgrow, with the detransition rate now around 30%. To claim otherwise is, as one expert in Finland stated, “irresponsible” and “purposeful disinformation.”

Moreover, those who transition are 19 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not, according to a 30-year study. Moreover, males who took estrogen were more likely to plan and attempt suicide. Another study highlighted that 16- and 17-year-olds who received hormones were more than twice as likely to report “a suicide attempt requiring inpatient hospitalization.” That is why we are calling on lawmakers to override the governor’s veto and protect our children from such a devastating future.

Of course, there are those who prefer to act out of convenience rather than face these facts; they would rather hide behind “the science” than accept the truth. But until we have difficult conversations about what is actually normal and healthy versus trendy and dangerous, I am afraid that we will continue to devour our children – not because we fear the future, but because we fear having to admit we are wrong. And what will our children think of this Age of Ignorance, once they are grown and sterilized?

Jeff Landry is Attorney General of Louisiana.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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