Missouri GOP candidate torches LGBTQ books with flamethrower: video

A GOP candidate in Missouri is literally playing with fire in her quest to rid local libraries of books she claims are nefariously attempting to “groom” children.

Valentina Gomez, a 24-year-old running for Missouri’s Secretary of State, shared a video of herself Tuesday on X using a flamethrower to torch a stack of library books about the LGBTQ+ community.

“This is what I will do to grooming books when I become Secretary of State,” Gomez says in the video, which was posted on X, as intense rap music plays in the background.

After torching the two books Gomez notes, “These books come from a Missouri Public Library.”

“When I am in office, they will burn,” she adds before the video shows a picture of her holding a large gun.

One of the books Gomez burned was “Naked: Not Your Average Sex Encyclopedia” written by Myriam Daguzan Bernier. “Naked” is described on Amazon as “essential reading” that will provide “answers to questions about sexuality that teens have always had but have been afraid to ask.”

Valentina Gomez, a 24-year-old running for Missouri’s Secretary of State, shared a video of herself torching the books. Valentina Gomez

The other book propped up for Gomez to burn was “Queer, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens.”

Gomez’s post had been viewed over 800K times and garnered thousands of responses, mostly negative, by Wednesday afternoon.

Gomez notes in the video that the books came from public libraries. Valentina Gomez

“I at least enjoy that Valentina Gomez is on the record as being an awful candidate/human,” one X user wrote.

“I’m not sure ‘if I’m elected I will burn books’ is really the flex that you think it is,” another commenter chimed in. Others were quick to make comparisons to Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” as well as Nazi Germany.

Book burnings were commonplace in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, where any titles deemed “Un-German” or subversive were torched.

The 24-year-old is running for Secretary of State in Missouri. Valentina Gomez

Visibility on the video was limited by X as it violated the social media site’s rules against hateful conduct.

Gomez’s platform of book banning — which many took issue with in response to her video on X — is a stance many Republican leaders across the country have taken up in recent years.

Visibility on the video was limited by X. Valentina Gomez

In both Illinois and Massachusetts police were called last year when teachers were reading books about gender identity and sexuality in middle school classrooms.

In some states, like Iowa, federal judges have blocked laws that ban some books from school libraries and prevent teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues. Meanwhile, Florida has blocked in-class discussions of gender and sexuality.

Over 1,600 books were banned during the 2021-2022 school year, according to a report from PEN America. More than half of the books that were either banned or challenged had LGBTQ+ themes.

In 2022, efforts to ban books in the US hit a record high, according to a report from the American Library Association.

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