Fine, you win. Despite the overwhelming majority of Americans who approve of increased background checks – no problem, ignore us. You have never even admitted to the FACT the United States is unique in the size and scope of its gun violence problem – that is your personal choice. Making it illegal for the CDC to even study the problem – water under the bridge.
You control all three branches of government (for now). Your talking heads were on the air (Only in safe spaces like Fox, but so what) immediately after 17 children were prevented from ever growing up and living out their dreams, with the same “causes” and “solutions” you offered after Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Texas and Vegas:
- It is a mental health issue
- Retired military and police should be in schools to protect the kids
- Train teachers to carry guns in schools
Okay, you say these are the top 3 opportunities to prevent children from being gunned down while learning the Pythagorean theorem. Democrats disagree – However, nothing else in this government is bipartisan, so what start here. Republicans in congress – do your damn job. Hold hearings with experts to understand the issues and potential solutions. You know, like you did to evaluate the critically important issue of steroids in baseball (The reaction to Mark McGuire hitting 70 homeruns dwarfed your reaction to dozens of parents identifying their dead kids’ bodies because of their blood-soaked clothes).
I want days and days of PUBLIC hearings on the mental health issues in this country. We need to hear from actual experts, telling us where there are gaps in the treatment of mental illness. And then YOU’D BETTER ACT!
- Spend the money to improve treatment (By the way, cutting Medicaid/Medicare/ACA might be counter-productive)
I want to hear from security experts, retired and active police and military talking about what it would really take to keep our kids safe with 300 million guns in the United States. Ask them what technology could be used to make the schools safer without forcing my kids to be strip-searched before homeroom. And then YOU’D BETTER ACT!
- There are more than 150,000 schools in the United States. You’ll need 1.5 trained security guards per school to allow for sick and vacation days. With benefits, assume a bare minimum of $100,000 per year per guard. Time to spend $22.5B in security guards every year. Don’t skimp on my kids! I heard conservatives on radio and TV tell me this is the best way to keep children safe. The current education budget is around $70B; where are you planning on finding another 30%?
While I think it is ludicrous to ask teachers to double as John Wayne, you won the 2016 election. I want to know how teachers would feel about carrying guns in school. I want to hear from parents about how they will feel with teachers having guns in school. Who will train them? Who will pay for their guns? Will every teacher have to have a gun? Is it optional? Where will the guns be stored during the day? If your PUBLIC hearings demonstrate some value in this cockamamy idea, YOU’D BETTER ACT!
- There are 3.6M teachers in this country. It will cost billions to arm and train them.
When the Democrats are back in power, they will be pushed to act on gun control. It is clear you will never engage in that debate despite the data and poll numbers in favor of common sense gun legislation. So, you are in the driver’s seat (until November). My guess is you won’t be bothered to lift a finger. Your ideas are mere distractions, keeping us from discussing the real problem. I believe you are petrified to shine a light on your ideas – to allow Americans to hear about research and the facts surrounding your proposals. Prove me wrong feckless pansies. Hold the hearings. Make the debate public. Don’t cower in a corner like you did with ACA, keeping the bill secret until the last minute. You have the answers, right? Spend the money. Put your solutions in place and let’s find out how effective they are. In 2018, we average more than one school shooting per week and yet my money is on you doing absolutely nothing (Where’s that bump stock legislation?). Your bluff has been called; show me what you’ve got. My kids’ lives are on the line – YOU’D BETTER ACT!
Contributing Editor: Tim Chauncey
Husband and father trying to raise the level of discourse.