It’s Time for Republicans to Be Proactive on School Shootings – Opinion

Uvalde’s mass shooting continues to be a major story. However, it is quickly becoming less about the victims and more about who was to blame.

For their part, Democrats have lashed out, accusing Republicans of wanting children to be killed because they don’t support “gun control” provisions that logically would not have stopped this attack from happening. Ruben Gallego (House Democrat) claimed Sen. Ted Cruz was in favor of the killing of children, while also pledging his support for abortion up to the point that birth.

But while the left does what the left always does, which is to grotesquely blame their political opponents for tragedies, I’d suggest it’s time for Republicans to be proactive. It is an ineffective strategy to wait for Democrats and demagogue this issue by making emotional pleas for gun control that aren’t effective, while calling their political opponents murderers.

So what do you suggest? Well, let’s look at the history of the shooter, and perhaps we can glean some actionable steps to take legislatively. The New York Post reports that Salvador Ramos (18 years old) had seen just about all the red flags in the book.

The gunman who slaughtered 19 kids and two teachers at a Texas elementary school reportedly exhibited increasingly bizarre behavior leading up to the rampage — including cutting up his face with knives just “for fun,” friends said…

…Valdez also described how Ramos used to drive around with another pal and shoot people at random with a BB gun — and also egged people’s cars…

…Flores and several other people familiar with the family said Ramos’ mother used drugs, which contributed to the trouble at home, according to the Washington Post, which said it could not reach her for comment.

There are even more details within the Post’s article, but to summarize, Ramos was mentally ill to the point where he was cutting himself, shooting people with BB guns, and starting fights with boxing gloves in the park. A drug addicted mother was his father, Ramos lived with him in an apartment without a father and police became aware of him through past domestic events.

And in the midst of all that, the authorities never thought “We need to get this kid to a facility”? Instead, the authorities sent him to live with his grandmother. It was not an effective way of dealing with what was obviously a volatile situation.

It is obvious that more background checks wouldn’t have been helpful. After all, Ramos, like most mass shooters passed a background check because they didn’t have a prior criminal record. Past that, gun confiscation is not only unconstitutional, but it’s completely unworkable and wouldn’t get guns out of the hands of those that want to harm others anyway.

Republicans need to propose legislation that addresses both sides of the issue in ways that have a direct relationship with what has happened.

For example, there are literally billions of dollars in unspent COVID “relief” funds earmarked for educational institutions. A bill could be introduced that would redirect some, or all, of those funds to improving security in schools. This would involve hiring additional SROs and hardening doors. It also would impose single-entry configurations on existing buildings. These are all actions that, contrary to the gun control push would direct prevent or limit school shootings. Even a simple metal door equipped with a magnet lock could be sufficient to deter a shooter and give them the chance to surprise others, giving them precious time to secure classrooms.

You also have to consider the mental health issues, the common factor behind almost all the shootings. It’s hard to think of a mass shooter who didn’t exhibit clear signs of mental illness, not just to his family, but to the authorities as well, prior to carrying out an attack. This may be controversial with libertarians. However, I think that the authorities must have the authority to imprison anyone who has objectively demonstrated mental illness. This would cover mass shootings, as well as other issues, like homeless people who attack others on the streets of places such California.

Lastly, while we don’t need universal background checks, which are really just a Trojan horse for a national gun registry and would do nothing to prevent mass shootings, there are aspects of background checks already occurring that could be expanded without violating the rights of gun owners. A background check should not be performed on anyone who has threatened to harm others, such as the Buffalo shooter. A red flag should be raised if they are involved in domestic violence. A red flag should be raised if you find a high school student aged 18 who has displayed violent behavior that is well known to authorities.

The dealer is free to refuse a sale for any reason. If a background check provided enough information to pique a dealer’s interest, they might take five minutes to do a little more research and make a different decision about a sale. It’s at least something to think about in how the background check process could be made to work more effectively while not infringing on law-abiding gun owners.

In short, Republicans should stop playing defense when they haven’t done anything wrong lest they be consumed. Preempt the ineffective policy prescriptions of the left, which only serve to garner unrelated political goals, by introducing actual “common-sense” reforms. Have these reforms not focus on the Second Amendment. Instead, they should be focused on protecting schools, enforcement of laws and providing mental health care for the mentally ill. Let the Democrats say “No” to any of this.

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