President Trump hosted a "listening session", attended by Vice President Pence and Secretary of Education DeVos. During the session, which amounted to little more than a photo op, Mr. Trump suggested that he could name ten ideas about how to address the problem of school shootings. How many did he name at the time? Zero!
If I may be brutally honest, a real leader would not just have alluded to ideas, particularly in the face of such an extraordinarily difficult national tragedy, but a real leader would have listed and enumerated them point by point. That being said, here are a few of mine...
- Eliminate the trade show loophole
- Update the official definition of the term "assault weapons" to include any weapon or firearm that has the capacity to fire projectiles automatic or semi-automatic or any weapon that can be converted to fire automatic with modifications such as the infamous bump stock; any other device that when installed can cause a weapon to fire automatic; or any high capacity gun magazine
Additionally, ban all assault weapons with the exception of military and "specialist" law enforcement
Increase the age restriction for purchasing any firearm to a minimum of 21 or 25 (I expect this to be one of the key points of contention)
- The president has slammed "gun free zones" around schools... I want to make them stronger
- Extend federally subsidized grants for school safe rooms and/or confinement modules at school entrances*
- Much like being able to drive a vehicle on America's streets, impose license requirements for anyone to purchase or own a firearm
- Require mental health evaluations from a licensed mental health professional before being issued a license to purchase or own a firearm
I'm not afraid of controversy. What I am afraid of is having to stand before the America people to explain why their government did nothing to protect them and their families from another coward with a gun!
A few days ago, the American public learned that there was an armed, veteran Broward County Deputy Sheriff on site when the young coward with a gun entered the school. According to reports that I've read, the deputy took up a "defensive position". My question is simple... defense from what? The shooter was inside the school, so what in the world was he defending "outside of the school"?!!! In my day, as a law enforcement officer that would be labeled "cowardice".
The president's idea of putting Marines in our schools would essentially result in militarizing our schools, making them armed camps. I think the best option is to implement measures that would keep the bad guys out of the schools... perhaps isolate and confine them so that they cannot do any harm. That should be the very first thing we do. Implement measures to keep the bad guys out of our schools! Period!
As for arming teachers, they have a hard enough job as it is! We should be arming our nation's educators with books and adequate salaries! We should be arming them with all of the tools necessary to assure they have the ways and means to equip the minds of future Americans! By the way, we have educators on our mailing list including at least one college president. I would welcome your input on this very important issue. Please reach out to me with your comments.
But, that's not the end of the story. We also need to "suck it up"... and implement a permanent ban on all assault weapons except for those used by our nation's armed forces and certain law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA or Secret Service for example. These dangerous weapons of mass destruction do not need to be in the hands of ordinary citizens.
The gun lobbies are relentless but so are the people of the United States, as these young children have proven. While it is impossible to tell when we may be revisiting this subject on a more real level once again, this November you and I will have an opportunity to elect persons that best fit our position on this very, very important issue, persons who are not afraid to confront the gun lobby or any other lobby that places our constitutionally protected safety and freedoms in jeopardy.
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FRIENDS OF KEITH DAVENPORT FOR PRESIDENT - 2020