Do You Know Where America Stands On Guns?

Senate prepares to vote on school safety plan that would arm teachers toughen gun laws

Senate prepares to vote on school safety plan that would arm teachers toughen gun laws by John Lucas | Mar 5 2018

That is of course absurd. This imbalance says that we have too many administrator positions. "We want to stop the problems". Teachers packing heat. Appallingly, this suggestion is being endorsed locally - even though it is, among other things, completely impractical. There are practical and effective actions that can be taken now that can help reduce the recurrence of mass killings like the ones that plagued Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Virginia Tech and Newtown, Conn.

"February's uptick, particularly with respect to long guns, is yet another example of the historical trend following the re-ignition of the gun control debate", analyst James Hardiman of Wedbush wrote in a note.

But as students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continue their own organizing, the school safety strategy is unlikely to end the debate. A McMillan Magnet Middle School student has been charged with his murder. I talked with some of these students, who spoke with authority and conviction about what they are working to achieve.

Students sit in protest outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 7, 2018. Here are some of the measures I am advancing.

After mass shootings in which the shooter uses military-style assault rifles, the conversation often focuses on banning or limiting assault rifle purchases. I flatly reject the argument that an assault weapon should be available to civilians.

One of their arguments is that it's their right to own guns to protect themselves against a government that has atomic bombs. Bump stocks, which essentially modify a gun to make it easier to fire multiple rounds, must be outlawed.

The last time in recent history I can remember a generational movement getting behind a cause to eliminate some social or political injustice, it was in the late 1960s and 70s when young people began to organize their nation-wide opposition to the war in Vietnam. Most companies require licensed drivers to be 21 in order to rent a vehicle. More sweeping is House Bill 1465, which bans those under the age of 21 from possessing any semi-automatic rifle that can hold more than 10 rounds and certain pistols with detachable magazines.

Democrats were most likely to be in opposition; with 88% disagreeing with the President's plan on guns. If someone is on the federal no-fly list they should be prohibited from purchasing a gun.

The couple the teenage killer was living with at the time of the shooting knew he had a bunch of guns and did nothing to get them out their house. Extending these background checks to gun shows as well could reduce the amount of firearms circulating in the nation. Do we round up everyone who stares at someone in a peculiar way and subject them to a bevy of standardized testing?

While 39 percent of Floridians say that accessibility to guns is a major contributor to gun violence, 24 percent of voters believe it's the lack of mental healthcare and 18 percent say it is due to violent TV and video games. There is simply no logical reason why the CDC should not be free to study this. I also seek practical answers to problems which is why I support comprehensive background checks and why I urge school boards to move forward now with a common-sense solution that provides real protection to our schools.

None of these actions I suggest will prevent every gun tragedy, but we can not let that be an excuse to do nothing. The surest way to change gun policy is to remove the elected officials from office who are so intertwined with the NRA. The students, survivors and all who have lost loved ones must live with those scars for life.

Michael E. Capuano is the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District.

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