By: John Semmens
This week’s massacre of 19 students and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas reignited the debate between Republicans and Democrats on how best to prevent future mass murders. Democrats want to outlaw guns. Republicans want to harden the target zones and make it easier for private citizens to carry firearms.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blamed “Democrat opposition to two 2013 bills. One would have appropriated $300 million in federal grants to harden schools to make them safer, to make them more protected. The other directed the Department of Justice to prosecute and put in jail felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy firearms. Instead, Democrats insist on disarming law-abiding gun owners.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) characterized “the Republican focus on countervailing force a flawed concept. As we saw in Uvalde, dozens of heavily armed police stood by for over an hour while a gunman methodically assassinated his victims. Belief in the so-called good guys with guns option is disproved by the repeated incompetence and cowardice of our police. Suffocating an unarmed and cuffed George Floyd is a risk they’re ready to take, but rescuing children from an armed assailant is too much to ask. The only sensible option is for all private ownership of guns to be prohibited.”
Cruz said “Schumer’s universal disarmament proposal is a dangerous fantasy. Criminals aren’t going to obey gun laws. The Uvalde shooter violated the school’s ‘no gun zone’ status under current law. Obviously, we can’t depend on law-enforcement personnel to be the only source of protection. Private citizens must not be stripped of their right to bear arms for self-defense. If enough citizens are armed criminals cannot count on easy targets. Some will be deterred. Others will be shot down once their hostile intentions are exhibited like the man in West Virginia firing an AR-15 rifle at a graduation party was shot down by a woman carrying a concealed pistol.”
“One isolated incident of a private citizen using deadly force to save lives is not a sound foundation for crafting a sane nationwide policy on guns,” Schumer contended. “What Sen. Cruz forgets is that a widely armed population poses a deadly threat to those of us who must govern this country. Outlawing private ownership of guns combined with personal bodyguards for important government officials is the optimal feasible approach to protect lives that are essential to a functioning democracy.”
In related news, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) used the Uvalde killings to argue for more gun regulation, asking “why can’t we strictly regulate who is allowed to own a gun? We already regulate cars, alcohol, and cigarettes. Why not guns?” Escobar was unfazed by data showing that these other more heavily regulated items are still responsible for more fatalities each year than guns are.