Before May 24, most of us had never heard of Uvalde, Texas. Now, it’s on the map for one reason. It’s the home to Robb Elementary School, where 19 students and two teachers perished during a mass shooting.
It’s easier to buy a gun than baby formula these days.
Tio Hardiman, head of the Violence Interrupters in Chicago, advocates using body armor for students. “You need a thin version of body armor around the chest area so it won’t be so bulky for kids, starting around age 6 or 7,” Hardiman said. “And they should wear a bulletproof backpack. Whatever it takes to save the kids.”
Hardiman figures both pieces of protection would cost about $650, with about $250 for the chest protector.
Remember the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting Feb. 14, 2018, in which 17 people were killed. A few weeks later, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an eight-paragraph opinion column for The New York Times.Stevens wrote, “In 1939, the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a ‘well regulated militia.’’’
So, couldn’t that logic apply to an AR-15 or AK-47?
Stevens added: “Support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”
The Second Amendment is only 27 awkwardly constructed words: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The NRA has spearheaded a national cause — and thus a fervent following — based on the second half of that sentence.
Former Justice Warren Burger termed the amendment a “fraud.” In an interview with correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault in 1991 on PBS’ “The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour,” Burger essentially asserted the Second Amendment was antiquated — especially that “well regulated Militia” part.
When Hunter-Gault asked what measures would improve the Bill of Rights, a fiery Burger went off. “If I were writing the Bill of Rights now, there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment, that a ‘well regulated Militia’ being necessary for the defense of the state, that people (have the) right to bear arms. This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
As usual, Republicans and Democrats claim it’s time to discuss bipartisan legislation. But as Hardiman adds: “Talk means nothing. The NRA is too strong.”
And the NRA swears by that second half of that Second Amendment sentence — you know, the part about “to keep and bear Arms … ” — as a source of absolutism.
Perhaps that’s why Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, vetoed $35 million in state funding to the Tampa Bay Rays’ new player development facility. Note that the veto occurred after the Rays tweeted anti-gun messages.
Many gun owners agree with DeSantis.
The statistics are unbelievable:
—There are 120 guns for every 100 Americans; the next closest country is the Falkland Islands, at 62 per 100.
—There are 330 million people living in the United States, with 393 million guns.
Jillian Peterson is familiar with the routine. She is a criminology and criminal justice professor at Hamline (Minn.) University and author of “The Violence Project.” That means she studies mass shooters.
Her remarks on CNN about their thought processes were profound: “We have interviewed perpetrators of school shootings who told us, I went there SPECIFICALLY because I knew there was an armed officer there who was going to kill me. Perpetrators go in planning to either kill themselves, be killed by law enforcement, or spend the rest of their lives in prison.”
We’ve seen this scenario too many times.