Taking School Shootings Seriously Doesn't Automatically Mean Gun Control

Unless you live in New Hampshire, you’ve probably never heard of Steve Shurtleff. Why would you? After all, he’s a state representative in a small state that most of us don’t pay a whole lot of attention.

But he’s also an anti-gunner, and he recently penned an op-ed where he makes the greatest fallacy of the anti-gun zealot. That’s the claim that because someone refuses to budge on gun control, they’re not serious about working to prevent school shootings.

This year we’ve seen how strong a hold the National Rifle Association has on our Republican colleagues.

On both a state and federal level, officials are refusing to take obvious and necessary steps to solve this terrible problem. In the latest example of our government officials’ ineffectualness, both Gov. Chris Sununu and President Donald Trump’s respective school safety commissions announced they won’t look into the role that guns play in endangering students when examining school violence.

In testimony late last week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos argued that looking into guns was “not a part of the commission’s charge, per se,” even though the commission was created as a response to the Parkland shooting. New Hampshire State Emergency Management Commissioner Perry Plummer, who chairs Sununu’s school safety task force, had expressed a similarly out-of-touch statement the week before, arguing there wasn’t enough time to tackle the issue.

It’s hard to believe the fact that even after what feels like countless school shootings we still have to fight to include guns in a debate about school safety.

What will it take before Republicans join us to take serious steps to work to stop this epidemic of school shootings? How much more will they allow before they finally summon the bravery to stand up to the NRA and fight to defend our children?

Seriously, are these people handed talking points?

First, the NRA represents millions of Americans who support the right to keep and bear arms. If the NRA went away tomorrow, all the anti-gun dreams still wouldn’t come true. Someone else would represent those gun owners and gun control would still die on the vine. There are millions of us and we have money and long memories. That is why gun control dies.

However, Shurtleff’s claim that those who oppose gun control aren’t taking school shootings shows the lack of mental capacity in our anti-gun opponents.

That’s right, I called him stupid.

It takes stupidity to see only one possible solution to any problem, especially when many of the items on the table for discussion won’t stop the problem. Ban assault rifles? The worst school shooting in American history was perpetrated by a maniac with a couple of handguns. Require people to be 21 to buy long guns? See previous response, as well as noting that the Santa Fe High School shooter stole his guns, as did the Newtown killer.

Nothing being discussed would really make an impact. Nothing at all.

So why not look outside of the gun control box? Why not look and see what we can find?

Perhaps then we can look at what makes people do this so we can intervene earlier. I’ve noted before that I have plenty of reason to take mass shootings seriously. All of us do. No one wants to see news reports of more kids killed in their schools.

But only a complete idiot thinks that gun control is the only way to prevent mass slaughter. I mean, it’s like they’ve forgotten about people using vehicles to kill. Then again, that never happens. Except for in Toronto. And New York. And Nice, France. And London.

In other words, only a total moron could look at all of this and think gun control is the one-stop solution for all of our problems. At best, gun control might stop a few murders. Now, that would be better than no murders, mind you, but I’m not convinced it would even do that. I’m just saying that this is the best case scenario for gun control when it comes to school shootings.

If we start looking at other ways to make our schools safer, ways that mitigate against multiple potential threats, then it’s a much more sound policy. We’ll not only prevent those same killings as gun control might stop, but we’ll also prevent countless more of them.

But then again, maybe it’s people like Shurtleff who aren’t serious about stopping school violence.