The White House issued a statement on President Trump’s proposed gun control. The statement is absent of many ideas previously discussed with lawmakers.
Notably absent from the release was the raising of age limits for certain weapons. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said that the President still supports this measure. The administration was quoted stating that age limit restrictions failed to gain bipartisan support.
Also absent from the measure is the bump-stock ban. These two measures became absent after President Trump met with officials from the National Rifle Association, causing some Democrats to claim the President is flipping on the issue and aligning with the NRA. These statements come after Trump publicaly criticized lawmakers for being afraid of the organization.
One should note that the NRA gave $30 million in campaign contributions to Trump’s presidential campaign.
In the release, the White House clarifies a want for improvement of background checks. Support for the Cornyn-Murphey bill to improve the reporting and accuracy of the background check system is explicitly stated, which mainly calls for states to improve their reporting to make the system effective nationally.
The White House also wants to ratify “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” that would allow them to confiscate weapons from people conceived to be a violent risk. A court can only issue the ERPOs and must be evidence based. The statement says ERPOs should be carefully tailored to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.
This could lead to a dangerous precedent/“Minority Report” issue. If a person is diagnosed with mental illness, they could be considered a danger, losing their right to bear arms, even if the mental illness isn’t inherently dangerous. Awareness is a powerful tool in understanding mental health.
One of the other major calls to action in the statement is to arm teachers. The White House wants the armament of teachers on a volunteer basis. It specifically highlights Veterans and Ex-law Enforcement Officers (LEO) that have weapons training and have transitioned to careers in education, volunteering to conceal carry in the classroom.
The statement qualifies this action with quantitative figures. Citing statistics that say most mass shooting incidents are concluded by the time LEOs arrive. The White House believes these armed staff members would be deterrents and first responders.
According to the release, the White House will support programs for transition military and LEOs transitioning to education careers. They will support State-based grants to implement evidence-based prevention programs. These would include funds for training, technology and technical support for violence prevention programs.
The administration wants reform of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This will loosen FERPA and HIPAA reporting restrictions to allow healthcare providers, school officials and law enforcement to talk across agency lines to prevent violent acts.
Finally, the statement establishes a Federal Commission on School Safety chaired by controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. DeVos has been ridiculed for her disconnect with the public school system and the families that attend them. The commission is tasked with investigating mitigating factors that lead up to mass shootings and prevention.
Will any of this curb the issues of mental health and mass shootings in the U.S.?
The American People are calling for action and President Trump has promised to answer the call. There are a lot of privacy issues that will have to be resolved for these specific measures to be implemented though.
Mass shootings are not the only fear, but also gang violence in the inner-city schools is a major issue. Trump is quoted in the W.H. release saying, “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope.”
A scheduled national student walkout protested the lack of school safety in American Schools. A walkout was organized by students from Stoneman Douglas High, the location of the latest school mass shooting in America. The walkout comes one month after a former classmate killed 17 students. Organizers of the walkouts say there are over 3,000 schools nationwide participating.
They want more than what Trump is promising. The administration says this is the best bipartisan way forward that they can do for now.