Well, the anti-gunners are marching in D.C. The calls for new gun laws have reached a high mark again. And the Trump administration is moving forward on banning bump stocks. Florida has raised the age limit to buy long guns to 21. An Oregon church group is collecting signatures that straight up confiscates firearms from law-abiding citizens. And all of this as the National Rifle Association, conservatives, rural Americans, gun owners, and Second Amendment supporters, are smeared as being somehow responsible for the recent shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14.
It’s like clockwork. There’s a mass shooting by a crazy person—and somehow the NRA is held responsible. The rural gun owner is held responsible. The conservative has to answer for why is this happening. The Right is held to a different standard for the actions of a crazy person. It’s collective punishment. It’s guilt by association. Well, the students of Marjory Stoneman are about to get a taste of that, and some are not happy about it. New security procedures that set to go into effect once spring break is over permits only clear backpacks permitted on campus. Some students are asking why are they being punished for other people’s actions. It’s what members of the NRA and conservatives have been crying out for years (via CNN) [emphasis mine]:
When students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas return to class after spring break next week, they'll be required to carry clear backpacks.
The move is meant to ramp up security measures after last month's deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, and a series of breaches since.
"Clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus," said Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie said in a letter sent to parents.
Some students have said they're not happy with the changes.
Tyra Hemans, 19, a senior, told CNN she supports parts of the new policy, such as the ID requirement. But she believes other security measures, such as forcing students to carry clear backpacks, don't adequately address the real problem with school safety, which she says is lax gun laws.
"I'm not happy with it. Why are you punishing me for one person's actions?" she said.
"We know what the root of the problem is," she said. "(Lawmakers) don't want to make the gun laws strong enough."
Hemans believes a clear backpack violates students' privacy, and using metal detectors will turn the school into a prison, she said. "I want to go to school, not prison."
Well, lax gun laws are not the problem. The local media, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, has been excellent documenting how federal, state, and local authorities either simply failed to enforce the law, or kicked the can down the road concerning what to do with shooter Nikolas Cruz. Police visited his home over 30 times, and they were warned that Cruz had threatened people with guns before, even pointing them at people’s heads. The FBI received tips about Cruz; the latest was on January 5. It was not forwarded to the Miami office and protocols were not followed, which prompted FBI Director Chris Wray to apologize. As for the state, Cruz had reportedly cut himself following a break up with his girlfriend in 2016. He could have been committed through the Baker Act, which would have barred him from buying firearms. This commitment would have come up on a background check, which would have prevented him from buying the AR-15 rifle days after he was expelled in February of 2017. It’s quite clear the government failed to protect the people. It’s not really a question about lax gun laws. There were more than enough opportunities to stop Cruz.
So, yeah—there you have it. The seat of irony, though one where both students of this school and NRA members can relate to, albeit with the latter having to endure much more from the news media and liberal politicians who are just itching to shred the Bill of Rights, punishing all of us for other people’s illegal actions. And incidents, like school/mass shootings, tragic as they are, remain a rare occurrence that's not increasing in schools. In fact, schools are safer than they were in the 1990s.