In the wake of a tragic mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, woke talking heads are weaponizing the shooting deaths of school-aged children to push for greater gun control. These same progressives posturing on gun restrictions have supported defunding law enforcement or removing police from America's schools.
The NBA's Steve Kerr
Ahead of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr decided not to talk basketball. Instead, he took the moment before the playoff game Tuesday between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks to push for restrictive gun legislation. "When are we going to do something?!" a distraught Kerr barked during an emotional monologue at a press conference. During the theatrical performance, Kerr pounded the table several times, his voice quivering. "I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm so tired of the moments of silence. Enough!" he shouted at reporters.
Steve Kerr on today's tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 24, 2022
(Kerr, a longtime advocate for gun control, has a personal stake in the matter. His own father Malcolm Kerr, then serving as the American University of Beirut president, was shot dead in 1984 by gunmen outside his office.)
In addition to citing the now-19 kids and two teachers killed by gunfire at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, the outspoken Warriors coach invoked the Buffalo supermarket massacre and the California church shooting.
"It's what we do every week," Kerr added, further declaring that he's "fed up" and "had enough." Kerr railed against inaction: taking the typical moment of silence for gun violence victims and then returning to enjoy the game. "We're gonna go play a basketball game," Kerr stated. "And 50 senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. He repeated the assertion that U.S. lawmakers won't budge on the issue "despite what we the American people want," adding: "They won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. It's pathetic!" Later that night, Kerr stood for a moment of silence at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Police-Free Oakland Schools: George Floyd Resolution to Eliminate the Oakland Schools Police Department
Old footage of Kerr soapboxing at a protest to de-police Oakland public schools resurfaced online in response to his theatrics. At the height of the summer 2020 riots over George Floyd's death under police custody, Kerr joined hundreds of activists at the anti-police rally demanding the removal of all uniformed law enforcement officers from Oakland Unified School District campuses. Kerr was an impromptu speaker at the march led by Black Organizing Project, whose successful mission was to abolish the OUSD police department.
Steve Kerr gives surprise speech to East Oakland community— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 24, 2020
(via @joenewsman) pic.twitter.com/4t41S35QhW
"I think there's been a real reckoning for much of America, especially for white America, that we have to reimagine the way black communities are living and we have to reimagine our support of black communities," Kerr said at the time, joining the "racial justice" fight to dismantle the district's internal police force.
The school board later unanimously passed the George Floyd Resolution, directing the administration to no longer employ law enforcement or armed security presence of any kind within district schools.
H.R. 8: Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021
In 2022, Kerr's do-somethingism has morphed into gun control rhetoric.
The coach specifically blasted the senators "who refuse to vote on H.R. 8," the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 that has been stalled in the Senate. "There's a reason they won't vote on it—to hold onto power," Kerr said, naming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in his call for legislative action on gun violence. "I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers?" Kerr questioned. "Because that's what it looks like."
Kerr's hot take Tuesday drew criticism from school safety activist Ryan Petty, a Parkland parent whose 14-year-old daughter was murdered in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. "No. He's dead wrong," Petty responded. "While I appreciate the outrage, nothing he proposes would have done anything to stop any recent school attacks. He may be a good coach, but he's woefully unprepared to make policy."
No. He’s dead wrong. While I appreciate the outrage, nothing he proposes would have done anything to stop any recent school attacks. He may be a good coach, but he’s woefully unprepared to make policy.— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) May 25, 2022
Calling the coach's ideas "reckless," Petty accused Kerr of not being "serious" about keeping schools safe and desiring to eliminate the "only protection from an active threat" that students and staff have. Notably, it was the swift actions of a heroic Border Patrol agent who reportedly rushed in without backup that neutralized the active shooter.
Here’s how you know Steve Kerr isn’t serious about keeping schools safe.— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) May 25, 2022
He wants to remove the only protection from an active threat students and staff have.
His ideas are reckless. https://t.co/6SDzwKeMNZ
As for the gun reform bill that Kerr called on the Senate to pass, the far-reaching legislation intending to stop criminal misuse of firearms sounds good on paper but would "criminalize the private transfer of firearms between law-abiding gun owners," according to the pro-Second Amendment camp.
"Do you realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want universal background checks? 90 percent of us!" Kerr alleged.
While many Americans support background checks in general via generic polling, the sentiment is different when voters are faced with specific components of gun control legislation on the actual ballot. It was proven with the results of a 2016 background check referendum in Maine, when 52 percent of voters defeated the measure requiring background checks before a gun sale or transfer between unlicensed firearm dealers, which demonstrated real citizen concerns about regulations that could affect gun ownership rights.
Gun rights proponents also point out that burdensome "universal background checks" do not account for a large number of criminals, by definition, who don't obey the law and obtain firearms through illegal means.
(Authorities believe that while deceased Robb shooter Salvador Ramos legally purchased two semi-automatic rifles at a federal firearms licensee upon turning 18-years-old, the gunman had no known criminal or mental health history. It seems that hardening background check requirements to include private sales would not have affected the transactions Ramos made, given the purchases were facilitated by a licensed firearms dealer.)
Alternatively, Petty urged Congress to approve the EAGLES Act—named after his daughter's high school mascot—which would expand the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC)'s research within the U.S. Secret Service and establish the Safe School Initiative, a national program on targeted school violence prevention.
Last year, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced the act that seeks to provide additional resources and training to school personnel, enabling local officials to identify troubled youth and intervene before lives are lost.
Grassley's revived proposal was opposed by left-wing civil liberties groups who took issue with threat assessment systems. In a 2021 letter to Congress, the petitioners argued that the measure would place the well-being of "students of color and students with disabilities" at risk of "further marginalization."
Petty, who had testified in 2018 to the Senate Judiciary Committee on identifying potential threats, said in a written statement to Townhall that such school attacks often have warning signs in common.
"The pattern we see time and time again is that attackers exhibit concerning behaviors and ultimately communicate their intentions prior to the attack," Petty explained. "We don't know enough about events leading up to the attack in Uvalde yet, but it is likely he communicated his intentions PRIOR to his attack and someone knew and didn't report it—for whatever reason. So, that's how we stop this and it doesn't require punishing law-abiding gun owners for the evil perpetrated by these cowards."
Petty's suspicion appears to already be vindicated. Ramos texted a teenage girl prior to the fatal shooting, "Ima go shoot up a[n] elementary school rn [right now]," according to screenshots reviewed by CNN and an interview with the 15-year-old female living in Germany. Meta communications director Andy Stone confirmed that the shooter's disturbing private messages were discovered after the tragedy occurred.
"If Democrats cared about protecting children at school, they'd sit down with Republicans and work on bipartisan legislation like the Eagles and TAPS Acts to protect schools from these attacks," Petty told Townhall.
The Squad's AOC
Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was not appealing to bipartisanship when she claimed that fellow Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was "acting like a useless piece of furniture" and not "doing [her] job" in Congress to legislate against "teen boys impulse buy[ing] before they can legally have a beer."
Why even be in Congress if you don’t believe in doing your job?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 25, 2022
Just quit and let someone who actually gives a damn do it instead of acting like a useless piece of furniture when babies are shot with AR15s that we let teen boys impulse buy before they can legally have a beer. https://t.co/f9rdJ40kEJ
Ocasio-Cortez in a similar belligerent fashion had sneered at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who is scheduled to headline the National Rifle Association's upcoming annual convention in Houston. "You can do more than pray," Ocasio-Cortez chastised Cruz for offering prayers to the grieving families. "Faith without works is dead," AOC snarked.
Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 24, 2022
You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead. https://t.co/NMX64KljhL
AOC's outrage against the Second Amendment-loving GOP had extended to Republicans at large. With a tactless connection to an unrelated partisan issue, Ocasio-Cortez smeared pro-life conservatives as if they're the ones abetting the murder of children and should be held responsible for a deranged man's evil actions.
"There is no such thing as being 'pro-life' while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place," the Democratic socialist, who can't even care for her own abuela living in squalor, tweeted.
There is no such thing as being “pro-life” while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 24, 2022
It is an idolatry of violence. And it must end.
Go-To H.R. 8 Rallying Cry
Like Kerr but in a position of political power, Ocasio-Cortez has championed H.R. 8 as a go-to rallying cry for gun control since 2019. AOC has never let a tragedy go to waste, each time spring boarding efforts off of mass casualties like the El Paso slaying, the San Diego synagogue shooting, and the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack. Pertaining to the latter, Ocasio-Cortez referenced the Sandy Hook shooting when she lauded New Zealand's so-called "military-style" weapons ban for getting "weapons of war out of the consumer market."
Defunding Police and De-Policing Schools
As touted by the Ocasio-Cortez campaign's issues page on public safety, AOC has repeatedly called for "significant reductions in the police budget" and believes in "taking police out of schools."
A year ago, Ocasio-Cortez publicly supported New York City students who were protesting the presence of police in the crime-ridden city's schools. Shouting chants like "You Can't Stop The Revolution," the taunting demonstrators had flashed middle fingers at 1st Precinct officers while the massive march was en route to City Hall, where Ocasio-Cortez was present to endorse then-mayoral candidate Maya Riley, per The New York Post.
"We are with the kids, because…one of the things that is damaging is that when we have just a system of policing in schools, kids get used to it [at a] young age," declared Ocasio-Cortez at the June 2021 student-led protest. "You think that being policed your whole life is normal and it's not; it's not," she told the kids.
Ocasio-Cortez had blasted NYC's proposed $1 billion cut to the police budget, calling the financial slashing "a disingenuous illusion" and "not a victory" for not going far enough to reduce overall police presence.
While the plan under former NYC mayor Bill de Blasio sought to cut one-sixth of the New York Police Department's budget for the 2021 fiscal year, Ocasio-Cortez noted that much of the cash flow would be funneled to other city entities like the Education Department, where it could pay for police in schools.
"Defunding police means defunding police," Ocasio-Cortez reacted in a June 2020 press statement. "It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education’s budget so the exact same police remain in schools."
After the Democratic Party suffered 2020 election-cycle losses in the House, she defended her defund-the-police cause to mainstream progressives who blamed the anti-cop mantra, among other leftist policies, for scaring away centrist constituents. When pressed by a 14-year-old follower at a virtual town hall about what the phrase means and how the legislator defines it, Ocasio-Cortez downplayed the defunding of law enforcement as "a budgetary shift" towards mental health services that she argued would prevent criminality.
As recent as a Wednesday afternoon tweet, AOC was triggered by police funding now reaching peak levels. "If throwing more money at police worked, it would have by now. At this point it's a band aid politicians use to avoid actually solving problems," the congresswoman pontificated on Twitter.
Police funding is at some of its peak levels. US prog 1033 transfers billions in military equip to PDs. Mass surveillance has exploded.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 25, 2022
If throwing more money at police worked, it would have by now. At this point it’s a band aid politicians use to avoid actually solving problems
Ocasio-Cortez chastised Uvalde police's botched response to the active shooting, pointing to the department's funds constituting approximately 40 percent of the city budget and the Uvalde City School District's own police force. "After decades of mass shootings, there is still 0 evidence that police have the ability to stop them from happening. Gun safety and other policies can," Ocasio-Cortez argued, sharing an article by The Intercerpt, which asserts: "There is no evidence that police have the ability to stop these shootings from happening."
Ocasio-Cortez wasn't the only anti-cop Squad member whose fingers flew to the tweet button this week. Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) all took to Twitter in the aftermath of Uvalde, offering vague calls-to-action and rattling off the typical list of gun-reform talking points.
Agreeing with Kerr's grandstanding, Bowman re-upped his March 17 letter to McConnell pleading for the Republican senator "to do the bare minimum and save lives" by meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as well as Senate Democrats to send H.R. 8 to President Joe Biden's desk for signing. "Given how much is at stake, anything less than this would be a tragic, unacceptable obstruction to preventing gun violence and gun-related deaths," Bowman wrote to McConnell. (The entire Squad has voted "yea" to H.R. 8).
Again @LeaderMcConnell, myself and the American people are pleading with you to do the bare minimum and save lives. Since I sent this letter we've lost 116 more lives to gun violence. When is it enough? https://t.co/4KHaul4FdI— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) May 25, 2022
Bowman mirrored AOC's anti-police language on Twitter, claiming that the placement of cops in K-12 schools is "ineffective" and that "having guns in our schools doesn't even stop school shootings from occurring."
As more information comes out about the devastating massacre in Uvalde, we’re seeing just how ineffective having cops in schools is.— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) May 26, 2022
No child feels safe around a gun, and having guns in our schools doesn’t even stop school shootings from occurring.
Pressley had outright declared that police "don't belong in schools," after she submitted written testimony in 2021 to the Massachusetts legislature's Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion that beseeched state lawmakers to divert funding away from school-based law enforcement. Pressley and Omar unveiled the Counseling not Criminalization in Schools Act in 2020 to "get police out of schools" by prohibiting the use of federal funds to hire and recruit police officers to patrol America's schools. For Pressley, defunding police is about "true reparations," according to a TIME100 Talks discussion that year.
Police don’t belong in schools. https://t.co/OqsuLqhkqg— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) June 15, 2021
Omar has often used coded language to soften the blow that the abolition of local law enforcement would deal to un-policed communities in liberal cities overrun by violent crime. Insisting over Floyd's police-involved death that the Minneapolis Police Department has "proven themselves beyond reform" and "rotten to the root," Omar, whose district includes the city, tweeted, "It's time to disband them and reimagine public safety in Minneapolis."
The Minneapolis Police Department has proven themselves beyond reform.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 5, 2020
It’s time to disband them and reimagine public safety in Minneapolis.
Thank you to @MplsWard3 for your leadership on this! https://t.co/AQfHM5M6eR
Voting "yes" on City Question 2, the Minnesota lawmaker also backed a controversial, failed November 2021 ballot initiative to abolish the city's police department and replace it with a new Department of Public Safety.
On the ballot questions I’ll be voting NO on question 1, and YES on questions 2 and 3. pic.twitter.com/9eVpZGKbIo— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 2, 2021
Personal Security Hypocrisy
It's no surprise to purveyors of the news that the fervent "Defund the Police" radicals are also hypocrites when it comes to their own personal safety and protection. Less than two weeks after taking office, a panicked post-Jan. 6 Bowman requested a special police detail to guard his Yonkers residence, The Post reported. Of course, Bowman returned months later to his old anti-police antics, continuing to equate policing with "white supremacy."
Bowman's police-bashing associates also enlisted personal protective services. Ocasio-Cortez spent thousands on security consulting plus more for work from a security firm. Meanwhile, Pressley, Omar, and Bowman tossed campaign cash at private security, according to last year's Federal Election Commission records.