The right to bear arms has the weight of the U.S. constitution behind it but unfortunately there are no constitutional protections for children, the National Rifle Association says. “We’re not saying children shouldn’t be protected, just that they can’t look to the constitution to protect them the way it does guns,” says NRA spokesperson Jack Smith. “Look for yourself. If you see children protected in the constitution, let us know; we’d love to protect them with the same fervor we protect guns. We didn’t write the constitution, you know.”
After a rash of shootings in which children were killed or injured at school, advocates have called for tighter background checks and other curbs on guns, but these calls have met stiff resistance among gun-rights advocates and their champions in Congress.
Instead, the NRA and other protectors of the second amendment have called for arming teachers and beefing up school security. Manufacturers have also stepped in with bulletproof versions of backpacks commonly used by children to carry their books and pencils.
“We think an armed teacher, better security of the school perimeter, and protective gear such as Kevlar backpacks is the way to respond to today’s uptick in active-shooter situations,” says Smith. “That respects the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Since there’s no constitutional right to keep and bear children, all we can do is protect them the best we can. A bulletproof backpack is one way to do that, armed teachers is another. We’re trying to do the best we can given the protected status of guns. Perhaps Congress should look at giving children the same protected status in the constitution. That would certainly be a heavy lift. It’s not easy to amend the constitution. But until we do that, we have to acknowledge that guns have rights that children simply don’t have. Sorry.”
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BILLE, Mo.—Tag Carter says he had to shoot dozens of people at random because he never learned how to talk to women and despaired he would die a virgin. But it seems like all those years he didn’t shoot anyone while carrying a gun should count in his favor. “Let’s not forget that I was a good guy with a gun far longer than I was a bad guy with a gun,” Carter said after he was arrested for opening fire in a shopping mall in this quiet midwestern town. Anyone who carries a gun while he eats at a restaurant or shops in a store should meet the definition of a good guy with a gun, it seems to Carter . . . . More.
Tucker Blair told his wife today he’s getting together with his friend Bob to bear arms, although he doesn’t expect to be late for dinner. “My wife always makes tacos on Thursday and they’re not something you want to miss, believe me,” he said. The last time he went out to bear arms he had planned to bear his AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle but the trigger was giving him trouble so he got out his old Browning 9 mm Lugar pistol instead. “I like the Browning—it’s got 14 shots per round, which isn’t bad—but I’ve never liked the way the holster pinches my hip,” he said. “After I got my concealed-carry permit I thought I would get one of those cool holsters you wear under your coat, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.” More.
Lawmakers in Congress said they would absolutely, and without delay, take no action in the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting at a school. “We know the American people are looking to us to act decisively, which is why, without hesitation, we will take no action to stem the random violence that’s turning our country into a shooting gallery,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said immediately after the shooting. Reports say Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered the Santé Fe, Texas, school Friday and opened fire, killing 10, most of them students. More.
Despite reports of gun violence in the United States, the chance of you getting shot remains low. That’s the theme of a campaign that the U.S. Tourism Council is launching today to coax European and other tourists back to the United States. “New York City, the Grand Canyon, the monuments in D.C.—these have historically been major attractions for families from Germany or Spain and we want them to become that once again,” said Sarah Hanson, president of the Tourism Council, at a press briefing announcing the new ad campaign. Hanson pointed to a recent report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization that found global tourism hitting records, fueled in part by increasingly wealthy Chinese families eager to see the world outside their borders. Tourism is booming so much, in fact, that major destinations like Rome, London, and Paris are having trouble coping with the influx of people without sacrificing what makes the cities attractive in the first place. But U.S. cities are having no such trouble. More.
House and Senate leaders, concerned recent moves by Donald Trump could cause lasting damage to the United States, say it might be necessary to remove the President from office before he’s given due process because going through impeachment and then a vote to remove him would take too long. “We like taking his office first and going through due process second,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after meeting with a bi-partisan group of leaders from the House and Senate. “Think of a crazy person holding a gun. You want to take the gun first and give him due process later.” McConnell said lawmakers don’t have a lot of time because the President is about to launch a trade war, which is expected to lead to retaliatory measures from many countries, including many allied countries, and the midterm elections are coming up and the President has yet to order action against efforts Russia has already taken to destabilize the process. More.
President Donald Trump took aim at law enforcement officers who waited outside while a former student shot up his school in Florida two weeks ago by saying he would have tried to save the kids even if he were unarmed and bone spurs on his feet were hurting him. “You don’t know until you test it,” Trump told a gathering of governors at the Whte House yesterday. “But I think I would have gone in. I love the kids, so I would have tried to ignore the pain on my heels. I’ve been told I’m a tough cookie. People have made that observation about me. It’s a tough call, but I think I would have gone in, although I probably would have had a bad limp.” Trump has proposed arming a portion of the country’s teachers and training them in the use of firearms as a way to deter school shootings, which are on the rise. The last major shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 students and two teachers dead after Nikolas Cruz, 19, used a legally purchased assault rifle in a shooting spree. More.
National Rifle Association President and CEO Wayne LaPierre says he loves the life he leads and can’t believe his good fortune to live in a world in which he can occasionally walk down a street carrying only a light handgun and having only a single bodyguard hardening his perimeter. “There are a lot of bad people with guns but, fortunately, sometimes there are only a few of them around you in your immediate kill zone,” LaPierre said in a interview this morning with American Freedom News. LaPierre says his living compound in an undisclosed location in the Northern Virgina suburbs of Washington, D.C., is a wonderful retreat for him. Its network of armed check points enables him to . . . . More.
The National Rifle Association has been working quietly for the last few months to get an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that deletes the words “keep and bear” in the Second Amendment and replaces them with “own” so the language in the gun-rights amendment matches their view that people have a right to gun ownership. “It’s kind of embarrassing, but we’ve been dropping anvils on the heads of anyone who challenges the right to gun ownership but, you know, the Constitution doesn’t even grant the right to gun ownership,” says James Smith, the NRA’s chief lobbyist. “It only grants the right to keep and bear arms, which is a different standard. Hah-hah. Do we look stupid or what?” More.
The mental health issues that are at the center of random gun shootings in the United States are absent in other countries, explaining why the United States leads disproportionately in the incidence of gun violence, a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds. “We thought it was the bedrock American belief in the right to bear arms that was at the root of the pervasive gun violence in our country, but in fact it’s a mental health issue,” says Meyer Steinberg, chair of the MIT Institute of Violence and Culture. More.
After the fourth school shooting and the twentieth mass shooting in the United States since the first of the year, the 700,000 Dreamers who were brought here as children and allowed to stay as long as they check in every two years say it’s okay if Congress wants to send them back to their native countries. “You know, we’ve been giving it some thought and, if you don’t want us here, we understand,” the Dreamers said in a joint letter they sent to Congress today, the day after a former student killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Jose Gonzalez, a Dreamer in Orlando, says he’ll probably be better off dealing with the gangs in his native El Salvador. “It’s true my mother just got a $1.50-a-week raise,” Gonzalez says. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) responded to the latest mass shooting in the United States with a message that the Republican tax cuts are working and Congress is ready to tackle the country’s crumbling infrastructure with public-private partnerships that envision more toll roads. “Employers are hiring and giving their employees bonuses because our tax cuts are stimulating the economy,” Ryan said at a hastily called press conference to respond to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. At least 17 students and faculty were killed when a former student opened fire with an automatic weapon. It was the fourth school shooting since the first of the year and the 18th mass shooting over that same time period. “What we’re seeing is a new incentive to invest in the economy and build our competitiveness for the next century,” Ryan said. More.