President Trump Releases Details of School Security Plan
After the mass killing at a high school in Parkland, Florida, almost all Americans were thinking of ways to stop these kinds of tragedies from happening in the future. TPOH contributors have explored some of the root causes in recent weeks, discussing how things like family breakdown have contributed to these events.
The White House just released its recommendations for better school security. None of them involves new restrictions on gun ownership, but rather, as The Wall Street Journal explains, they focus on other areas that are often overlooked in the debate.
The White House blueprint, which comes in the wake of last month’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, calls for “hardening our schools” by instituting security procedures comparable to those in airports, sports stadiums and government buildings. One way to do that, the White House said, is to use Justice Department grants to train school personnel to carry weapons “on a voluntary basis.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said “There’s no time to waste.” She did emphasize that changes are best done at the state and local level, without the federal government putting down even more mandates.
The White House also recommended several other changes for the mental health and social service systems, and encouraging states to adopt laws for “gun violence restraining orders" that the White House contends would have stopped people like the 19 year old in Parkland, who had a long history of violence at home.
The Trump administration plan also calls on states to adopt laws allowing police, with court approval, to remove firearms from people who are a threat to themselves or others and to temporarily prevent those people from purchasing new guns.
The plan also seeks improvements to mental-health systems to help identify and treat individuals who may be a threat. Those changes include increased integration of mental health, primary health care and family services.
The White House also wants to see improvements to the FBI’s tip line, as the bureau received several calls about the Parkland killer. Had they acted on them, they may have thwarted the attack long before he could have carried it out.
Also included in the package is and endorsement of two bills in Congress: the “Fix NICS” bill, and the STOP School Violence Act. The NICS bill would enable background check information to flow more freely, especially with regards to criminal convictions and mental health issues. The STOP School Violence Act would grant $50 million a year for safety-improvement measures, including violence-prevention programs for students and teachers.
Additionally included is a new commission headed by Education Secretary DeVos, which would study possible policy ideas such as raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21, the effects of violent video games and movies on children, and identifying the best violence-prevention strategies.
Some may desire sweeping, swift change, but A successful response would mean using tools that stop the misuse of guns while preserving fundamental liberties. Likewise, throwing money at a problem isn't a solution, unless the money goes to fixes that have measurable results.
What are your thoughts on these proposals? Will they lessen the frequency of these mass killings? Share your thoughts with us below.