Betsy DeVos in the days following the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting was directed by President Donald Trump to create a commission to find ways to end school gun violence, especially massacres like the one in Florida. The Education Secretary took her time assembling the committee and even longer to have the first meeting.
Little, if anything appears to have been accomplished. The only members are four Trump Cabinet Secretaries. There are no Democrats, experts, or students own the committee. And there have been many school shootings since Parkland.
In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee DeVos Tuesday morning revealed the huge mistake she’s made, thanks to questioning by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Sen. Leahy reminded DeVos that “one day after the commission met last month, another ten students and teachers were killed in Santa Fe, Texas.”
“Will your commission look at the role of fire arms as it relates to gun violence in our schools?” Sen. Leahy asked directly.
“Thanks Senator for that question,” DeVos replied, which she tends to do when there’s a question she doesn’t want to answer. Doing so uses up time.
“It is an honor to serve and lead this commission,” DeVos continued, stalling. “We are focused on the 20-some provisions –” DeVos continued, trying to eat up time without actually answering the Vermont Senator’s question.
Interjecting, Leahy said: “I’ve tried to give you a question that could be answered yes or no.”
He asked the question again: “Will your commission look at the role of fire arms as it relates to gun violence in our schools?”
And he finally got his answer.
“That is not part of the commission’s charge, per se,” DeVos replied.
“I see,” Leahy responded. “So, you’re studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns.”
DeVos tried to reframe his remarks.
“We’re actually studying school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school,” she claimed, offering a condescending smile, and ignoring the fact that the commission was created in direct response to the Parkland shooting massacre.
Leahy continued his questioning, getting more pushback and refusal to give straight answers.
“Do you believe an 18-year old high school student should be able to walk into a store and minutes later come out with an AR-15 style gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition?” he asked.
“I believe that’s very much a matter for debate,” DeVos replied, despite being charged with keeping school students safe.
After more back and forth Sen. Leahy summed up.
“So we’ll look at gun violence but not look at guns. An interesting concept,” he concluded.
Sen. Leahy: “I see…So, you’re studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns.” pic.twitter.com/vKMnMaduuf
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 5, 2018
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NRA Snuffs Out Background Checks Bill as a ‘Non-Starter’ – and Falsely Claims Its ‘5 Million’ Members Agree
On the same day a group dedicated to protecting children from gun violence released a difficult-to-watch viral video, the top gun lobby group issued a statement insisting universal background checks legislation is a “non-starter.” The NRA also falsely claimed its “5 million members” oppose background checks too.
“This missive is a non-starter with the NRA and our 5 million members because it burdens law-abiding gun owners while ignoring what actually matters: fixing the broken mental health system and the prosecution of violent criminals,” Jason Ouimet, the executive director of the NRA’s activist arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, said, according to Politico.
The “missive” is a draft of a gun background check proposal the White House has begun circulating among lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
While House Democrats have sent several gun control and background check bills to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has totally deferred to President Trump, as if he were the Senate Majority Leader. In fact, McConnell says he will not even consider any legislation until President Trump gives it his blessing.
Despite that President Trump more than a month ago promised America he would sign a background check bill, as usual he caved when the NRA came calling. He then started claiming – falsely – that mental health, not easy access to guns, is the real problem.
The NRA has the exact same position, as they noted today.
Meanwhile, polls show that “83 percent of gun owners support expanded background checks on sales of all firearms, including 72 percent of all NRA members.”
Tomi Lahren Warns Americans Will ‘Be Armed and Ready’ in Case They Need to Shoot Immigrants: ‘Who Knows Who’s Coming In?’
The day after Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told Americans, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” Tomi Lahren warned Americans will be armed to protect themselves from immigrants. The Fox Nation host suggested Americans may have to shoot immigrants to “protect” themselves, as Media Matters reports.
Lahren made her remarks on sister network Fox Business, in an insane segment that included host Stuart Varney’s false claim that America is “the only country in the world where armed citizens are allowed.” 175 countries around the world allow their citizens to be armed, and three explicitly do so in their constitutions.
After telling viewers that “you can’t depend on the government to protect you at all times,” Lahren insisted the “government is going to fail you.”
Having a firearm “is your right, your right to protect and defend yourself and your family,” she added.
“And all the things the Democrats want to put in place — my goodness, if they want to open our borders, you better be sure the people in Texas, the people in South Dakota, the people in the middle of this country, we are going to be armed and ready, because we have to have a means to defend ourselves from — who knows who’s coming in? That’s the thing, we don’t know, and we have to be able to protect ourselves.”
Democrats are not advocating for “open borders.”
Fox host Tomi Lahren suggests that Americans may need to shoot immigrants: “We are going to be armed and ready, because we have to have a means to defend ourselves from — who knows who’s coming in?” pic.twitter.com/W5NckY8YhU
— Media Matters (@mmfa) September 13, 2019
Stop ‘Gun Grabber’ Mark Kelly ‘Dead in His Tracks’ Urges Arizona GOP Party Chair
Democrat Mark Kelly is literally being targeted by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, Kelli Ward, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump. Kelly is husband to former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who nearly lost her life when she was shot by a madman in the head in an assassination attempt as she was beginning a 2011 constituents’ meet and greet outside a local supermarket. Six people died in that massacre, and another dozen were wounded.
Kelly, a famous former NASA astronaut and former U.S. Navy captain, is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Martha McSally, who beat Ward in the primaries. The seat previously was held by Republican Senator John McCain, who died on August 25, 2018.
“Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we’ll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks,” Ward wrote in a fundraising email according to Bloomberg News, HuffPost, and The Hill.
Kelly and Giffords together started Giffords, a non-profit focused on reducing gun violence.
Refusing to apologize, Ward actually took to Twitter to double-down:
Utterly ridiculous! I don’t wish harm on Mr. Kelly. We disagree politically on the Constitution and the #2a, and I’m well aware of the harm his policies would cause should he ever be elected. Dishonest stories like this are dangerous and irresponsible! https://t.co/8wfU8QQtSO
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) September 6, 2019
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