These rallies will receive massive media attention, which is in stark contrast to the media blackout that is given to the tens of thousands of students who visit our Nation’s Capital every year for the “March for Life” rally. The reason for this double standard is obvious. The liberal media agree with the students advocating increased gun control, but oppose those supporting a pro-life agenda.
The Parkland, Florida students are being supported by an impressive array of Hollywood stars and Democratic Party leaders. George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey both donated $500,000 to this cause. Clooney declared his support for the students, telling them that their efforts are making him “proud of my country again.”
Of course, the message from the rallies will be centered on imposing stricter gun control measures across the country. These students want an array of new laws passed, including a ban on assault rifles, more advanced background checks and an increase in the age limit to 21 for the purchase of firearms.
This agenda fits nicely with the aims of liberal media outlets such as Time Magazine, which featured five pro-gun control students on its latest cover. Interestingly, Stoneman Douglas high school students who are supporters of the Second Amendment were not invited to participate in the cover shoot.
Despite the media narrative, the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School was not caused by the National Rifle Association or the Second Amendment. It resulted from a series of mistakes by local law enforcement and the FBI. The killer, Nicolas Cruz, was identified twice to the FBI as a potential school shooter. These warnings were ignored. Local police made over three dozen visits to Cruz’s home to check on various complaints lodged against him. Despite these clear indications of trouble, Cruz was never arrested, so he was able to legally purchase a firearm. To prevent another school shooting, we need to enforce the laws already on the books and take seriously warnings about potential school shooters.
Another important step that needs to be taken is for all schools in America to improve security. This includes armed guards, limiting entry to school buildings and installing metal detectors at entrances. Also, interested teachers should be allowed to receive training and carry concealed firearms in schools. This is another layer of protection in case the armed guards are unable or unwilling to take action.
At Stoneman Douglas School, an armed security guard refused to enter the school building and engage the shooter. Fortunately, at Great Mills High School in Maryland this week there was a different outcome. In this case, a student brought a gun to school and shot two fellow students. Thankfully, the school resource officer engaged the student, eliminated the threat and saved many lives.
It was another case of a “good guy” with a gun ending the murderous plans of a “bad guy” with a gun. This is exactly what happened in Alexandria, Virginia last summer when the Capitol Police engaged a shooter who was intent on killing Republican congressmen at a baseball practice. The Capitol Police officers saved lives, eliminated the threat and showed the value of trained individuals with firearms protecting lives.
To prevent another mass shooting, we need to arm and train more Americans, improve security at schools and other facilities and eliminate “gun free zones.” In almost every one of these mass shootings, the killers chose “gun free zones” such as schools to commit their heinous crimes. It is important to note that these lunatics did not choose to launch their attacks at gun shows or police stations, knowing they would be met with quick and overwhelming return fire.
Hopefully, students and other Americans advocating real school security measures will make their voices heard. While it will not receive much media attention, it is important to the preservation of our country. The stakes in this debate could not be higher.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org