Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) has decided to take aim one of America’s biggest public policy failures: the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990.
The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 was introduced by then-Senator Joe Biden and signed into law by George H.W. Bush – hardly a conservative hero. The intent of the Act was to prevent individuals from possessing a firearm in a school zone. It was, as many of these bills are, sold to Congress as way to make our schools a safer place for our children.
If the intent of this Act really was to create a safe environment for America’s children, then it has failed, and failed miserably.
Individuals, not guns, are responsible for committing acts of violence. However, since the anti-gun crowd believes that bills like the GFSZA actually reduce violence, it is worth noting how much of a failure this policy has been over the past few years. The Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety has put together a convenient list showing just how ineffective the GFSZA has been.
According to Everytown chart, there have been at least 96 school shootings since Sandyhook.
This is unacceptable. America’s children should not be subject to dangerous environments in order to appease the anti-gun crowd. Thankfully, Congressman Massie wants to make sure our children are no longer subjected to these target-rich environments.
Earlier this week, Congressman Massie introduced H.R. 86, the Safe Students Act, a bill that would repeal the GFSZA. Originally introduced by former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in 2007, this Act would restore much needed sanity to our nation’s gun laws by striking down this ineffective ban that has done nothing to reduce “gun violence.”
From Congressman Massie’s press release:
“Gun-free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments,” said Massie. “Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.”
Representative Massie concluded: “A bigger federal government can’t solve this problem. Weapons bans and gun-free zones are unconstitutional. They do not and cannot prevent criminals or the mentally ill from committing acts of violence. But they often prevent victims of such violence from protecting themselves.”
Since coming to Congress in 2013, Congressman Massie has been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. He originally introduced the bill to repeal GFSZA in 2013. Then, in 2014, he introdruced an amendment that would have blocked the District of Columbia from using taxpayer dollars to enforce some of their gun laws. He is also Chair of the Second Amendment Caucus.
Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress, the Safe Students Act should have no problem making its way to the President’s desk. While the President is likely to veto any such bill, we should at least give him the opportunity to reject a bill that would create a safe environment for children.
In this upcoming Congressional session, more Republicans should follow Congressman Massie’s lead and take a more proactive approach to passing bills that restore our Second Amendment rights.