March 17, 2018
Securing Schools

After several listening sessions and guidance from various organizations, President Trump released his proposal to secure our schools. Thankfully, it keeps our Constitutional rights intact. Here are the points he hits:

He wants to make sure that schools are secure, just like any other government building. This means firearm training for teachers who choose to carry a gun. He also supports the integration of retired military veterans and retired law enforcement into these schools to add an extra layer of protection.

He wants to strengthen background checks. He calls on every state to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). These ERPOs allow law enforcement to seize and temporarily freeze purchasing of guns from individuals who have demonstrated a threat to others or themselves. This can be tricky to navigate because it is our Constitutional right. However, the President has made clear that due process has to occur in these situations.

He wants to strengthen mental health programs. This can be scary when it comes to meddling with a child’s psyche, especially by medical alteration. However, he is simply asking for a review of the laws already in place. The final report will address whether additional measures are needed to strengthen the relationship between families, school staff, and medical professionals.

He is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety chaired by Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. This Commission will study more effective ways to prevent school shootings and recommend policies on these efforts. The policy recommendations would be on topics such as age restrictions on purchasing firearms, violent media consumption, the effects of psychotropic medications, and many more.

The President has also pushed for Congress to take action. Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced the STOP School Violence Act (S. 2495). This bill will give grants to encourage cooperation between local law enforcement and school staff. It would provide training on how to prevent a shooting from happening, as well as create an anonymous hotline for anyone to report suspicious behavior. However, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) says he is skeptical of this legislation. It does not address parents or family units being a factor in the decisions being made about gun safety in their communities. Once again, a bill is being offered that never gets to the root of the problem.  See Dr. Karen Effrem’s analysis of the “School Safety” bill recently signed into law in Florida, which she predicts will have “harmful, unintended consequences”.

Eagle Forum will continue to stand up for our Second Amendment rights while encouraging Congress to pass legislation that strengthens the family unit.