White House Walks Back Gun Control Measures, Proposes Alternate Solutions

Following the Parkland, Florida school shooting, President Trump gave supporters of the Second Amendment plenty of reasons to be concerned when he seemed to voice his approval for radical and sure-to-be-ineffective gun control measures such as raising the age to buy a rifle to 21 and giving law enforcement more authority to seize firearms from individuals they deem to be a threat without due process.

It didn’t take long, though, for representatives from the NRA as well as several members of Congress to meet with Trump and walk him back on many of these proposals. Now, the White House has released an agenda aimed at stopping mass shootings that focuses less on gun control and more on alternative solutions that are sure to be more effective without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

One of the main focuses of the White House’s proposal centers around arming teachers and providing them with the training they would need to use their firearm to stop an active shooter. The administration has said that they will work with states to create programs by which “specially qualified” school personnel could receive firearms training and be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on school property. The proposed program would be entirely voluntary, and no teachers would be required to carry a weapon if they did not wish to do so.

The White House has also said that it will put increased focus on improving the way federal and state authorities report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Right now, the background checks required to purchase a firearm are plenty stringent enough to stop anyone who doesn’t have a clean criminal record from purchasing a firearm.

However, the problem is that far too often state and federal officials fail to report this information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Rather than introducing stricter background checks, the White House is instead choosing to provide better incentives for authorities to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Better enforcing current laws is a much better policy than introducing new ones, so the White House is certainly taking a step in the right direction with this proposal.

Where Donald Trump still draws controversy from many Second Amendment supporters, though, comes from his proposal to raise the age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 – a proposal that he has backed down from but not given up on entirely. While this law may seem innocent enough at first glance, the reality is that it would do almost nothing to stop mass shooters and would instead inhibit millions of Americans between the ages of 18-20 from being able to purchase a firearm for self-defense, hunting, sport shooting, or any number of other lawful reasons.

Nevertheless, Trump’s proposed Federal Commission on School Safety – headed up by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos – has listed raising the age limit to purchase a firearm as one of the things it would look at going forward.

Other objectives of the Federal Commission on School Safety that will likely be more palatable for American gun owners include looking at opportunities to improve access to mental health treatment, considering the way teenagers and young children consume violent media, assessing the best practices for school security as well as assessing the design of school buildings from a safety perspective, and putting forward plans for how federal resources could be better coordinated to stop school shootings from taking place.

Betsy DeVos said of the commission that, “Far too often the focus has been only on the most contentious fights — the things that have divided people and sent them into their entrenched corners. But the plan that we’re going to advance and talk about is a pragmatic plan to dramatically increase school safety and to take steps to do so right away.”

Overall, the plan put forth by the White House seems to be one that supporters of the Second Amendment will be able to get behind. So long as members of Trump’s base continue to walk him back on ideas such as raising the age to purchase a firearm and giving law enforcement the authority to seize weapons without due process, the end result should turn out okay.

~ American Gun News

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15 Responses

  1. There are no new laws that would preclude violence . Officials doing their jobs would have stopped the chance and actual event in Fla. getting to the root of the problem is the only way to solve it. Certainly youth are desensitized to violence through violent video games and movies. Shutting them off from those would provide immediate defusing. However there are other social issues that have taken decades to develop and will take time to reverse.

  2. Better background checks are the way to go. Raising age limit isn’t going to work as long as young people have parents that will purchase firearms for them. If they outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. We already have too many law enforcement officers getting killed in the line of duty, sending them to confiscate firearms wI’ll make it open season on them!

  3. I am a physician that grew up and was educated in the Washington Baltimore area. I remember numerous mental hospitals. I’m not talking about one or two but more like 20 that are now closed. The schizophrenics and insane now walk amongst us.Our government has Defaulted not only in not taking care of these people but in protecting Us from them. But, then the insane don’t vote do they. This clearly is the major factor with these mass shootings. And they will continue unless or mental health facilities are reinstituted and the current misguided liberal mess is changed radically. from it’s current basic deficiencies.

  4. I do not disagree with raising the age to 21 to make it possible to purchase a gun I also agree that the sale of AR-15s are not necessary that gun can be removed from the market however the solution to mass shootings in schools and public places is not less guns it’s more guns the more people who carry guns the less mass shootings you’ll have however people who carry guns in schools do need to be trained qualified personnel

  5. Joseph B. Aquilla, you are absolutely correct. Mental health clinics used to be plentiful but it was the loonie leftists who said the mentally unstable could not be healed or cured unless they are interacting in mainstream society. Politicians took that to heart and closed most of them. So many ended up on the streets. Families had no idea how to handle them. There was no support system.
    This also reduced the number of clinical psychiatrists. Today, psychiatrist (the few in practice) prescribe psychotropic drugs after doing a pretty thorough evaluation of the patient. Psychologists are prohibited unless they are in a state that allows them to prescribe with some pharmacological training.
    So who is prescribing the rest? Medical physicians who have only 30 hours of mental health training in Med School. They don’t do evaluations, they don’t ween patients onto or off the drugs and they don’t follow up.
    Patients get a 30 day prescription, fell better after a couple of weeks, stop cold turkey and then short circuit from 3 to 18 mo the later.
    At least 83% of all mass shooters were either on or had recently stopped taking psychotropic medication.
    There needs to be better control of mental evaluations, who can dot them, who can prescribe, how they administer and how they follow up.
    We know that only 4% of the mentally ill become extremely violent. Perhaps we also need a registry of those with severe mental conditions with a periodic professional committee review of each case.

  6. I’m concerned that because he is running for re-election, he was willing to walk back. What happens NEXT term when he has no concern about votes for another term?? He IS originally a NY Liberal! I like him and I HOPE he IS sincere but it does worry me that if he was not concerned with running for another term that he may have imposed another “assault” weapon ban!

  7. President Trump should not make any decisions without checking out the history of the AR-15 and age limit buying guns. Big mistake – 2020 is just around he corner…

  8. How many out of work VETS are there that already have the needed training with firearms and would gladly take a job to protect our kids?
    Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  9. As long as these Leftist Politicians are in office, the Gun Ban Crowd Will Not Stop…They are Just Waiting for Any Tragedy, Gun Related or Not, to Push their Attacks against Law Abiding Citizens and Our Right to “Keep and Bare Arms”…Once American Citizens are Disarmed, they will, just like the politician in Illinois did, call in the UN to complete their Take-Over…More Gun Restrictions Are Not The Answer, National Reciprocity Is…Leave Law Abiding Citizens Alone…

  10. I have posted on several sites steps that place some of the security and safety on the schools local government and states but a lot of teachers and parents got up in arms because it would put some restrictions on students and schools. Place armed guards in schools at ingress and egress points nobody in or out after classes start, Restrict personal vehicles on campus, Cell phone bans in school, Locker checks done at random times,Local law enforcement response to warnings of violent behaviors,Schools need to take claims of bullying seriously and respond to the claims,Parents and teachers have claimed that all of these items would be offensive to the students and themselves and makes schools like armmed prisons. These same people want the blame put on legal gun owners that have not broken any laws to push their agenda and it is not school safety judging by some of the replies to my sugestions.
    To the issue of raising the age to purchase long guns being at the center of the problem that is a step not a solution, I purchased my first long gun from a sporting goods store at the age of 14 and am now 66 I never even thought of mass killings I went on to serve 4 years in the military 2 of those in Vietnam spent 8 years as a police officer and have never broken a firearms law. I have been a gun owner my whole life and never broken a gun law.

  11. K D B You are correct. Of ALL the laws violated, IF a gun is involved, ONLY THE LAW ABIDING ,INNOCENT GUN OWNERS are BLAMED. —- STRANGE !!!!!!

  12. No gun control law will ever significantly reduce school shootings, or church shootings. The people who commit mass shootings chose schools because they are usually “gun free zones”. They generally share several attributes. They are young male losers who have no sense of self value and they are cowards. Toughening the background checks would make it somewhat more dificult for them to obtain their guns, but they would steal them, or buy them on the black market if they couldn’t buy them legally.

    Being basically cowards, they would probably find a softer target if they had to consider every adult in the school potentially armed and trained. Armed guards at the doors would merely be the first targets. Joseph Aquilla made a good point, but there is no quick fix for that problem though It should be considered in long term planning. One thing I believe would help would be a law against publishing the shooter’s name or picture in the immediate aftermath of a shooting unless the suspect was still at large, thereby depriving him of the instant celebrity these losers seem to need.

  13. Teachers with guns will only work if the teacher has experience being under fire. Just being proficient with a firearm is not enough. An armed defender at a school without ever being under fire may be as dangerous to the kids as a deranged attacker. A defender will have to have the presence of mind of being able to accurately pick out a hostile target and when to pull the trigger.

  14. Teachers who desire to carry on school grounds need to take the MMPI, a psychological test that my state requires of LEO. One contributor said it must be someone who has been under fire. That would eliminate 99% of LEO and is a ridiculous answer. Not only would that eliminate good candidates but place a burden on any district that permitted carry.

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