During today’s White House press briefing, Benje Choucroun, a student at Marin Country Day School in California, asked Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill. One thing that affects mine and others’ mental health is the worry that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
In response, Huckabee Sanders pointed to the administration’s blue ribbon commission, chaired by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Here are meaningful steps the Trump administration could take to actually address gun violence at schools and elsewhere:
- The Trump administration could publicly support legislation to require background checks on all commercial gun sales, legislation backed by 97 percent of Americans, and call for a vote when Congress returns from recess next week. H.R. 4240, the bipartisan background check bill introduced in the House by Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) already has 208 cosponsors, nearing a majority.
- The administration could get behind a bipartisan federal Red Flag Law, S. 2521, introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), that would empower family members and law enforcement in 50 states to seek an extreme risk protection order, a federal court order that temporarily blocks a person from having guns when they pose a serious danger to self or others. The president has not gotten behind this legislation.
- And the administration could call on Congress to vote on legislation to raise the age requirement for buying semi-automatic rifles to 21 years of age, a policy that has been introduced in bipartisan legislation.
Instead, the only thing that Huckabee Sanders pointed to was a sham blue ribbon commission on school safety. This commission is just a smokescreen to delay real action on gun safety. We don’t need more talk — we need action. We need Congress and the president to listen to the vast majority of Americans who are demanding stronger gun laws.