Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) advocated for his Safe Students Act — a piece of legislation that would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.
“The ‘Safe Students Act’ would make it easier for state and local governments and school boards to unambiguously set their own firearms policies,” Massie argued on Twitter last week.
The legislation — originally introduced by former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in 2007 — would end the Gun-Free School Zones Act, which bans individuals from knowingly possessing firearms in a school zone, according to a press release from Massie’s office.
“Gun-free zones are ineffective and make our schools less safe. Since 1950, 98 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns,” Massie said in the press release. “Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many of my colleagues in Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable.”
Massie’s proposal follows a deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where a solo gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. The school is subject to the Gun-Free School Zones Act.
“Gun Free School Zones are a lie,” Dudley Brown, President of National Association for Gun Rights, said about the Safe Students Act. “It doesn’t make guns magically disappear. They only make criminals out of the people who would protect our children. Repealing this ludicrous federal law would put criminals on notice that they can’t commit heinous acts in schools with impunity any longer.”
Massie accompanies other Republicans in supporting Second Amendment rights while seeking to address security concerns at schools. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said over the weekend, for example, that “it’s far easier to slander one’s political adversaries and to demand that responsible citizens forfeit their constitutional rights than it is to examine the cultural sickness giving birth to unspeakable acts of evil.”
“Taking guns away from these responsible Americans will not make them safer, nor will it make our nation more secure,” Cruz continued. “In an age where elites embrace defunding the police, when homelessness runs rampant, when gangs dominate entire communities, and when radical district attorneys refuse to prosecute violent crime in cities across America, rarely has the Second Amendment been more necessary to secure the rights of our fellow citizens.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden pinned the Uvalde attack on the “gun lobby” and demanded that something be done about “assault weapons.”
“As a nation, we have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name [are we going to] do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” he asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?”
Other Democrats made similar remarks in the wake of the shooting.
“There is no such thing as being ‘pro-life’ while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) argued. “It is an idolatry of violence. And it must end.”