I believe what happened in Parkland Florida on Valentine’s Day was an unspeakable, horrific act of evil. Any student or teacher who survived that ordeal has every right and reason to be angry and upset. Nevertheless, that anger must be properly directed in order to be turned into effective action that will, in the end, save lives and improve school safety. Righteous indignation is not what we see from the self-proclaimed spokesman for students for gun control, David Hogg. Hogg has engaged in incredibly nasty political rhetoric, which is not meaningfully aiding anybody’s cause.
David Hogg and other left-wing anti-gun zealots are pushing a liberal political agenda, not trying to prevent future mass murders. In fact, in a recent conversation on gun control highlighted by Real Clear Politics, Hogg said that “white privilege” is standing in the way of gun control. He went on to tell other activists in a roundtable discussion that “if this happened in a place of lower socio-economic status or a place like a black community, no matter how well those people spoke, I don’t think the media would cover it the same.” With these statements, parroting liberal talking points, Hogg equated the NRA and private gun ownership with white supremacy.
It is difficult to accept that David Hogg is coming up with this stuff on his own. This young man is spewing a bunch of leftist talking points that no traumatized survivor of a mass shooting would spout. His actions, far from serving as a catalyst for positive public change, are dividing Americans along political boundaries. Private gun ownership is not the enemy of public safety, nor is it the privilege of one race or ethnicity; it is a constitutionally protected natural right to self-defense.
The Left is trying to fully exploit the Parkland shooting to push their anti-gun agenda, not secure our schools. The reality is much different than David Hogg’s hyperbole about kids risking their lives by going to school. According to the National Institute of Justice, school crime rates have decreased dramatically since the 1990s. While there has been a slight uptick in school violence from 2010-2013, the overall rate of school crime and student victimization has decreased 70% since 1992. This mirrors a national trend that has seen violent crime, particularly murder, decrease dramatically since the early 1990s. Not coincidentally, private gun ownership has risen during the same 30 year period.
Private gun ownership is a public safety imperative. Gun control measures that unilaterally disarm the innocent shapes a balance of power in favor of those intent on committing violent crimes in the first place. If we want to see further decreases in violent crime in schools and communities, then expanding right to carry privileges for law-abiding citizens is the answer. Armed guards at schools, and teachers and administrators being allowed to exercise their concealed weapons permits on campus, are the best measures to protect public safety.
Following the advice of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens that we repeal the Second Amendment, which he calls “a relic of the 18th century,” would lead to more lost lives and the loss of American liberty.