Texas Congressman Steve Stockman Says Gun-Free School Zones Are a "Deadly Experiment" That Must End

Categories: Politics

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Steve Stockman
U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, who returned to Congress to represent his suburban Houston district last week after a 16-year absence, wasted no time courting controversy when he publicly called for John Boehner to be removed as House speaker. He's made his second foray into the headlines with a call to repeal the federal law prohibiting loaded weapons from being carried in school zones.

He's at it again. CQ Roll Call reports that Stockman introduced a bill on day one calling for the repeal of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which prohibits citizens from carrying a weapon near schools.

"Not only have so-called 'gun-free school zones' proven to be anything but that, they appear to have placed our children in even greater danger," Stockman wrote to colleagues in a letter circulated Wednesday. "Co-sponsoring the Safe School Act is the first step toward protecting our children."

He added later, "The time has come to end the deadly experiment of disarming peaceable, law-abiding citizens near schools."

Hostility to the law is nothing new. The Houston Chronicle reports that Ron Paul tried, and failed, to repeal it back in 2007, and there remains a legitimate question of whether the law represents congressional overreach. The original version of the law was overturned in 1995 by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the legislature had no authority under the Commerce Clause to enact a law forbidding an activity that occurred within a single state. Congress, at the direction of the Clinton Administration, subsequently passed a rather legalistic workaround by basically asserting that a gun is transported across state lines before it is purchased "or otherwise affects" interstate commerce

But the calls for repeal post-Sandy Hook are of a different nature. Stockman, who's backed by Gunowners of America, and others are arguing for repeal on safety grounds. As in, if only a citizen had been allowed to carry and fire his or her gun, people like Adam Lanza could be stopped in their tracks. There are claims that school shootings have quadrupled since the passage of the law. That may well be true, though it's hard to see how the Gun Free School Zones Act had any effect on that.

In any case, this is the trigger-happy gun debate we're having. It's not going to subside anytime soon.

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32 comments
rusknative
rusknative

LETS ISSUE GUNS TO ALL THE KIDS ALONG WITH LAPTOPS AND BULLETPROOF BOOK BAGS...LET THEM PROTECT THEMSELVES....THEY ARE SMARTER THAN CONGRESSMEN OR SCHOOL BOARDS OR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS....AND MOST PARENTS AS WELL.

rusknative
rusknative

while he is at it, get rid of the no-texting or cellphone usage near school zones, and get rid of mandatory seat belt laws, and auto inspections too.

schutzenaivewhitegui
schutzenaivewhitegui

Liberals, especially the white ones, are goofy, naive, feel-good do-gooder utopian fantasists, which is why their ideas don't work. FFS they don't even REALLY believe in evolution when push comes to shove.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

There was an attempted school shooting in Tennessee this week. It hasn't been covered in THIS paper because the shooter was killed by an armed guard before he could pull the fire alarm and start shooting kids.

But there's no hits on the website when you DON'T dance in the blood of kids, right?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The state is a brain-free zone that sends brain-free republicans like this one to Congress.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

"a rather legalistic workaround by basically asserting that a gun is transported across state lines before it is purchased "or otherwise affects" interstate commerce"


Between the Commerce Clause and Executive Orders, do we really need the Constitution anymore?

UAreNextDarwinAward
UAreNextDarwinAward

@schutzenaivewhitegui 

We believe in evolution completely, ya big backwoods doofus.

We mistakenly thought more gun-hugging crackers would like to occupy a branch higher than baboon.

MisterMean
MisterMean

@everlastingphelps So what is the story about today's high school (Taft Union High School)  shooting in California?    Another NRA nut practicing his 2nd amendment rights?  And how about that video with the whack job who started the petition to deport Pierce Morgan. Morgan had him on his show and Morgan could not get in two words between the insane rant (really out of control) they guy went on.  Just the type of person who should have a gun.

cheeseburger
cheeseburger

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I'd really like one of you "non-brain-free" people to explain how guaranteeing the only people to have guns on a school campus are criminals helps. 

NewsDog
NewsDog

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz And I suppose there aren't any brain-free Democrats?

One of the first challenges to this Democrat love fest law was from a law abiding citizen in Texas who became a criminal because he happened to live across the street from an elementary school and also happened to legally own a firearm.

schutzenaivewhitegui
schutzenaivewhitegui

@UAreNextDarwinAward - if you believe the races evolved "equally" then you don't really believe in evolution.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@MisterMean I started to fisk this line by line, but I realized all I need to say is:

^^^^^ "insane rant (really out of control)"

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

 @cheeseburger  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I'll take a shot (pun intended) at it. If we have to rely on someone with a gun to protect schoolchildren from someone wishing to harm them with a gun, we have already failed. The fact that this is happening is a symptom of a larger problem(s). In the most recent case in Newtown, those problems include: allowing a mentally deficient person access to firearms (at the very least, they should have been secured under lock and key -- at most he should never have been allowed to learn how to use them), allowing this young man's mental illness to go untreated or undertreated and allowing his mother to legally purchase military-style firearms. In these instances, considering the solution to be arming teachers/staff is like putting a band-aid on a mortal wound. Posting an armed security guard also is, though to a lesser degree, a band-aid but makes more sense to me (for safety and liability reasons) as a short-term solution until we can effectively address the larger failings.

MisterMean
MisterMean

@rusknative  Not with a raving lunatic like Jones.  Morgan could not get one word in.  So this is the type of nut you want to have a gun?!?!?!?    This is part of the problem.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@MisterMean @everlastingphelps I feel better with him being entitled to his constitutional right to due process rather than him being disarmed by idiots on the internet who sound just like him.

engmofo
engmofo

@everlastingphelps @MisterMean

That's all you got ?

monstruss
monstruss

@everlastingphelps @monstruss huh. 62-year-old scumbag, paranoid about the government, tried and failed to shoot up a school? sounds exactly like something any ol' media outlet would cover. but why are you bitching about the DALLAS OBSERVER not covering something that happened in Tennessee? Do you even think about that kind of thing, or is it all tick marks on your personal conservative dipshit bingo card? 

observist
observist topcommenter

@cheeseburger @CogitoErgoSum @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I see it like this: crazy person + gun = bad. Based on firearm murder rates, about 1 in 10,000 is crazy enough to kill someone with a gun. If we put one gun - either armed guard or trained staff - in each school, that's 20,000 more guns in schools. Those extra guns may be helpful in countering an outside crazy person in a Newton-type situation, but it also introduces 20,000 more opportunities for a 1 in 10,000 chance that a guard, employee or student will go crazy, grab a gun and start shooting. This is the general problem with gun proliferation. There are more "bad" shootings than "good" shootings, and more guns means more shootings.

cheeseburger
cheeseburger

@CogitoErgoSum @cheeseburger @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz So it doesn't help.  And I'm not necessarily saying an armed guard is the answer.  You are right that this is a societal problem.  I just don't like useless laws, and laws that create "gun free school zones" are absolutely useless at best.  You know, since bad people don't give much of a fuck about the law in the first place.

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