By Dan Calabrese
I almost don’t even care if she’s really serious, or if it’s even a good idea.
The inevitable left-wing/media meltdown is going to be too good to miss, especially since it’s based on one of the dopiest, yet widely embraced, notions out there: Guns in proximity to kids = bad.
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You’d think we’d all be disabused of that notion after repeated mass shootings in “gun-free zones” also known as schools, where the gunman strolled in unchallenged and there was no one to offer him even the slightest resistance while he proceeded to massacre scores of kids.
And conservatives think the solution to this is more guns?
Um. Yeah. Because it is.
And if school officials believe they would be safer with armed personnel on the premises, there’s really no reason they should be restricted from using federal funds to make it happen. That seems like common sense to me, and apparently it does to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos too:
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The Education Department is considering whether to allow states to use federal funding to purchase guns for educators, according to multiple people with knowledge of the plan.
Such a move appears to be unprecedented, reversing a longstanding position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weapons. And it would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding on guns. As recently as March, Congress passed a school safety bill that allocated $50 million a year to local school districts, but expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms.
But the department is eyeing a program in federal education law, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases. That omission would allow the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to use her discretion to approve any state or district plans to use grant funding for firearms and firearm training, unless Congress clarifies the law or bans such funding through legislative action.
“The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety,” said Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department. “The secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.”
Now, let’s acknowledge there’s a good argument to be made that local school districts shouldn’t be getting federal funds for any reason whatsoever. That is really just another form of wealth redistribution. There is no reason people all across the country need to be sending tax money to Washington only to have Congress send it back to local school districts as apportioned by Beltway politicians.
Just keep the money at home to begin with and fund your schools with it. Washington is a notoriously poor middleman. And when Washington acts as the middleman, it gives the federal government the opportunity to attach all kinds of strings to the money – be that a mandate about transgender bathrooms or a ban on buying guns.
If Betsy DeVos actually has the authority to let schools use federal funds to buy guns – that is, if the congressional action referenced in the Times piece really doesn’t forbid it – then it’s a perfectly reasonable move for her to make.
But a better idea is to cut federal taxes commensurate to the amount that’s merely being send back to local school districts, and let local communities and states take care of their own school funding without Washington being involved.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!
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