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Commentary

How Joe Biden Turned Our Schools Into Shooting Galleries

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In the wake of the mass shooting last week at a school in Florida, some now argue that the blame for such tragedies lies, in part, with former Vice President Joe Biden.

This bombastic allegation is based on a bill that then-Sen. Biden introduced in Congress 28 years ago that made it illegal for weapons to be carried in schools.

Known as the Gun-Free School Zones Act and signed into law in November of 1990, the bill “prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm … at a place the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone,” according to the Giffords Law Center.

However, exceptions exist in 17 states where laws have been passed that allow for weapons to be carried in school if and when approved by certain school officials.

In Mississippi, for instance, one may carry a weapon into a school upon receiving approval from the school board, as noted by an NBC News report from 2013.

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Just to be clear, at the time there were 18 states where such exceptions existed, including California. That changed when a bill signed into law last October by California Gov. Jerry Brown went into effect this January.

Regardless, one state where exceptions have never applied is Florida, where last week suspect Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

But that’s not all. Research from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that 98 percent of all public mass shootings that occurred between 1950 and July 10, 2016, happened in gun-free zones like Stoneman Douglas High School.

Responding to this research, USA Today contributor Erich Pratt recently opined, “No wonder that 81% of police officers support arming teachers and principals, so that the real first responders — the potential victims — can protect the children.”

Does Joe Biden indeed deserve some blame?

Indeed. As of early 2018, educators in 33 states may not arm themselves to protect their students. Nor may schools in these 33 states even hire armed security guards.

This in turn means one and only one thing, as recently noted by conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, according to Breitbart: “(E)verybody that wants to shoot up a school knows that they are going to be the only one armed.”

Exactly. And if you scroll back through history, you’ll find that the reason this situation exists is because of Joe Biden’s bill. Out of fairness, though, it should be noted that then-President George H.W. Bush signed it into law after it passed the Democrat-led House and Senate.

Still, it was Biden who conceived it.

Here’s the good news: During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump vowed to “get rid of gun-free zones on schools”:

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The bad news is that the president has yet to fulfill his campaign pledge. Hopefully, the recent events in Florida will inspire him to take action.

Please share this story on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think about the blame some say former Vice President Joe Biden deserves for school shootings.

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