New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been one of the most vocal opponents of Second Amendment rights in the American political firmament. His state has intimidated and fined banks and insurers who do business with the National Rifle Association, moves which have prompted a lawsuit from the NRA.
So it probably isn’t going to surprise anybody that Cuomo began using the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting — which claimed the lives of 10 students — with all due alacrity.
“Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Las Vegas. Orlando. Parkland,” an open letter from the governor began. “And now Santa Fe.
“When is enough enough? How many more innocent people have to die before you act?
“You were elected to lead — do something,” he continued. “Your first responsibility is to the people of this country, not the NRA — do something. My heart breaks for the families who have to grieve from this needless violence — DO SOMETHING.”
Cuomo signed the hyper-theatrical open letter, which was released on Twitter, with a postscript mentioning that he had daughters and an “F” rating from the NRA.
.@realDonaldTrump DO SOMETHING
Andrew M. Cuomo
Father of Cara, Mariah and Michaela
Governor of New York
NRA "F" Rated Elected Official pic.twitter.com/e19h8hQkGE
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 18, 2018
Unmentioned in the open letter was that none of the gun measures proposed by the left in the wake of the Parkland shooting would likely have stopped the Santa Fe shooting (which took place with a shotgun and a handgun, both of which the Supreme Court definitively ruled were constitutionally-protected under the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller) or that as gun ownership has gone up, gun homicides have gone way down.
Also unmentioned? The fact that while Cuomo’s state seems intent on enforcing its draconian gun policies, it’s not terribly interested in enforcing laws against the kind of bullying that might lead to shootings like this.
Six years ago, WCBS-TV reported that New York passed the Dignity for All Students Act, which “requires school districts to report material incidents of discrimination and harassment — including cyberbullying — to the New York State Department of Education.”
However, a 2017 audit found that many districts weren’t complying with the law — and, according to Maureen Fitzpatrick, it cost her son his life.
“Dear (Andrew Cuomo) Your current Bully Laws are not enforced,” she tweeted. “Your police don’t arrest students that commit assault 3 & harassment on school grounds like they are supposed to. Do Something. Mother of Danny Fitzpatrick died by suicide. Maureen Fitzpatrick-taxpayer@twitter.”
In her tweet, Fitzpatrick included a letter from her son describing the bullying he endured and how school officials did nothing, even after her son was assaulted by bullies.
Dear@NyGovCuomo Your current Bully Laws are not enforced. Your police don’t arrest students that commit assault 3 & harassment on school grounds like they are supposed to. Do Something. Mother of Danny Fitzpatrick died by suicide. Maureen Fitzpatrick-taxpayer@twitter pic.twitter.com/apTqa6gtlO
— #DannysLaw (@Dannys_Law) May 18, 2018
Fitzpatrick has been pushing for national legislation called Danny’s Law, which would “create an anti-bullying task force comprised of education stakeholders, including teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, parents, and bullied children, to develop anti-bullying best practices.”
That hasn’t been passed yet, but New York already has laws on the books — laws that could have prevented the bullying that caused Fitzpatrick’s son to commit suicide.
Now let’s be clear: Bullying is not an excuse for mass murder. Nothing is.
However, in many of these cases, we often find that bullying is a precursor to a mass-murder event. It’s been fairly well established that the Santa Fe shooter was repeatedly bullied by his classmates during his time in high school. This does not diminish our sympathy for the victims or their families. Rather, it raises questions about how the bullying — which was such common knowledge that almost every news outlet was reporting it — was handled by the school.
In New York’s case, there are laws on the books which compel schools to step in or face penalties. But Cuomo isn’t concerned about that, even given the death of a 13-year-old boy who was bullied to the point of suicide.
That doesn’t make headlines. Attacking the Second Amendment does. If you ever needed evidence that Cuomo is little more than a soulless political grandstander, well, there you go.
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