Ross: Republicans need to look at what Chicago is doing right on gun violence prevention

May 30, 2022, 10:09 AM | Updated: May 31, 2022, 11:56 am
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention at t...
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 27, 2022 in Houston, Texas (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The speakers at the NRA Convention over the weekend expressed sorrow and outrage over the massacre in Uvalde, but said it made no sense to punish law-abiding gun owners by trying to further restrict the purchase of weapons.

What they all agreed on was that school security needs to be better. Much better. And I’m surprised by how far they’re willing to go.

“There have been too damn many of these killings, and we must act decisively to stop them,” Ted Cruz said.

Senator Ted Cruz went on to say children should have the same level of security as politicians give themselves at the Capitol. Metal detectors. Armed guards.

Remarkable — coming from a conservative who believes in small government.

North Carolina Lt Gov. Mark Robinson actually wanted airport rules:

“We need to make as much investment in securing our children as we do our airports,” Robinson said.

Donald Trump wanted total surveillance:

“No one should ever be able to get anywhere near a classroom until they have been checked, scanned, screened, and fully approved,” Trump offered.

So they’re all acknowledging guns in the wrong hands are really dangerous. Not dangerous enough to regulate them, but dangerous enough that all taxpayers should pay for airport-level security at all schools.

That brings me to the issue of … Chicago.

Gun rights supporters always bring up Chicago as proof that strict gun laws don’t work:

“When you see in Chicago 80 people shot … sometimes in a weekend, and many people dying, that’s a war zone,” Trump continued.

But those shootings Trump’s talking about – aren’t happening in Chicago’s schools. That doesn’t make them less tragic. But if your solution to gun violence is school security, you have to compare school-to-school – not school-to-neighborhood.

And if you look at gun massacres in Chicago schools, you find…zero. Check out the Washington Post database – which goes back 22 years. In that time there were eight shooting incidents involving Chicago schools, none of them fatal. And of those, only one of them actually happened inside a school. That was two weeks ago when a gun in a kid’s backpack went off accidentally. It turns out Chicago has been working for years on keeping schools safe. Including some of the security measures endorsed at the NRA convention.

Strangely, none of the speakers mentioned that – they were too busy using Chicago as an example of how tougher gun laws don’t work:

“Look at Chicago – if they worked Chicago wouldn’t be the murder hell-hole that it has been for far too long,” Cruz continued.

…Except — whatever the reasons for Chicago’s neighborhood violence, the numbers show that once you’re inside a Chicago school building – you’re safe.

Maybe if Ted and the others weren’t so determined to focus on what Chicago’s doing wrong, they might find they actually agree with what Chicago is doing right.

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Ross: Republicans need to look at what Chicago is doing right on gun violence prevention