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On school shootings, ignorance is not bliss

 

President Trump’s new plan to secure schools after last month’s slaughter of 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Fla., is chock-a-block with ideas, some worthwhile (strengthening background checks and restraining orders) and some half-baked (arming teachers).

Most conspicuously absent is any call for banning semiautomatic assault weapons such as the one used in Parkland, or even raising the age to purchase them to 21 nationally — a step Trump initially said he supported but then backed away from amid National Rifle Association opposition.

Another missing piece that could guide the nation, and the commission to be chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, toward data-driven solutions to gun violence: freeing scientists to explore the causes of, and uncover the solutions for, a shooting epidemic that kills 35,000 Americans every year.

Scientists, you ask, are not already free to do this?

No, not really. There’s actually a federal statute — won by the NRA decades ago — that all but bars research on gun violence. A little knowledge, evidently, is a bad thing when you’re advocating for guns anywhere and everywhere.  Read More

Related news: AG Sessions pushes to punish those who lie to buy guns.  Read More