Cynically exploited mass shootings in Texas to advance the war on public schooling | Wender Mind Kids

Cynically exploited mass shootings in Texas to advance the war on public schooling

The rolling crisis that is America’s gun violence epidemic gripped another group of lives Tuesday, this time in the small town of Uvalde, Texas. There, an 18-year-old gunman used his recently purchased AR-15 to start a killing spree that killed 19 children and two teachers and seriously injured the gunman’s grandmother.

Republicans from Texas Senator Ted Cruz to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene were quick to dismiss the idea of ​​even discussing gun control legislation while criticizing Democrats for what they see as politicizing a senseless tragedy. But a conservative writer used the Uvalde shooting as an opportunity to attack one of the GOP’s pet targets: public education.

“Tragedies like the Texas shooting make a bleak argument for homeschooling,” reads the headline of an article by Jordan Boyd, a writer for The Federalist. The argument is stunning in its cynicism and defeatism: A readily available stream of high-powered guns poses a constant threat to children in schools across America. But the answer isn’t passing legislation that improves gun safety. Boyd suggests closing our schools instead.

But Boyd does not want to abolish public schools out of the desire of many conservatives to end them Everyone Forms of public education from the Ministry of Education down. No, she only thinks about the children.

“Schools should be a safe place for children to learn, but saying ‘guns have no place here’ prevents only good people who care about children’s best interests from protecting them,” writes Boyd. “At home, parents don’t have to worry about jumping through bureaucratic hurdles to protect their children from a bullet, the trauma of seeing their classmates butchered, or even horrific target practice.”

Boyd’s reasoning is dead wrong. As the pandemic largely closed schools across America, our country found itself in the unique position of having most children homeschooled. This created a treasure trove of data. As NPR reports, deaths from accidental firearms among children who handle guns at home rose a staggering 31 percent after most schools closed.

As a matter of fact, more Children died from gun violence when schools were closed than died when schools were open. Ninety-eight children died in accidental shootings between March and December 2019. But during the same period, 128 died during distance learning by accidentally shooting themselves.

Boyd doesn’t address how returning to homeschooling would be practical for single parents or low-income families where both parents work full-time. And since Republicans refused to extend the child tax credit that reduced child poverty, fewer families than ever have been able to leave their jobs to personally raise their children.

Republicans don’t seem interested in having an honest conversation about how to support low-income families, some of whom may be interested in homeschooling their children. They’re just desperate to distract from the direct connection between America’s ocean of guns and the now routine sight of gun-assisted mass murder in our schools and communities.

Almost half of American families report having a gun in their home. The Uvalde gunman bought his two AR-15-style rifles legally after Texas Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, made a series of successful efforts to lift nearly all restrictions on gun purchases. Whether at home or at school, our children are surrounded by a culture that has prioritized the freedom to own guns over children’s right to be alive.

Boyd reveals the game in the last paragraph of the article, bluntly reminding the reader that the real purpose of her article is to promote “educational choice” – a phrase Americans have heard a lot from Republicans lately. This euphemism sanitizes the GOP’s years of efforts to weaken, disappoint, and ultimately destroy public education at every level.

Democrats need to realize that not only is now the time to get political, but that the fight to protect against gun violence has always been political. While some conservative Democrats are reluctant to take action against the GOP’s cynical exploitation of gun culture, Republicans are already bringing the wrecking ball to dismantle America’s public education.

Max Burns is a Democratic strategist and founder of Third Degree Strategies, a progressive communications company. Follow him on Twitter @themaxburns.