In light of the Parkland shooting — which seems to have initiated a different type of enthusiasm over the quasi-taboo debate over gun regulation — states across the country have been taking to their assemblies and senates to voraciously debate something which shouldn’t be difficult to solve. Background checks have been a common iteration of debate swelling up over the past few weeks — Wisconsin is no different.
But instead of working on a bipartisan measure that would actually indicate a step in a positive direction, state Republicans, and 11 Democrats, have somehow jumped backwards, twisting a legislative measure that would increase background checks into one advocating for the arming of public school security guards. By doing so, legislators are in an endless cycle, pursuing legislation which has nothing to do with stopping mass shootings.
Enchained by the fetters of the partisan paradigm — one which has only grown in intensity over the past few decades — we as a society have completely failed to come together to think of our future, of the lives of our citizens and of anyone who calls this country home.
Advocates for the bill, mostly Republicans, dodge debates over gun regulation due to the influence of organizations such as the NRA, opting instead for proposals that may sound neat and tidy on paper, but fundamentally solve nothing. This bill solves nothing.
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Republicans like Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, are criticizing Democrat pushback, positing the outrage over the bill is simply Democrats playing politics, stating, “I think it’s really sad and it’s really cynical because [Democrats] are preying on the fears of some Wisconsinites and using it for their own political purposes.”
But if we break down the thought process of such a preposterously weak argument, things only become more vividly ridiculous. Of course it’s political, but that’s not because Democrats want to somehow harness tragedy in exchange for political capital. It’s fundamental that, overwhelmingly, Democrats advocate for more gun control and increased regulation to stop bloodshed.
Also, if we look into the implications of arming security guards, we find out it’s just as flawed as any other Republican-inspired plan that doesn’t actually aim to regulate guns.
Those vehemently defending the bill are proposing half-assed sentiments, such as “it’s going to protect the kids,” followed by a loose logic that those carrying the guns would be impregnable to wrongdoing or making mistakes — let alone suggesting this strategy would even be effective.
All of this just falls apart when you start peeling back the clumsily layered arguments coming from the right.
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More likely to occur would be that a student — most likely low-income or of color — would get shot because a security guard didn’t somehow feel safe, saying later on that they feared for their life. The school will offer its thoughts and prayers and subsequently fire the security guard to appease the public, only to hire a new one some weeks later. It’ll boil down to the same rhetoric commonly used by cops.
Similarly, arming security guards does little more than just increase the quasi-incarceration state alarmingly growing in this country and Wisconsin.
Additionally, is this conducive to a successful school environment? It’s going to disproportionally fall upon students of color and on low-income students, who are already marginalized within schools. There’s no evidence at all to suggest increased security does anything to lessen crime or prevent mass shootings.
Columbine had an armed officer and so did Parkland. What about non-school settings? Are we even going to begin to argue that Fort Hood, a military base, didn’t have guns? If a good guy with a gun prevents a bad guy with a gun, surely a military base would be in prime position to defend against mass shootings — but no. It’s not increased security that’s the issue, it’s not that we need bullet proof backpacks or clipboards.
We need less guns, and we need to better control them, now.
Bills such as this, which so blatantly stray away from the original goals of gun regulation, are deplorable and solve nothing. If we want to stop gun violence, we all need to come together and work on measures which actually address our societal plague — we don’t need more armed guards, more security or any other right-wing cop-out. We need gun control.
Adam Ramer ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in history and political science.