Trump’s School Safety Commission Not A Legitimate Attempt To Address Gun Violence

Under pressure to take action in the wake of the tragic Parkland school shooting, Trump and Betsy DeVos instead proposed a new school safety commission, which will meet for the first time today. One look at his commission and it becomes clear that this is not a legitimate attempt to address gun violence. See for yourself:


Trump’s school safety commission will not propose any new legislation of its own, and does not have a set timeline to produce a report.


The Hill: “White House officials said the administration will establish a federal commission to assess how to best address gun violence in schools, though it will not propose any legislation of its own.”


CNN: “The commission does not have a set timeline of when it will report its findings, although an official said it would be within one year.”


Instead of proposing legislation, Trump’s commission will look at entertainment ratings systems, violent entertainment and press coverage.


USA Today: “The administration said the commission would consider changes to ‘existing entertainment rating systems’ and youth consumption of violent entertainment, as well as the effects of press coverage of mass shootings.”


Commission chair Betsy DeVos, having long been opposed to common-sense gun safety measures, is uniquely unqualified to lead a commission on school safety.


Wall Street Journal: “DeVos, Long Opposed To Federal Gun Control, Takes On School Safety.”


Trump’s commission has no school security or gun violence experts, survivors of gun violence, families of gun violence victims, Democrats, teachers or administrators.


Washington Post: “Prompted by a question from Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), DeVos said she will be joined on the panel by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. There are no school security experts on the panel, no Democrats, students, teachers, administrators or anybody else who has dealt with these issues.”


Washington Post: “Sen. Murray: “While Secretary DeVos said she had no interest in meeting with the NRA as a part of this process, she couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me how the NRA would be allowed to influence the commission’s recommendations, or even that they wouldn’t have veto power … She wouldn’t agree to put survivors of gun violence, families of victims, or experts on preventing gun violence on the commission — in fact, she told me that the only people on the commission would be federal officials.”


Trump himself has mocked these same sorts of commissions as ineffective and just an excuse for inaction.


NPR: “On Saturday, Trump appeared to mock the idea of federal commissions — a trusty standby for politicians who want to give the appearance of action without the risk of actually doing anything.”


Trump: “We can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband and they meet and they have a meal and they talk. Talk, talk, talk. That's what I got in Washington. I got all these blue-ribbon committees. Everybody wants to be on a blue-ribbon committee.”


The first meeting of Trump’s school safety commission will be closed to the press and the public.


Education Week: “The White House commission on school safety—headed up by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—will hold its very first ‘organizational’ meeting March 28, just four days after hundreds of thousands of students from the country are scheduled to march on Washington to protest gun violence. The meeting will be closed to the press.