Press: Put high school students in charge

Press: Put high school students in charge
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Their week-long Presidents Day break is over. Five hundred thirty-five members of the House and Senate return to Washington this week. Which, in terms of protecting our children from gun violence, is too bad.

After all, this is the same gang that did nothing after Columbine, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Charleston or Virginia Tech. Not even after Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. And chances are 98 percent they’ll do nothing after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, either.


See what I mean? Too bad. If only 535 high school students could take their place this week, we’d see some action on sensible gun safety measures to protect our children. After all, students bring more to the table than returning senators and House members: They’ve stared down the barrel of an AR-15 and watched their friends and classmates gunned down alongside them. They’re determined that no other students should have to experience that same hell. And they’re not owned by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Most importantly, these students have no patience for the lame excuses heard from professional politicians: That the Second Amendment is absolute. That the NRA is too powerful. Or that the gun control issue’s too complicated. Baloney.

As several students and parents told the president last week in his “listening session” on guns, the gun safety issue is not complicated. What all these recent mass murders have in common is a gun, usually an assault rifle. So that’s the place to start: by banning assault weapons; banning high capacity magazines; expanding background checks; and closing the loophole on gun shows and internet sales.

Students understand, even if politicians don’t: None of those measures would interfere with anybody’s Second Amendment rights. There are limits to every one of the rights in the Bill of Rights, as pro-gun Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited … It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”  

Students are also smart enough to see through the phony proposals suggested by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE in response to the Parkland massacre: raising the legal age for purchasing an AR-15 and arming every teacher. Neither will improve school safety. In fact, they’d make it worse.

Raising the legal age to buy an AR-15 from 18 to 21 is pointless. It’s not the age of the buyer, it’s the lethal power of the product they’re buying that’s the problem. Besides, according to a 35-year study by Mother Jones, the average age of mass killers is 35. And turning every teacher into an armed cop would turn every school into a free-for-all shooting range, making students less safe, not more.

Yes, members of Congress come back to town this week. Unfortunately, the wrong people are still running the show. If we really want to get something done on gun safety, we should throw out the politicians and put the students in charge. Just for a few days. They could make schools safer in less than a week.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”