Never shying away from controversy, Turning Point Executive Director Charlie Kirk criticized 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden for his role in creating gun-free zones in America.
This statement made by Kirk is technically correct. Biden was the Senator who introduced the Gun-Free School Zones Act in 1990. In this same tweet, Kirk called out Biden saying that he “has done more to allow school shootings than the NRA or any Republican ever has.”
Although Biden deserves the brunt of the blame for creating this terrible piece of legislation, Kirk conveniently ignores on a key point in his Biden hit—the 1990 GFSZA was signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush.
It takes two to tango in today’s status quo of ever-expanding government. Gun rights have not been excluded from this trend. Indeed, the Democrats held both chambers of Congress during that time. However, it stands to reason that a Republican president, who is supposedly “pro-gun”, would veto such legislation. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Under the 1990 GFSZA, carrying and possessing firearms within a thousand-foot radius of public, private, and parochial elementary and high schools is prohibited. Despite such prohibitions, criminals have not seemed to care, as witnessed with the recent Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas massacres.
To date, John Lott’s research shows that 98 percent of mass shootings take place in gun-free zones. This makes sense when considering that this form of civilian disarmament turns school venues into soft targets for murderers.
Generic Republicans can huff and puff about being pro-gun, but they too have been complicit in advancing gun control. As a matter of fact, it was a Republican Governor, Rick Scott, who signed Florida’s most expansive gun control law to date following the Parkland shooting.
There is something more at play with regards to why gun control continues to move forward. It’s not just about electing the “right” Republicans.
Ultimately, it boils down to changing the culture and the political environment around politicians in order to get them to behave accordingly. Bad politics follows bad ideas. So, it’s incumbent upon freedom advocates to make an unrelenting case for their ideas and take advantage of whatever means they have to spread their message.
It’s in these spaces, not the ballot box nor the typical R vs. D debates, where policy is ultimately shaped. In today’s era of outrage politics, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.