“The sort of knee-jerk reaction to say, ‘We just have to pass a bill and make this stop’ doesn’t work. It really takes a more thoughtful, comprehensive approach to try and do something …” – John Kline (R-MN-02) as reported by MPR on December 18, 2012.
House Education Committee Chairman John Kline pleaded that Congress not have a “knee-jerk” reaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting … and he has gotten his wish. The House which docked in for 126 legislative days this year, has largely ignored this issue.
Sure, Chairman Kline held a “hearing” on February 27th during which he said, “Two months have passed since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Families across America continue to grieve with the Newtown community. The sorrow we felt on that day remains fresh in our minds and hearts.” But that hearing has not produced any legislative action.
Heck, the House could have considered Peter King’s (R-NY) H.R.1565 : Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013 which would have at least addressed the question of background checks … and even though the legislation has 186 co-sponsors, it is being denied a hearing and a vote.
And what has happened since Newtown was reported on The Daily Beast :
In the year since 20 first-graders were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, another school shooting has taken place in America every two weeks on average.
These events aren’t necessarily the types of tragedies that come to mind when one thinks of “school shootings”—madmen in fatigues roaming school hallways, strapped with automatic-style guns, murdering indiscriminately—nor do they receive the media attention of such mass shootings. But they can be similarly traumatizing for students and staff, and they have led to at least 26 injuries and 18 deaths over the past year (updated to reflect yesterday’s incident at Arapahoe High School).
Shootings that took place after hours on school grounds were not included.
Two thirds of these shootings took place on high school and college campuses. The remainder took place in middle schools or elementary schools, like the one in which Adam Lanza killed 20 students, six adults, and then himself a year ago this week. The shootings occurred in 15 states across the country.
Is one year long enough that John Kline should not have to worry about “knee-jerk” reactions and that as Chairman of the Education Committee that he takes responsibility to protecting our schools, students, staff and communities ?