The mean old men who represent Western North Carolina in Congress — Congressmen Patrick McHenry and Mark Meadows and Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis — are committed to ensuring that our children will continue to be at risk when they go to school.
Mirroring their sadistic paymasters at the National Rifle Association, these men even suggest that shoehorning more guns into our schools is a reasonable response to school violence. Understand this: What compels these men are the continued obscene profits of gun manufacturers. Period. Given a choice between those profits and the lives of children, Burr, Tillis, Meadows and McHenry will always side with the guns.
We should all listen to the children now, not those pathetic apologists for the gun industry. The kids are right.
— Michael Carlebach
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted the offices of McHenry, Meadows, Tillis and Burr for a response but received no replies as of press time. After print publication, Xpress received an emailed response from Tillis (which appeared to be auto-generated), to a summary of the points raised in Carlebach’s letter; it says in part:
“… My personal view is that addressing the underlying causes [of school shootings] and saving lives will require a combination of proactive, commonsense initiatives on the part of communities and federal, state and local governments.
At the federal level, Congress must focus on fixing a federal background check system that isn’t as effective as it needs to be. … By bolstering communication and coordination between relevant health and safety agencies, we can both help ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands and protect the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. That is why [I] co-sponsored S. 2135, the Fix NICS Act, which will help ensure state and federal authorities are reporting accurate information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. …
On March 23, President Trump signed the Fix NICS Act into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill. I believe this legislation strikes the right balance to make our country safer from violence, while also being mindful of law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In addition, the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018 was also included in the FY18 Omnibus. This bill authorize $75 million for FY18, and $100 million annually for the next 10 years in grant money toward training students, school personnel and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and equipment to improve school security.
I welcome a discussion of ideas to make our communities safer from violence, as well as a thoughtful and compassionate discussion on ways to improve our mental health system. …”