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Senator Tom Brewer

Senator Tom Brewer

With the predictability of a sunrise, federal “gun control” politicians have proposed another “assault weapons ban.” H.R. 5087 was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI in the US House of Representatives on February 26th. This is not like the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. If this tyranny becomes law, it will ban almost all SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles. Like I said in this update last week, they will never miss a chance to promote more infringement on our second amendment rights. I strongly urge readers so inclined to contact our Congressional delegation (Sen. Fisher, Sen. Sasse, and Rep. Smith) and insist they vote against this unconstitutional measure.

With that said, I want you to put politics and emotion aside and consider something just on its merits.

The next bloodthirsty lunatic is out there. He already has all the guns he wants. He already has all the magazines and ammunition he wants. He has already selected a target; very likely one with a “gun free zone” sign where he knows his victims are defenseless. He already has and continues to give off all the warning signs of a mentally disturbed person with things he says and does. People have noticed and are concerned about him, but they aren’t following the “if you see something, say something” rule. Law enforcement very likely already knows about him. It’s entirely possible the laws we already have on the books say he shouldn’t have a gun.

Now with that scenario in mind, ask yourself a question:

Will passing another law change ANYTHING? Will banning so-called “assault rifles” change ANYTHING? Ladies and gentleman, murder is already illegal. It doesn’t matter how you kill someone. The assault weapons ban from 1994-2005 had ZERO effect on the rate of homicides committed with guns. Put aside for a moment the argument about our 2nd Amendment Constitutional rights and ask yourself whether or not this is a viable solution to the problem of school shootings in America. It isn’t.

I think we can all agree there isn’t another subject in America that deserves more thoughtful and complete analysis than this one. We don’t have time to play politics with this issue. We need solutions that actually address the problem.

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We need to correctly define the problem. School shootings are a symptom of the problem. The real issue is bad people who should not be allowed on school property are able to gain access to our schools. We need to secure our schools. The dictionary says that means free from or not exposed to danger or harm; safe.

Consider for a moment how many children have died in a school fire in the United States in the last fifty years. The answer is zero. Now ask “why is that?” What have we done to prevent school fires in the last fifty years? The answer to that question has multiple layers. We have adopted a comprehensive approach to fire safety in our schools, starting with the floor plan design, non-flammable construction materials, ceiling tiles, wall coverings, carpet, fire doors, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire exits, emergency lighting, exit signs, fire extinguishers in the hallways, safe practices, such as special cabinets for storing flammable substances, training and procedures like fire drills. Most importantly, we’ve passed laws that make INSPECTING schools to ensure they’ve complied with the law compulsory. The Fire Marshal can close a school that fails inspection. One of my old commanders taught me, “People do well at things the boss checks.” I can’t think of something more worth “checking” than school safety.

I think we need something like a Fire Marshal inspecting the security vulnerabilities in a school. I’m inclined to believe the State of Nebraska should not have the authority to close a school who fails such an inspection. I think this power should be held by the local school board. That said, I think Nebraska should adopt a standard in the law that would then be applied to all 244 of our school districts. We need to be careful with the results of these inspections, but at the same time, parents deserve to know how “safe” the school their children attends really is. I’ll be working on this over the summer. I welcome your input.

Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; tbrewer@leg.ne.gov. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1202, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.

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