HUDSON: Do something that matters

As the father of an elementary school child, I am devastated every time we have a school shooting. That’s why identifying solutions to stop these tragedies is so important to me.

I worked to enact the only two significant gun and school safety bills to recently pass Congress and become law. The Fix NICS Actand the STOP School Violence Act were both Republican bills, passed by a Republican majority, signed by a Republican president.

The Democrat mantra has been “do something.” But my House Republican colleagues and I know the American people expect us to do something that matters.

That’s why last week, I introduced HR 7966, the STOP II, Secure Every School and Protect our Nation’s Children Act.

It builds on the STOP School Violence Act signed into law in 2018 and provides $1 billion to hire School Resource Officers. It provides $1 billion to hire mental health guidance counselors. Our guidance counselors are wonderful, caring people who are stretched too thin. They may not always have the time they need to reach all the children who need help. Can you imagine the impact if we had intervened and gotten the right help the young man in Uvalde needed before he dropped out of high school?

The bill also includes $5 billion to fund Stop School Violence programs that harden schools, expand active shooter training, and provide resources for law enforcement, school officials, and students to intervene before someone reaches a breaking point. The total $7 billion legislation is paid for by redirecting already approved but unspent COVID-19 funds.

Under my legislation, schools can apply for threat assessments to identify weakness in security and in mental health services. A clearinghouse is also codified under Homeland Security to share best practices for school safety.

My STOP II Act is one of 12 bills that House Republicans are bringing forward that actually solve problems and actually save lives, all without threatening your right to due process and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens through radical gun control measures. If gun control worked, Chicago would be one of the safest cities in America. 

But my colleagues across the aisle have so far refused to work with us where there is common ground on this issue. They and the media know the bills the House passed last week have no chance of becoming law.

On Wednesday, I presented HR 7966 as the Republican alternative to the Democrat gun control package. Speaking on the House floor, I asked my colleagues across the aisle to set aside this partisan agenda and charade.

Instead, I asked all Members to help me harden schools; help me to protect our children and teachers and make sure tragedies like these never happen again; help me to intervene with students in a mental health crisis before they reach a breaking point.

My school safety legislation would enact targeted solutions that will make schools safer and equip school officials and law enforcement to intervene with someone before a crisis. If only House Democrats would give up their gun control schemes that don’t work and threaten your rights. Working together we could make a real impact today.

As your Congressman, rest assured I will never waiver from focusing on the issues that matter most. Like me, I know many of you are frustrated about the direction of our country. But I am optimistic and doing everything I can to ensure we can once again find common ground and do something that matters.

By U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson

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