I am extremely proud of (most) of my former colleagues for not advancing gun-control legislation in the Minnesota House.
1. My former colleagues know that raw gun control just does not work, evidenced by the fact that in almost every case where a mass shooting has occurred, the location was already governed by heavy gun restrictions or it was a “gun-free” zone.
2. My former colleagues know that by not wasting time on gun control proposals which will never pass, they will be able to address ideas that are truly effective, such as school funding for armed security officers, buzz-through security doors for visitors, and certain volunteer, trained teachers who secretly carry firearms.
3. My former colleagues realize, when they picture the mug shots of the carrot-top killer in the theater or the wild-eyed crazy of the recent mass shooting, that these people are not going to stop their evil plans just because someone passes an age restriction or a weapons ban law.
4. My former colleagues do not trust “Protect Minnesota” or certain liberals to define what “common-sense gun control” means. This is a broad and far reaching dangerous cliché. They prefer “common-sense public-safety measures” instead.
5. My former colleagues will not allow educators to rob the narrative with the new phrase “books not bullets,” which will do absolutely nothing to stop school shootings but rather tries to turn this into a general school funding and hiring debate.
6. My former colleagues realize that when some liberals use phrases like “we can’t turn our schools into fortresses” or “we can’t turn our schools into prisons,” they are putting their heads into the sand and ignoring the ideas that will really work.
7. My former colleagues love the police and the job they do, but they know that even with an immediate response, most children will die before the police arrive and nothing will replace a good guy with a gun at the door. (Someone might ask: What about the recent tragedy in Florida, during which the school resource officer did not enter? I suppose it would be the same as if the school district refused to hire a resource officer at all, or if a counselor was not hired, or if the counselor was not able to weed out the mentally ill student before the tragedy, or if the buzzer did not work on the security door. There is no perfect system, but a person with a gun at the door is far more reliable than the other alternatives. The whole package should be introduced.)
8. Finally, in the last barrage of DFL-sponsored “gun control” that we defeated, my former colleagues and I personally saw the DFLers bury their heads in their cellphones texting and calling, more interested in the next election and organizing the anti-gunners to come to the meetings and marches than they were in actually working on anything called “common sense.”
Vernon Center Republican Tony Cornish is a former member of the Minnesota House.