In an appearance on conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt’s program Friday, former Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said she favored having a “conversation” about guns in America in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.
However, the conversation she wants to have appears to involve the gun rights Americans shouldn’t have.
“I will say this, Hugh. I think it is time for us to have a conversation about what the right to bear arms means in the modern world,” Rice said, according to Breitbart.
“I don’t understand why civilians need to have access to military weapons. We wouldn’t say you can go out and buy a tank. So, I do think we need to have that conversation. But I believe that the rights that we have in the Constitution are indivisible. We can’t throw away the Second Amendment and keep the First.”
Rice acknowledged that, growing up as an African-American in the South, men carrying around guns in segregationist Birmingham, Alabama was “a pure version of the Second Amendment, as a matter of fact, the right to bear arms” for their own protection.
In fact, Rice has stated in the past that if her father had been forced to register his weapons, they likely would have been confiscated by infamous sheriff Bull Connor, leaving no recourse for armed self-defense in an area of the world that was particularly unpleasant.
As for doing this in schools, however — well, she wasn’t exactly that big of a fan of that.
“I don’t really like the idea, frankly, of a gun in my classroom,” said Rice, who has served as an educator.
“I think that we need to have law enforcement protect us. Look, if people need to train people to protect our schools, and perhaps even communities want to consider whether or not they need guards to protect the schools, it’s a sad thing to think that we might, then that’s something that we should look at,” she said.
“But I don’t think that just arming people in the classroom is going to be the answer. I will say this, Hugh. We also have to get better at intelligence, when it is a domestic issue. Clearly, with this young man, there were all kinds of signs and signals, and all kinds of information that he was a problem.”
All of the refutations for Rice’s arguments — sans the one I brought in from her autobiography, can be gleaned from what she said.
First, the idea that the AR-15 and a tank are in any way comparable is a laughable one, something a former national security adviser and secretary of state certainly knows. AR-15s and other rifles serve a purpose as weapons of war in the same way that, say, handguns are weapons of war, since some service members also carry them.
The question then turns to whether or not we have contingencies in place to stop people who shouldn’t have these weapons from getting them. Rice tacitly acknowledged that we do.
In regard to the Florida shooter, she noted that “there were all kinds of signs and signals, and all kinds of information that he was a problem,” information law enforcement apparently chose not to act on.
Oh, and speaking of law enforcement not acting, Rice’s claim that “we need to have law enforcement protect us” came more or less concurrently with the allegation that multiple Broward County Sheriff’s deputies stayed outside the school during the shooting even though they were aware there was an active shooter.
The sheriff’s department is currently probing the claim and say it shouldn’t be reported as fact — but whatever the outcome, these deputies weren’t on the scene when the shooting began and weren’t familiar with the layout of the school.
You know who were, though? The teachers there — and their response could have been instantaneous.
Focusing on mental health and security measures — as opposed to vague intimations at having “conversations” with an eye toward gun laws which are constitutionally iffy — is a more productive way to improve school safety post-Parkland. We know, with the information that we have, that this shooter likely could have been stopped with the appropriate measures from authorities. There is no reason to abandon the Second Amendment or gun rights, as Condoleeza Rice seems to suggest we should, to appease a vehemently anti-gun American left.
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