Heritage President: Congress Must Focus on School Safety, Mental Health—Not Gun Control

Heritage President: Congress Must Focus on School Safety, Mental Health—Not Gun Control

Jun 6, 2022 2 min read

WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement Monday in response to mounting efforts in Congress to pass gun control legislation: 

“As a parent and a lifelong educator, the wave of violence in our schools is heartbreaking. It highlights the desperate need to help Americans of all ages—but especially young men—currently fighting through mental health struggles. 


“In the rush to ‘do something,’ lawmakers in Congress are again tempted to make the typical reactive, media-driven mistake of legislating simply to check a box rather than protect students. Instead of addressing the factors behind school shootings, Congress is once again talking about depriving Americans of the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected Second Amendment rights, including through so-called red flag laws.  


“Improving school safety, not passing gun-control measures, must be the focus. We have seen time and again how a lack of adequate security in our schools is a major contributing factor in these events. Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on more administrative staff, including DEI officers, schools should consider common sense security measures and armed guards to protect their students. Those intent on doing harm to innocent lives know schools are soft targets, and it is dangerous to continue to provide would-be killers such opportunities. School districts can, and must, focus on increasing security while maintaining a productive learning environment. 


“We must also empower citizens to help protect their communities. According to one study, 94% of successful mass shootings occur in gun-free zones, where law-abiding citizens are disarmed. Contrary to the Left’s narrative, allowing law-abiding gun owners, including teachers, to carry in and around schools will help deter would-be killers.  


“Finally, we must address the mental health crisis afflicting our nation, particularly our young men. Exacerbated by the unscientific and counterproductive COVID lockdowns, more young Americans are suffering from mental health struggles than ever before. The bill is also coming due for the decades-long decay of the family caused by harmful government policies, the decline of moral and traditional family values, and the hollowing out of our mediating institutions.  


“Our leaders in Washington swore oaths to defend and uphold the rights enumerated in the Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms is an inherent and constitutionally protected right. Any deprivation of that right requires the highest standards of due process. Heritage will always fight to protect both America’s kids and the constitutional rights we all enjoy.”