The father of a victim of the 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting recently ripped into Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., this week after Schumer and fellow Democrats blocked a school safety bill, calling the move “heartbreaking.”
One day after the mass school shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where two teachers and 19 children were murdered, Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson pushed for the Luke and Alex School Safety Act to be passed unanimously.
The legislation, named after Alex Schachter and Luke Hoyer, high school students killed in the Florida mass shooting, would require a “federal clearinghouse on school safety best practices” to be established by the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the bill, the clearinghouse site would provide school officials, law enforcement, and parents with tips for improving school security and information on available federal resources and grant programs.
Claiming it would put more guns in schools, Schumer blocked the legislation.
“GOP Sen. Johnson just tried for a bill that could see more guns in schools — I blocked it. The truth: There were officers at the school in Texas. The shooter got past them. We need real solutions,” Schumer tweeted.
Max Schachter, the father of shooting victim Alex, responded to Schumer, saying, “How does a website put guns in schools? It’s ridiculous. It has nothing to do with guns. It’s just a website of best practices. It doesn’t mandate anything.”
“I thought that after 19 children and two teachers were just murdered in Uvalde, Texas, partisan politics will be put aside and that families might at least have some positive news out of Congress from their elected leaders. I was naïve to think that a horrible mass shooting would make people do the right thing. And unfortunately, you know, he didn’t. He blocked it,” Schachter added. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Schumer alternative bill
Senator Schumer blocked the Luke and Alex School Safety Act to push the doomed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which had previously passed the House after the May 14 shooting at a Buffalo grocery store, when 10 people were killed.
The Senate bill did not garner enough votes to move ahead to a debate amid Republican opposition to the bill’s granting additional powers to the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI.
“Everybody and their brother would have told you that the GOP was going to block it, which they did today. And so now where are we?” questioned Schachter while accusing Schumer of using the legislation as “leverage.”
Schachter continued, “The Republicans don’t want to give the Democrats a win, but the Democrats don’t want to give the Republicans a win either. And then, who suffers? The American people. It’s ridiculous. They should do their damn job.”
Senator Johnson also blasted Schumer over his maneuvers.
“Not surprising that the Democrat leader would lie about the bill he blocked that parents of Parkland victims have been trying to pass for years,” he tweeted.
“Dems aren’t looking for solutions; they want wedge issues that they hope will keep them in power. Sick.”
Democratic lawmakers have urged Schumer to call for a vote on bipartisan bills in the House.
The bills would expand background checks on potential gun owners even though it may be an accountability vote. Schumer instead opted against the vote and claimed Americans already know where each member stands on gun reform.
Schumer postponed the issue until after the Senate returns from its Memorial Day break on June 6 to give more time for senators to reach a compromise.
“If these negotiations do not bear any fruit, the Senate will vote on gun safety legislation when we return,” he vowed.
Both bills require 60 votes to pass, and with an evenly split Senate, the passage of any gun reform bill will be near-impossible.