The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s CEO Greg Sindelar released the following statement on the “Safer Communities Act” being debated in the U.S. Senate: 

“Washington, and particularly Congress, is a profoundly feckless, tragically hopeless, and deeply broken institution. Its legislative response to the heartbreaking and senseless violence in Uvalde, TX only underscores our federal government’s longstanding inability to produce any substantive solutions to the challenges Americans face. This bill is a monument to the only thing Washington knows how to do: spend eyepopping sums of money we don’t have, distract Americans from its failures, and maintain the status quo. 

“This is a spending bill, not a gun bill. As if inflation wasn’t bad enough, this proposal will throw another gas can on an economic inferno already burning through Americans’ homes. As with the pandemic spending bills and just about every other major Beltway bonanza, that money will largely go into the abyss of government programs that are already failing the American people, not to mention the pockets of the grifters, leeches, and thieves waiting in the wings.  

“This bill will not save lives. It will not protect parents, their children, their schools, or their communities because Washington will never hold anyone accountable for where the money goes, how it is spent, and whether it is working. Washington politicians simply throw money at the problem, prepare their media talking points, and move on. It does nothing to alleviate the heart-wrenching anxiety parents feel about whether or not their children are safe at school. 

“The solution is in the states. State and local governments must get serious about securing schools so that the next would-be mass murderer understands these are not soft targets. Specifically, in Texas, policymakers should look at restructuring and strengthening our school guardian programs to allow trained and approved individuals to carry firearms on school campuses. School district officials should engage in good-faith planning and strategizing with internal and external volunteers who wish to make schools more resistant to violence. 

“Further, the experiment with ‘district-based law enforcement’ should be over. Particularly in smaller districts, the lack of scale keeps officers from being able to take advantage of external training and development opportunities, specifically with tactical applications. Instead, schools should be required to rely upon county or city personnel for contract law enforcement. 

“There are more good ideas that will secure our schools, help identify potential threats, get mentally-ill individuals the help they need, and prevent the wrong people from accessing deadly weapons. But rest assured, none of them are coming from or will be enforced by Washington. These tragedies rightly create a sense of urgency to ‘do something,’ but we must make sure we are looking in the right place for solutions that truly protect our families, our schools, and our communities.”