After this week’s deadly shooting in Texas, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has proposed using funds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic to efforts to reduce the number of school doors.
McCarthy made the remarks during an interview on Fox Business Channel on Thursday Fox deal tonight. The California Republican pondered whether Salvador Ramos, the suspected gunman in Tuesday’s elementary school massacre, could have been prevented from entering the school if it had fewer doors. He suggested using unused COVID-19 funds to fight mass shootings by redesigning school entrances.
“If this school was on lockdown, could the doors have been locked where he couldn’t have got in?” McCarthy asked. “Billions of dollars are sitting out there for schools after COVID. We should redirect that money so schools can use it to have a single point of entry to protect these kids from many different items.”
As of last week, schools had spent only about 7 percent of the $122 billion in COVID-19 aid they received under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American bailout plan, according to A Wall Street Journal Article citing data from the Ministry of Education.
While the funds will expire if not used by September 2024, it’s not clear when the pandemic will end or how much money will be needed for similar causes in the more than two years it will remain available.
news week reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.
McCarthy is one of several Republicans who have proposed alternative solutions while dismissing Democrat calls for stronger gun controls after Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde, about 80 miles west of San Antonio. The shooting killed 22 people — including 19 children, two teachers and the alleged gunman — at Robb Elementary School, making it the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz has also proposed tackling gun violence by reducing the number of doors in schools. The Texas senator insisted that “one door going in and out of the school” with “armed police officers at that one door” could have prevented “the horror” of the mass shooting Speaking of told reporters in Uvalde on Wednesday.
Cruz reiterated his proposal to eliminate redundant doors and other methods of “difficulty” access to schools while addressing school shootings at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston on Friday.
Cruz stormed out of an interview with a British journalist earlier this week after being asked why school shootings are so common in the US, accusing the journalist of being a “propagandist”.
In addition to the number of doors, Republicans have also blamed gun violence in schools on COVID-19 lockdowns, the impact of social media, a lack of homeschooling, mental health issues and a lack of guns in schools.