In the wake of Wednesday’s deadly shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, lawmakers were faced with questions as to how they will prevent future tragedies.
As is typical, conservatives are bending over backward to avoid proposing gun control measures, and have instead claimed that it’s “not the time to jump to some conclusion” and argued that gun control laws won’t prevent every tragedy.
In their contortionist dance around the subject of gun control, conservatives have also offered up alternative proposals for preventing such tragedies, some vague, some impossible and some downright bizarre.
Below are some of the worst proposals conservatives have come up with this week:
Monitor ‘all of the social media’
Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH), who is running to challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for his seat, on Thursday morning rebuffed Fox Business host Stuart Varney’s calls for tighter restrictions on who can buy guns and instead proposed a way to track social media platforms for hints that somebody could become violent.
“We’ve got to come up with a model that starts to look over all of the social media and pick up these issues, and then says, ‘Hey we got a problem.’ That’s probably going to be the next best invention coming forward because that is a necessary thing for our country,” Renacci said.
He did not specify what such a monitoring service would look for or how it would alert authorities to those “issues.”
The FBI said on Thursday that it investigated a comment posted by a YouTube user who used the same name as Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman in Wednesday’s shooting, but was unable to identify him.
Report disturbing behavior
President Donald Trump on Thursday called for people to “report” when others show “signs” that they are “mentally disturbed,” but did not define criteria for those behavior or propose a specific law or regulation to parlay such reports into action.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
The FBI on Friday acknowledged that it received a tip from somebody concerned about Cruz’s gun ownership and “erratic behavior,” but said officials did not take the appropriate steps to follow up on the tip.
Arm teachers — even if it’s just with a slingshot
Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday suggested that teachers should be trained to respond to active shooters and armed — even by the most generous definition.
“The only way to stop this is by superior fire power,” Napolitano said on Fox Business.
On “Fox and Friends,” he also claimed, “You could stop a person with an AR-16 with a slingshot if you know how to use it.”
Restrict access to schools
In an interview Thursday morning on Fox Business, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Thursday proposed better monitoring the entrances and exits at schools and said that limiting access to schools would help prevent mass shootings.
“We should quit allowing our schools to be soft targets,” he said.
Mullin said that while he does not oppose arming some teachers, they should have to go through the same training that law enforcement officials complete.
Keep guns in lockboxes
On his radio show on Wednesday, Sean Hannity pitched a specific brand of lockbox that he claimed would help people be “responsible gun owners.”
“Go to LibertySafe.com. They have fingerprint handgun safes that open in a second. It’s — you can’t get to it any quicker, and you know, put ’em strategically, locate them throughout your house,” Hannity said.
Hold more hearings
Perhaps the most vague proposal came from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who simply said that Congress should hold hearings on mass shootings — but did not specify what issues lawmakers should focus on or what kind of legislation they should propose.
“Congress needs to be holding hearings on these issues. And we’ve seen lots of discussion about this every time we’ve had another incident,” she told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday.