Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Teaching Federation’s Weingarten Sharpens Sights on Banning Guns “Like Other Great Democracies”

Two days after the mass shooting at Christian Nashville school in Tennessee, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called for confiscating guns like “other great democracies” have done, but then claimed the text of her speech had been tampered with, attacked red state governors for promoting a culture of distrust and served up a healthy word salad of liberal good intentions — all in the name of protecting education in America.

Addressing members of the union in the aftermath of the school shooting that left three children and three adults dead, . Weingarten proclaimed that “Today, we renew our call for common sense gun safety legislation, including a ban on assault weapons. This is an epidemic…an epidemic that our great nation must solve. And how many lives will be shattered before we have the courage to do what Scotland did, what Australia did, what New Zealand did, what other great democracies do? We must solve this epidemic, and that’s up to us.”

In their arguments for greater gun bans in the United States, Democrat politicians often cite Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, which all banned guns after mass shootings.

Scotland persuaded the United Kingdom as a whole to ban handguns and Australia staged a mandatory gun buyback program for semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in 1996. New Zealand enacted a semi-automatic weapons ban days after the 2019 Christchurch shooting that killed 50 people in two mosques.

When she was interviewed on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” program after her speech, Weingarten claimed words in her address had been “doctored” to suggest she was calling for the confiscation of guns.

“Frankly,” Weingarten said during her MSNBC appearance, “I saw today in my speech when I called on us to do a moment of silence for the Tennessee Christian school to, you know, in a speech that I was giving to public school parents and teachers, but to also renew a call for the assault weapons ban. And then somebody doctored the speech and said I was calling to confiscate guns. So, all day long that’s what I’ve been dealing with.”

Of course, bans and mandatory buybacks are two different ways to say that the confiscation of guns will be enforced.

Weingarten’s effort to better explain the intentions of her address ended up a jumble of dangling platitudes: “But the point is, the point they want to make is to widen the despair, widen the anxiety, and not actually solve the problems we need to solve, which is gun violence, learning loss, the sadness that kids have. So what I try to do today in my speech and in the defense of public education was to talk about not just the problems but four things we could actually do to transform education in America.”

In her AFT address, Weingarten also accused Republican politicians such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of promoting “culture wars” as a way undo the work of public teaching.

For that effort, Weingarten’s word salad tossing continued: “What started as fights over pandemic-era safety measures has morphed into fearmongering: False claims that elementary and secondary schools are teaching critical race theory; disgusting, unfounded claims that teachers are grooming and indoctrinating students; and pronouncements that public schools push a ‘woke’ agenda, even though they can’t or won’t define what they mean. Banning books and bullying vulnerable children. School board meetings descending into screaming matches.

“This is an organized and dangerous effort to undermine public schools,” she said.