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FOX NEWS: GOP rep calls Dem leadership 'seriously out of touch' for opposing tighter school security

During a House Oversight Committee hearing on gun violence, one Republican congressman criticized Democrats for having it all wrong when it comes to trying to prevent school shootings.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., cited White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said President Biden does not believe in "hardening" schools with tighter security, Clyde asserted that better security is exactly what schools need to prevent attacks like the one in Uvalde, Texas.

"One of the things I've learned during my three overseas tours of military combat was that the harder the target you are, the less likely you will be engaged by the enemy," said Clyde, who served in Kuwait and Iraq during a 28-year Navy career. "That's a proven fact, and just common sense that applies across multiple aspects of life. For that to not be a part of the administration's focus just shows how seriously out of touch the Democrat leadership is with reality."

Clyde said he hopes his Democratic colleagues at Wednesday's hearing were "truly looking for legitimate, functional and effective answers and not just a bunch of left wing talking points," and he offered a number of measures that he believes would be effective.

"Violent criminals should never, ever have been able to gain access to the inside of these schools. That means schools across the nation should implement sensible security measures like keeping doors locked, a single point of entry, better security technology, and a volunteer force of well-trained and armed staff, in addition to a school resource officer," he said.

Clyde then read from an email he recently received from a retired Army colonel, who suggested that "the single most effective method to eliminate school shootings" would be to eliminate signs that announce gun free school zones. Instead, he suggested, schools should post language like, "We love our children and will do anything to protect them," and, "Proceed at your own peril. You will be stopped."

Clyde, who owns a gun store in Georgia, agreed with the colonel and argued that gun free school zone signs endanger rather than protect.

"They take away the law-abiding citizen’s capability to be a force in helping to protect the children. And they protect the would-be shooter because they believe they will be unopposed," Clyde said.

"Most potential school shooters are cowards at heart," he claimed. "They do not want to face a challenge to what they're trying to do. They want to be in control with no opposition."

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to implement measures recommended by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. Among the provisions are $210 million for school safety, which includes grants for hardening schools, as well as $140 million to address youth mental health.

The commission was formed after the 2018 shooting at the school in Parkland, Florida.

Jean-Pierre said during a May 31 White House press briefing that as far as President Biden is concerned, hardening schools is "not something that he believes in." She also dismissed the idea that mental health is the problem, because other countries have mental health issues but do not have the same rate of school shootings. 

"The problem is with guns," she said, "and not having legislation to deal with an issue that is a pandemic here in this country."

Office Locations

Office Locations

Washington, DC Office 521 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-9893
Fax: (202) 226-1224
Gainesville District Office 210 Washington St NW, Suite 202
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: (470) 768-6520
Map of U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde's office locations