MITCH PERRY FloridaPolitics.com Kristen Rosen Gonzalez is responding to the shooting in Broward County that left 17 dead by calling on Congress to enact a $2 per bullet excise tax to be used to retrofit schools and help with the treatment of victims of gun violence.
The Miami Beach City Commissioner and candidate for Florida’s 27th Congressional District said potential solutions to protect schools are relatively simple. One such device is called “The Sleeve,” which costs $79 and slips over the closer arm of a door, making entry from outside virtually impossible.
Rosen Gonzalez also mentioned installing metal detectors at the entrances to schools as another possible preventive measure.
The suspect in Wednesday’s shooting, Nikolas Cruz, was armed with a rifle when he began stalking the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, breaking windows and shooting terrified students.
Cruz allegedly turned on the fire alarm, sending many outside, where he fired shot after shot before following fleeing students inside, officials said. There, he roamed the halls he knew well, allegedly targeting those huddled in classrooms.
“We fund our national highways through excise taxes on gas and diesel fuel,” Rosen Gonzalez said, “so highway users are the ones who pay for that system. Doing the same with gun owners is just as fair.”
The Democrat also says that the fund could help pay for the victims’ rehab. Private insurance may not adequately be able to treat the victims, she says, with some of them requiring surgical procedures, extended hospital stays, and a long rehabilitation process.
Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling on guns, Rosen Gonzalez says that the courts will not adjudicate the issue of gun safety, but the GOP-led Congress has not acted on any gun control measures for years. Yet she believes that the solution would be for Congress to amend the tax code.
“The NRA is partially right. Guns don’t kill people. Bullets do. Until we can enact effective gun control, making bullet purchasers fund the cost of cleaning up the gun mess and protecting our children may be our most effective option,” she said in a news release Thursday.
Rosen Gonzalez also called on Congress to re-enact the assault weapons ban that expired in 200 and to make every gun sale transaction subject to a background check, including those between private individuals.
“Thoughts and prayers,” a favorite refrain of congressional Republicans in the aftermath of such gun tragedies, is no longer enough, Rosen Gonzalez says.
The Miami Beach pol is one of seven Democrats running in the race to succeed Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in Miami-Dade County.