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A safety panel looking at US school shootings has overlooked one blindingly obvious factor

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Harvey Day
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A safety panel looking at US school shootings has overlooked one blindingly-obvious factor 1

Donald Trump’s education secretary Betsy Devos has outdone herself this time

Donald Trump’s rag-tag cabinet is essentially a mish-mash of complete incompetents who turn up to their offices every day hoping no-one will realise they have no idea what they’re supposed to be doing.

First, there’s Scott Pruitt, the scandal-plagued head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who doesn’t even believe in climate change.

Then there’s Ben Carson, chief of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who is actually a doctor who wants to triple rent for the poorest of the poor.

And don’t forget Rick Perry, the energy secretary, who bizarrely claimed that fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault. He actually said this. I wish I was joking.

But the Trump appointee who really takes the biscuit for comical ridiculousness is Betsy Devos, who serves as Trump’s education secretary.

She caused eyeballs around the world to pop out with exasperation last year when she argued that schools should be stocked with guns to prevent potential grizzly bear attacks:

And she’s up to her old tricks again, this time by revealing that her federal commission on school safety set up after the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead will, crucially, not be looking at the role of guns.

When asked by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy: “Will your commission look at the role of firearms as it relates to gun violence in our schools?”, the education secretary replied with an unsettlingly robotic tone and a creepy grin: “That is not part of the commission’s charge, per se.”

Senator Leahy added, despairingly: “I see… So, you’re studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns.”

Liz Hill, press secretary for the Department of Education later said in a statement that the commission will look at all the issues the president asked it to study, according to the Guardian. She added, however: “It’s important to note that the commission cannot create or amend current gun laws – that is the Congress’ job.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland, Florida, shooting, reacted angrily to Devos’ comments, saying: “Besty Devos, your comment that the investigation following the shooting death of my daughter and 16 others will not involve guns is surprisingly helpful. You just gave every parent who actually cares about school safety a reason to vote in November.”

Since the beginning of the year, more than 6,000 people have been killed by guns in America and there have been more than 100 mass shootings.

A safety panel looking at US school shootings has overlooked one blindingly-obvious factor

(Images: Getty / Gun Violence Archive)