In the April issue of America's 1st Freedom, one of its magazines, the National Rifle Association declares Secretary of Education Arne Duncan the "most extreme anti-gun member of President Barack Obama's cabinet." The NRA is targeting Duncan because, as CEO of Chicago Public Schools, he insisted that children and guns were a dangerous combination. "We'll keep fighting the NRA, the gun makers, the gun dealers, the gangbangers and everyone else who refuses to accept the undeniable fact that guns and kids don't mix," the magazine quotes Duncan as saying when he won an award from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. The article then frantically insists that Duncan will use his new position to wreak havoc on the NRA agenda:
You may ask yourself, "What can the secretary of education do to prohibit the rights of law-abiding gun owners?" The begin with, he can incessantly and hysterically use his bully pulpit to promote repressive gun control as an absolute necessity "for the children." ... He can use his position to legitimize, laud and encourage the most vicious gun-haters.
Call me crazy, but shouldn't the secretary of education be the country's chief spokesman for student safety? Particularly because many cities--like Chicago, where this year alone, 30 CPS students have been killed--have stunningly high rates of gun violence? And because mass shootings at high schools and colleges--like Virginia Tech, where 32 people were killed in 2007--have left an indelible, tragic mark on the collective psyche of young people who shouldn't ever have to fear going to school?
I say Duncan should use his bully pulpit as much as possible.