Barack Obama’s old Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is back in the news. After leaving the White House he took a position at the Emerson Collective, a California think tank focused on “social justice initiatives.” But this weekend he lit up the liberal Twitterverse with a suggestion for how to deal with school shootings. Just have all students boycott all the schools until some gun control laws are passed.
This is brilliant, and tragically necessary.
What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?
My family is all in if we can do this at scale.
Parents, will you please join us? https://t.co/Yo4wsFuJI5
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) May 18, 2018
Any time you begin pitching an idea that wild you’ll immediately be interviewed by various newspapers and cable news outlets to discuss the matter. This case was no exception and Duncan was talking to the Washington Post in no time flat. (Free Beacon)
“I’m open to other ideas, I’m open to different ideas, but I’m not open to doing nothing,” Duncan said. “We will see whether this gains traction, or something does, but we have to think radically.”
Duncan said that if the idea took traction, his family would participate.
The idea has already picked up some steam, including from Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp.
“This is not rocket science,” Duncan said. “This is not a difficult intellectual issue. What we have lacked is political courage, and we need to create the tension that allows us to break through on this issue.”
The phrase “create tension” is code language for disrupting civil society until you get your way no matter what sort of fallout you leave behind. I don’t fault Duncan tor hitting the road with this message because he’s just doing his job. He’s supposed to be out there firing up the social justice warriors and sticking it to the man by calling for boycotts is a proven winner.
Unfortunately, the realities of an actual school boycott across the nation would sink in quickly. Some schools have already held their graduation ceremonies and are off for the summer, but others have not. Do you really expect all of the seniors to suddenly start ditching class and miss out on getting their diplomas? You’d be creating a paucity of college freshmen in your wake.
Once all the regular classes have ended for the semester, the boycott would probably be nearly 100% effective. Sadly, nobody would notice because most of the schools are empty during the summer anyway. So that brings us to the fall. I think we all know that there isn’t going to be any new gun control legislation hitting the floor in the next few weeks. After that Congress goes on recess, so even if there was a bill with a ghost of a chance of passage, nobody would be looking at it until after the kids were supposed to be back in class for the new school year.
What then? We simply leave the schools empty? Graduation rates are low enough as it is in some districts, but Arne Duncan apparently wants to push them to zero. All in the name of… what? To pass a ban on AR-15s that won’t stop a single school shooting and blacklists a rifle used in only the tiniest percentage of crimes every year? Well played, Mr. Duncan. I’m sure that will teach everyone a lesson. Unfortunately, that lesson won’t be in math, reading or history.