DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Tuesday, the Des Moines Public School Board voted on a resolution aimed at curbing gun violence. That resolution included a request that lawmakers ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of assault-style weapons.
“We're not asking for the second amendment to go away…we do a number of things in our schools to keep our kids safe and to keep our staff safe, but even if we do all those things, someone enters with an assault rifle, that's not going to have a good ending no matter what,” said Des Moines School Board Vice-Chair Cindy Elsbernd.
Elsbernd said the resolution was brought about after students marched nationwide in an effort to make changes to the nation's gun laws.
“Assault weapons have caused more harm to us than they have good. As far as the military goes, that's fine because that's defending our country, but then as far as our state goes and just people in general, I think it's a very bad idea because it's harming us. It's harming other people who could have a great future ahead of them,” said student Isaiah Wade.
The resolution makes exceptions for police and the military. It also includes a request for more funding for school counselors, mental health experts, and social workers. Additionally, it asks to expand gun-free zones for schools and not to expect teachers to arm themselves. The resolution will be sent to Senators Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, and Congressman David Young; all three have voted for expanded gun ownership.
On her website, Senator Ernst says, "While I will always carefully review any new proposal put forward, I do not believe stricter gun control for law abiding citizens is the solution. Our efforts to prevent future tragedies must focus on enforcing current gun laws, community engagement, and advancing mental health treatment."
Meanwhile, Senator Grassley re-introduced the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which deals with existing gun laws, and will also introduced the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Memorial Act of 2018.
“This bill will provide funding to support the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center’s efforts to conduct cutting edge research into the prevention of school violence," said Senator Grassley. "It will also enable the National Threat Assessment Center to train more of our nation’s schools in how to conduct threat assessments and early interventions."
The resolution was approved 7-0 by the board on Tuesday evening.