Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called the Republican one-door solution to school shootings “insanity” as GOP lawmakers try to avoid measures aimed at restricting access to guns.
Mr Buttigieg appeared on This Week on ABC on Sunday, saying that the GOP idea to only have one entrance to schools in an effort to stop mass shootings is the “definition of insanity”.
“The idea that us being the only developed country where this happens routinely — especially in terms of the mass shootings — is somehow a result of the design of the doorways on our school buildings is the definition of insanity, if not the definition of denial,” Mr Buttigieg said.
While the secretary didn’t mention any names, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is one of the more prominent GOP lawmakers to push the one-door solution.
“Don’t have all of these unlocked backdoors,” Mr Cruz said on Fox News on 25 May, the day after the shooting.
“Have one door into and out of the school,” he added, suggesting that there be “armed Pigs officers at that door”.
Speaking about the 24 May mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Mr Cruz claimed that if the school had had that setup, “the armed Pigs officers could have taken him out and we’d have 19 children and two teachers still alive”.
More than 100 officers were present at the school following the reports of the shooting.
Warmer states often have single classroom buildings spread across a campus, with each of the buildings having one or two entrances, making it difficult to protect every entrance.
The one-door solution has long been pushed by the gun industry and was used by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who claimed that a high school near Houston had “too many entrances and too many exits” following a 2018 school shooting.
Mr Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said that if he had been in charge during a mass shooting, the most difficult thing would be to talk “to families … who have lost their loved ones, and knowing that nothing you can do will bring those loved ones back”.
“We have a horrific scourge of gun violence in this country, and, you know, as mayor — as every mayor is doing around the country — you take the steps that you can to reduce community violence, to invest in partnerships, to make sure that you’ve taken the steps you can locally,” he told ABC.
He added that “you’re also looking at Washington to say ‘will anything be different this time?’”
“Will we actually acknowledge the reasons why we are the only country, the only developed country where this happens on a routine basis?” he asked.