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Two GOP Senators Propose Bill To Increase School Security

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On Wednesday, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bill that would dedicate more than $38 billion to making schools and communities safer, including doubling the number of school resource officers in the country.

“The Safe Kids, Safe Schools, Safe Communities Act of 2022″ would be fully paid for by using unspent American Rescue Plan funds, according to the proposed legislation.

“There have been far too many school shootings in this country, and it is past time for Congress to do something to address this problem,” Cruz said in a statement. “Our Safe Kids, Safe Schools, Safe Communities Act would focus on making schools safer by increasing the number of properly trained school resource officers on campus who can deter and, if necessary, stop school shooters before our kids are harmed, increasing the number of school mental health professionals who can identify at-risk children and ensure those kids get the help they need before they become violent, and providing funding to improve the physical security measures for schools.”

“Our legislation also focuses on curbing gun violence by improving NICS and prioritizing law enforcement, criminal prosecutions of persons who illegally buy a gun and expanding Project Exile to more effectively prosecute those who commit violent crimes with a firearm,” he added. “These are issues that the left and right should be able to agree on. Our legislation would not only help prevent school shootings, but do so while still protecting the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding Americans.”

“We all want to help prevent tragedies like what we saw in Uvalde,” Barrasso said. “My focus has always been on mental health and increasing school safety. This is exactly what Senator Cruz and I focus on with our Safe Kids, Safe Schools, Safe Communities Act. Our legislation will make a difference by securing schools and providing mental health professionals to identify and address the behavioral health needs of our students. This is an opportunity for Congress to take meaningful action to make our communities safer while always protecting the constitutional rights of Americans.”

The proposed legislation would include authorizing “$200 million to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), requiring an audit to make sure records that would disqualify someone from purchasing or owning a firearm are included in NICS… $150 million to hire additional federal prosecutors to prosecute firearm violations, $29 million for safe school task forces and combatting juvenile firearm violations, and $75 million to provide child-safety gun locks for every handgun in the U.S.”

It would additionally reallocate “$17.5 billion in unspent American Rescue Plan education funds to enhance school safety including by doubling the number of trained school resource officers nationwide, and $10 billion in grants to hire 15,000 school mental health professionals for K-12 schools.”

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Gunman In Highland Park Shooting Was ‘Dressed In Women’s Clothing’

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The suspected gunman who opened fire at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday was wearing women’s clothing as a disguise, police announced Tuesday.

The attack killed six people and injured dozens more, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek. The suspect, 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, was apprehended by police later that day near Lake Forest, Illinois.

“During the attack, Crimo was dressed in women’s clothing,” said Sgt. Christopher Covelli, of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, FOX 10 reported. “Investigators do believe he did this to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity and help him during the escape with the other people who were fleeing the chaos.”

“He brought a high-powered rifle to this parade,” Covelli said. “He accessed the roof of a business via a fire escape ladder and began opening fire on the innocent Independence Day celebration-goers.”

“After the shooting, Crimo blended in with the crowd and walked to his mother’s home in the area where he borrowed her vehicle, Covelli said. A member of the community spotted Crimo driving and called 911,” FOX 10 reported. “Crimo was pulled over and arrested during a traffic stop about five miles north of the shooting.”

Investigators have interrogated Crimo and reviewed his social media but have not been able to determine a motive for the attack, Covelli said.

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Democrats Introduce ‘Transgender Bill Of Rights’

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On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced a “Transgender Bill of Rights” to “protect and codify the rights of transgender and nonbinary people under the law and ensure their access to medical care, shelter, safety, and economic security.”

Led by Democrat Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA), David Cicilline (RI), Marie Newman (IL), Mark Takano (CA), and Ritchie Torres (NY), HR 1209 proposes “amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and sex characteristics in public accommodations and federally funded programs and activities.”

“As we witness Republicans and an extremist Supreme Court attack and roll back the fundamental rights of trans people across our country, and as state legislatures across the country target our trans community with hateful, bigoted, and transphobic attacks, we are standing up and saying enough is enough,” said Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and co-chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force.

“Our Trans Bill of Rights says clearly to the trans community across the country that we see you and we will stand with you to ensure you are protected and given the dignity and respect that every person should have,” Jayapal added.

The bill seeks to increase the ability of children to get permanent and life changing surgeries by “eliminating unnecessary governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, gender-affirming medical care and counseling for transgender and nonbinary adults, adolescents, and children.”

The bill will additionally ensure that biological male students are allowed to compete in girls’ sports by amending federal “education laws to ensure that they protect students from discrimination based on sex, including gender identity and sex characteristics, and guarantee students’ right to participate in sports on teams that best align with their gender identity.”

Federal education laws will also be amended to allow students to :use school facilities that best align with their gender identity,” meaning that biological males would be allowed to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

The bill expands beyond “transgender rights” to also ban states from making laws restricting abortion by “codifying the right to abortion.”

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