WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC7) said he welcomes the input of students across the country on how to keep schools safe but does not support tougher gun control measures to do it.
Rep. Rouzer says schools must be better "fortified", and he cited metal detectors as an option that has had success in schools. As for arming teachers to provide a line of defense against potential gun violence in schools, the two-term representative from Johnston County does not want to make it mandatory.
"I think that should be up to the teachers," Rep. Rouzer said. "If you have some teachers in your school that are gun enthusiasts, they have concealed carry (permit) already, they're very comfortable with it and they want to perform that role, then I think that should be left up to the school administrator and the school board. They can decide whether that is appropriate. I don't think that needs to be dictated at a federal level."
As opposed to adding new regulations, Rep. Rouzer said better enforcement of current laws can also help stop school shootings. He mentioned reports of officers visiting the home of accused school shooter Nicolas Cruz dozens of times over a seven-year period leading up to the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
"You had a policy in place that none of those visits or arrests were recorded, because they were concerned that it would hinder an individual's future moving forward," Rep. Rouzer said. "Had they been recorded, it would have been well documented that this individual, when he went to purchase a gun, shouldn't have received a gun. So, I think there's a lot of things like that we need to take a look at. You can ban whatever weapon you want to ban, but just like in 1999, when you had the semi-assault rifle ban between 1994 and 2004, in 1999 you had Columbine and that was a very horrific school shooting."
Part of the problem, Rep. Rouzer says, is a society that has removed God and faith from the public dialogue.
"We live in a spiritual world, that's my belief," he says. "When you take God out of the public square, Satan takes its place. This is a culmination of 20, 25, 30-plus years where we have taken God out of everything in our society in a public way, and as a result of that, evil pervades and prevails."