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Bush is all talk about the school shootings. Cuts 'COPS in Schools'

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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 07:52 AM
Original message
Bush is all talk about the school shootings. Cuts 'COPS in Schools'
Edited on Wed Oct-11-06 08:38 AM by bigtree
October 11, 2006


Bush said he was sorry yesterday that he had to meet with community leaders and law enforcement officials to discuss the recent spate of school shootings. "In many ways, I'm sorry we're having this meeting," Bush said. "In other ways, I know how important it is that we're having this meeting."

The meeting was very important. William Lassiter, manager of the Center for the Prevention of School Violence was there to discuss Bush's latest budget, in which he tried to cut almost $400m in school safety funds that states would recieve this year.

Also, as the Democratic National Committee charged in a release Monday, "funding for the "Cops in Schools" program has been slashed on numerous occasions under the watch of Bush and his GOP Congress."

from the DNC: (http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=74058 )

"According to Department of Justice numbers released during a Congressional press conference, the Community Oriented Policing Service's (COPS) budget for the "Cops in Schools program" has been slashed during the Bush Administration. During the last two years of the Clinton Administration, 1999 and 2000, the budget for the "Cops in Schools" program hovered around $160 million. By 2003 the budget was reduced to $38 Million. In 2004, there was a slight increase to $52 Million. Then, it fell yet again to $5 Million in 2005. In 2006, the program was zeroed out (AP, Oct. 8)."


http://journals.democraticunderground.com/bigtree


Guns Are in Schools but Not in the President's Vocabulary

By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, October 11, 2006; A02

President Bush has always been a disciplined man, but yesterday he set a new standard for self-control: He moderated an hour-long discussion about the rash of school shootings in the past week without once mentioning the word "guns."

First lady Laura Bush was nearly as good, giving a seven-minute speech at yesterday's White House Conference on School Safety without mentioning guns. Two longtime aides, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, deftly led hours of panels at the National 4-H building in Chevy Chase with only a few glancing references to weapons.

Managing to get in front of a microphone during question time, Theo pointed out to Gonzales that "the common denominator in the rash of school shootings" has been access to high-powered guns. He asked what could be done to reduce the spread of such weapons "in light of the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban?"

"Assault weapons," Gonzales repeated. Some in the audience chuckled as he looked to see who on the panel would take the question.

The Bush administration has for years been known for its use of human props to make its points: middle-class "tax families" to pitch for tax cuts, victims of Saddam Hussein's torture to pitch for the Iraq war, and friendly partisans to pitch soft questions at "Ask President Bush" sessions. The technique is not new; Bill Clinton did much the same when hosting events about race.

Still, yesterday's forum was unusual. While experts dispute how much blame to place on children's access to guns, even the invited guests found it a bit odd to banish the topic entirely from a school-violence forum. "No one wants to touch gun control before an election," surmised one participant, Warlene Gary of the National PTA.

more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hillary Clinton in 2005
Senator Clinton Protests Planned Elimination of Vital Funds for Law Enforcement and First Responders

2/8/2005

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today said she was extremely disappointed by the Presidents decision to effectively eliminate several important law enforcement funding programs in his Fiscal Year 2006 Budget.

Under the Presidents budget, funding for the COPS program is reduced from $379 million to $118 million nationally, which comes on top of previous years cuts for the COPS program, which once received more than $1.5 billion in funding. Under the Presidents proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2006, absolutely no funding is proposed for the COPS Universal Hiring Program, the COPS MORE program, COPS in Schools program, or the COPS Interoperable Communications Technology Program.

The budget would also propose no funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, named after a New York City police officer killed in the line of duty, and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program. These programs in the past have provided states and local governments with federal funds to support efforts to reduce crime and increase public safety, such as enhancing security measures around schools, establishing or supporting drug courts, and preventing violent and/or drug-related crime. In Fiscal Year 2004, for example, New York State was allocated almost $28 million under the Byrne Formula Grant program alone. That same year, a number of communities across New York State were eligible to receive collectively millions of dollars in Local Law Enforcement Block Grant and COPS funding. At the national level last year, the Byrne formula grant program and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program were combined into one and Congress appropriated $634 million in Fiscal Year 2005 for the combined program, as well as $170 million in funding for Byrne discretionary grants, for a total of more $800 million. All of this funding has been eliminated in the Presidents proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

"The Presidents proposed budget is an incredible blow to first responders across New York and the nation. As we guard against the threat of terrorism, we need to do everything within our power to bolster our homeland defense. Slashing funding for the COPS and other programs which are proven, effective tools for fighting crime and keeping our streets safe is a slap in the face of our first responders, right when they are being called on to do even more for our nation, Senator Clinton said.

"Just last week during the State of the Union, President Bush said that we owe our law enforcement officers and other first responders our gratitude. I could not agree more, but actions speak louder than words. The Presidents budget does not provide the critical support that our law enforcement officers so desperately need.

The COPS' Universal Hiring Program (UHP) provides funding directly to local, state, and tribal jurisdictions for the salaries and benefits of newly hired officers engaged in community policing. The COPS' Making Officer Redeployment Effective (MORE) program expands the amount of time current law enforcement officers can spend on community policing by funding technology, equipment, and support staff, including civilian personnel. The COPS in Schools (CIS) grant program is designed to help law enforcement agencies hire new, additional school resource officers (SROs) to engage in community policing in and around primary and secondary schools. CIS provides an incentive for law enforcement agencies to build collaborative partnerships with the school community and to use community policing efforts to combat school violence.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/press/view/?id=37
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Huh?
"the common denominator in the rash of school shootings" has been access to high-powered guns. He asked what could be done to reduce the spread of such weapons "in light of the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban?"

Huh?

All the recent school homicides were carried out with hunting shotguns (which are indeed high-powered weapons), ordinary handguns, and possibly a hunting rifle, I don't remember. There was also a recent school shooting in Canada that involved a low-powered (9mm) carbine.

Did the reporter garble the exchange, or am I missing something here?
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
3. I would have had the same "WTF" reaction myself.
"Theo pointed out to Gonzales that "the common denominator in the rash of school shootings" has been access to high-powered guns. He asked what could be done to reduce the spread of such weapons "in light of the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban?"

Theo sounds like one very misinformed or confused kid.

(I wonder if he knows that Gonzalez supported the reauthorization of the AWB?).
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