July 14, 2022 by David Silverberg
The US House of Representatives last night, July 13, voted to establish a national system to alert and coordinate federal, state and local responses to active shooter incidents despite the opposition of Southwest Florida Reps. Byron Donalds (R-19-Fla.), Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.) and 167 other Republicans.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.) broke ranks with his colleagues and party and voted for the bill.
The bill creates a federal coordinator for an Active Shooter Alert Communications Network similar to the Amber Alert System for missing children. The coordinator will work with federal, state and local governments to operate the network and establish procedures to respond to active shooters. The Government Accountability Office will monitor progress on the system.
“This vital legislation that we’re doing today will quickly warn communities when a gunman opens fire: a common-sense, life-saving measure widely supported by law enforcement,” said House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-12-Calif.) in a floor speech.
The bill passed in response to a spate of mass shootings including the one on May 24 at Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed following a botched, uncoordinated law enforcement response. It was introduced in February by Rep. David Cicilline (D-1-RI).
Initially, the bill failed in the House in June when congressional supporters were unable to gain a two-thirds vote of the entire chamber to suspend the usual House rules and vote for passage. Yesterday’s vote required a simple majority.
As of this writing, none of Southwest Florida’s representatives had issued statements on any platform explaining their votes.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Liberty lives in light
© 2022 by David Silverberg