On School Shootings: Mitt Romney Touts Federalism


“States get things done,” said Mitt Romney, who just recently announced his candidacy for US Senate, hoping to replace Orrin Hatch (R-UT) who has announced his pending retirement.  Romney began one of his first public speeches as an announced candidate with some humor saying, “I do want to dispel the rumor that I only ran for president as a stepping stone to become U.S. senator from Utah,” but immediately grew serious on a myriad of topics, including the recent Parkland, Florida shooting.

“As a legacy to those who have been killed and lost, we must take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again,” Romney said, “I don’t know what the answers are to make our schools safer. I don’t have all the answers, I’ve got some ideas. But I think we can’t just sit and wait and hope and expect things are gonna get better, because these things just keep on happening.”

Romney drew some criticism for his remarks from gun rights activists, who took note that Romney was willing to consider an enhanced background bill being pushed by the Senator he hopes to replace and for his interest in finding ways to keep guns out of the hands of “disturbed persons”.  But, most of Romney’s comments were focused on touting state and local government as the effective place to take action in effective ways beyond the typical argument for gun control.

“Now I’ve looked at some federal legislation.  I don’t see any federal legislation that would have prevented these attacks and so I don’t support passing some new federal law…. My own view, having served as a governor, is that the best place for finding solutions for school violence is going to be at the state and local level where things are able to happen at a more advanced, responsive manner.”

Romney suggested there are a “wide array of options” that could be taken including consideration for entry systems and police and/or volunteer protection at schools, continuing that, “I think with regard to protecting our students in schools that states, state legislators in particular, ought to look to actions they can take.”

Mitt Romney in the past has been heavily criticized for the moderate political positions he held as Governor of Massachusetts and is often characterized as a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and a “flip-flopper” by his most outspoken critics.  Regardless of whether these accusations are fair or not, it is definitely refreshing to see an influential political figure belonging to what some might consider the “establishment” stake out a refreshingly federalist stance on finding solutions to a troubling problem in our nation, especially in the midst of the loudest voices calling for immediate action on gun control initiatives in Congress and at the critical beginning of a campaign for US Senate.

Note: The Federalist Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization seeking to encourage politicians of all political persuasions to support a return to decentralized governance.  We support any efforts and will applaud any political figure willing to support and communicate the principles of American Federalism. 

This article is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney’s campaign for US Senate.