After a brief segment taking swipes at Prince Andrew and the UK’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, John Olivier dove straight into its main segment on Sunday night Last week tonightadvocating for tougher gun control measures following school shooting UvaldeTexas last month.
Noting that the National Rifle Association held a convention in Texas three days after the tragedy, Oliver showed a clip of NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre advocating for full funding of police departments in the United States as well as constable programs school safety.
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“It’s not so surprising that the NRA CEO’s solution is more people with guns,” Oliver said. “It would be like hearing ‘the dump is overflowing so we need more piles of trash’ from the head of the National Raccoon Association, I mean what else do you really expect him to say ?”
In the six years following the 1999 Columbine school shooting, the federal government allocated $750 million, resulting in the hiring of more than 6,500 school resource officers. However, Oliver noted that since then data shows that 58% of US schools have a sworn law enforcement officer on campus at least once a week, while other resources have been cut. Oliver cited another study showing that 14 million students attend a school that has a police officer but no counsellor, nurse, psychologist or social worker.
“That’s 14 million children who are closer to a pair of handcuffs than a medical or mental health professional,” he said.
Oliver then examined whether a school police presence actually deters school shootings, which it does not, citing a 2020 study showing that shooters were not deterred by officers, cameras security, metal detectors or locked doors. He also said having a police officer on campus also does not mean the shootings will be stopped, as schools in Uvalde and Parkland, Florida, the site of a 2018 shooting, had officers present at school. According to a Washington Post analysis, there have only been two instances in two decades where a school resource officer was able to take down an active shooter. He showed a video in which an expert argued that the presence of police actually makes the shooter more dangerous because they arrive heavily armed and know that law enforcement is already at the school.
“If school cops can make shootings worse, why are we still offering them as a solution?” Oliver asked. “So disabled!” discovered that their mosquito repellent attracted mosquitoes, they stopped selling it, or at the very least rebranded it as a cologne for lonely mosquito repellent singles.
Oliver went on to examine the impact that the mere presence of cops on campus can have on students, noting that in some schools officers also serve as mentors and in other roles, but in disadvantaged schools this does not happen. is not the case. There they are more likely to engage in law enforcement activities.
During the 2017-2018 school year, there were more than 54,000 arrests by officers employed in schools, for offenses as minor as throwing a paper airplane, a baby carrot or Skittles. An outraged Oliver also noted that a 5-year-old child with ADHD who threw a tantrum was charged with assaulting a police officer, “when it’s clear the only thing they were guilty of was to be a fucking 5 year old,” Oliver said. .
It also showed a clip of a high school girl explaining that she was arrested for a “bombs and explosives” violation after doing a science experiment where a cork blew up a plastic bottle. “It’s so stupid for so many reasons. One of them is that when you hear ‘crime for a science experiment’ you think you’re thinking methamphetamine. If I gave you 500 guesses for which science experiment caused someone to be charged with a crime, your first 499 guesses would be “meth,” and the next would be, “Are you 100% sure it’s not meth? Ever, in your dreams wildest, it wouldn’t be “popping a bottle cap” unless, inside that bottle, there’s crystal meth.
And in some cases, these arrests will give children a criminal record.
Additionally, Oliver cited studies showing that students with disabilities and black children are more likely to be arrested, disproportionately to their enrollment share. “Police presence can make school miserable for some children,” Oliver said. “And frankly, we don’t need any more ways to make school scarier. It’s terrifying enough. If you ask me what are the scariest places I can imagine, it’s not a haunted house or the inside of Tom Cruise’s brain, it’s high school, because remember, I was that he said, showing a photo he used in marketing campaigns before of him in high school with glasses and acne.
Oliver argued that the money that is “inevitably” about to be used to fund school cops and instead direct that money to counselors, nurses and “other resources that actually protect students” .
“School police are not the answer to school shootings; the answer to that is gun control,” Oliver added. “When we send more cops into schools to easily get out of this difficult and necessary conversation, not only do we fail to protect our children from gun violence, but we condemn them to a system that criminalizes the very essence of childhood. . Kids deserve to be bored without being stopped, to be sad and angry without being slammed. They deserve to have tantrums, throw carrots, do science experiments, talk shit, and carve their names into stuff without risking getting in the back of a police cruiser. They deserve to be curious, to make mistakes, to drive a little too much, to be a little too loud – to basically be a fucking kid. And they certainly deserve better than the basic lie, the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy who can stop a 5 year old.
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