- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2018

President Trump consistently offers staunch support for arming teachers or other school personnel to protect the young people under their charge. One major poll has found that while the majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea, a “sizable minority” approves of it.

“A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that more than half of U.S. adults (55 percent) would oppose allowing teachers and officials to carry guns in K-12 schools, including 36 percent who said they would strongly oppose such a proposal. Still, a sizable minority (45 percent) said they favored allowing teachers to carry guns in school,” writes Juliana Menasce Horowitz, an analyst for the pollster who revisited the findings — titled “America’s complex relationship with guns” — following the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting this month.

It is a complex relationship. The survey found that 69 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of gun owners favored arming teachers and school officials, compared to 26 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of those who did not own guns. Among Republican gun owners, the number was 81 percent; among gun owners who were Democrats, it was 42 percent. Among parents, 46 percent approved arming teachers, as did 44 percent of non-parents.

THE NRA’S REMINDER

The “NRA boycott” continues to gain traction in the news media, which now keeps a running count of how many companies and commercial concerns have severed their business ties with the National Rifle Association following the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The NRA has responded, reminding activists and boycott organizers to also consider contributing causes to the horrific events almost two weeks ago.

“The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement,” the NRA said in a statement released Monday.

“Despite that, some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve. Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”

AND A CORPORATE RESPONSE

FedEx clarified its take on the complex decisions in play with the NRA boycott. In a public statement, the delivery giant made it clear that it supports Second Amendment rights for U.S. citizens with appropriate background checks, and backs “urgent action” to protect schools. FedEx said it prefers assault rifles and large capacity ammunition magazines be restricted to military use only. It had one other point to make.

“FedEx is a common carrier under federal law and therefore does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views. The NRA is one of hundreds of organizations in our alliances/association Marketing program whose members receive discounted rates for FedEx shipping. FedEx has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues,” the company noted.

A MARGARITA MOMENT

A Manhattan restaurant recently offered the world’s most expensive margarita, priced at $2,500. Mixologists at Selena Rosa — an East Side eatery — named the libation the “Silk Stocking Margarita,” using Clase Azul Ultra Anejo Tequila, which costs more than $1,500 a bottle all on its own. The rarefied cocktail featured exclusive Mexican salts on the rim, was garnished with fresh lime, spiral-cut jalapeo and rose petals. The drink was accompanied by caviar tacos with a garnish of octopus.

Any takers?

Spokesman Brian Finnegan tells Inside the Beltway that three patrons shared the cost, a good time was had by all and all of the money was donated to a charitable fund for Florida students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

ONE FOR SCALISE, HIRONO AND BAUM

An event of note Tuesday in the nation’s capital: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise receives a unique award for bravery at an event sponsored by the national charity For Tracy’s Kids, which operates pediatric art therapy programs and provides emotional support for seriously ill children in five major children hospitals.

Second lady Karen Pence will present the Courage Award to Mr. Scalise, citing his spirit, resolve and dignity after he was shot at a congressional baseball practice last summer — a response that united Republicans, Democrats and the greater D.C. community in the aftermath, the organization says.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, also will be honored with the award for her perseverance and tenacity in facing a recent cancer diagnosis. The late Ray Baum, the House Commerce Committee staff director who lost a protracted battle with cancer, will receive posthumous recognition, with committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon Republican, accepting the award on his behalf.

The event includes a red carpet for some 500 guests — plus cordial company, some scrumptious eats and a private screening of five films under consideration for an Academy Award. The guests can take their pick.

POLL DU JOUR

• 83 percent of voters say health care is an important factor in determining their vote for Congress this year; 74 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents and 95 percent of Democrats agree.

• 79 percent say the economy is an important factor; 84 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents and 77 percent of Democrats agree.

• 78 percent say gun policy is an important factor; 72 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

• 72 percent say immigration is an important factor; 70 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 83 percent of Democrats agree.

• 67 percent say taxation is an important factor; 70 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

• 45 percent say the Russian collusion investigation is an important factor; 20 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN poll of 909 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 20-23.

Kindly follow Jennifer harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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