Hello everyone. I'm John Liccione and I'm a Democrat running for Congress in Florida's 13th District in Pinellas County Florida.
The first positive change I will bring about through legislation and private fundraising will be to bootstrap a national all-hands-on-deck effort to crush the school shooting death rate down to zero by the end of 2028.
Remember how America came together after 9/11 to drive terrorist hijacking deaths to zero in short order? It was a national, all-out effort that started with the hardening of cockpit doors to deny terrorists physical access to the pilots. I'm proposing a similar national effort, a child defense system if you will, with similar strategies, that will serve to solve this problem in 4 years. I'm dead serious about this.
For Every Child a Shield. To Every School a Dog
My initiative is an example of the kind of divergent thinking, new ideas, with a fresh slogan that we need to shake up this dreadful status quo. I call it: "For Every Child a Shield, To Every School a Dog." The slogan is part metaphor and part literal. For example, an armed weapons-detection canine team sniffing out guns in lockers and patrolling the halls and grounds is a shield, in its way, part of one anyway. I've come up with a strategy and plan to eliminate mass school shooting deaths in four years, and we're going to get the NRA, gun manufacturers, DHS/DOD budgets, and the mega-rich and private donors to pay for it. I'll ask and help PTA presidents at every school here in Pinellas County to hold bake sales and other fundraisers for the first 2 ballistic shields for their own schools. I'm dead serious about that too.
Examples of Mobile Ballistic Shields Capable of Stopping AR-15 Rounds
No other candidate in this Pinellas County race has a viable, implementable plan for ending mass school shooting deaths in 20 years, let alone 4. Not one that can possibly pass Congressional muster without a supermajority in the Senate and the House and a Constitutional Amendment. That's because seizing all or a sizable portion of the guns that are in the hands of law-abiding citizens would require the suspension of the 2nd and 4th Amendments and the imposition of nationwide martial law. And that, my fellow Americans, would bring about civil war on a scale I can't quite imagine given the lethality and firing rates of today's weaponry.
After armoring the cockpit doors post 9/11 we worked outward in concentric defensive rings and included simple, common-sense interdiction measures, and new tech. Measures such as bomb-sniffing dogs in airports (biologicals). Armed air marshals randomly deployed on flights. Backscatter Xray detection tech. The TSA. A national counter-terrorism watch center. Now we have drones and AI driven surveillance and overwatch.
Any comprehensive solution must also include a "long game strategy" of continuing to work to pass more stringent gun safety legislation, strengthening red flag laws, and tougher mandatory sentencing. While these measures will have a deterrent effect, legislation alone will not deter a deranged or suicidal shooter or Hamas terrorist.
Everything short of breaking the Constitution should be on the table in what I call this "brainstorming phase." This situation cries out for a nationwide de-polarization. So, I want to be clear about this particular declaration: We are not going to solve this problem, ever, if those espousing a "seize all the guns" mentality don't come off their comfortable certainty, while those espousing a "to everyone a gun" mentality won't come off of theirs. Neither of these two extremes can deliver a viable solution to this uniquely American societal problem in our lifetimes.
Our children are the pilots of our future. Their cockpits are their classrooms. Their classroom doors are their cockpit doors. We can start with armoring those classroom doors and school entry points. We can preposition a few literal ballistic shields in every school office in every school. A hundred thousand ballistic shields for a hundred thousand schools. Then another 100,000 shields in batch 2. Then batch 3. We get a couple in each classroom.
Weapons detection dogs and handlers? Do it. Sniff out those guns, deter potential gun smuggling students from even trying it. Watch the video above of how Hampton City Schools have been doing it. Give our kids and school staff temporary life preservers, of any kind, until the police can get there. All of these are just some of the low hanging fruit we can grab first to prevent bullets from hitting young bodies, quickly, as a short-term stop-gap strategy at a minimum.
We may not be able stop all mass shooting incidents, but we can certainly end mass school shooting deaths. We can engineer a mass school shooter failure scenario, with would include an early warning and intervention program for emerging threats. A solution that yields a death count of zero (shooter excepted). And all this can be achieved quickly, with legislation that can be passed on a bipartisan basis, already budgeted infrastructure and DHS/DOD funds, with private donations, PTA fundraisers, and by executive order. Let's take a piece of that infrastructure funding, consider our schools vital national security infrastructure, and armor up and defend our national school system. We make this a national, strategic imperative. No more leaving our kids and teachers defenseless in the minutes before the police arrive.
I qualified as a marksman on the M-16 assault rifle in the Air Force at 18. I've hunted game with shotgun and deer rifle. My first firearm was a 22 rifle. My first deer was a 6-point buck. I took a gun safety course that was sponsored by the old NRA of my childhood that was all about gun safety, not gun marketing. This NRA, having been compromised in 2016 by that Putin redheaded swallow Maria Butina, and having been financially gutted through Wayne LaPierre's personal greed, must be reformed. And that reform must come from its membership, and yes, even America's gun manufacturers, and through the courts like we're seeing right now in "Wayne's World."
I may use a gun for self-defense, hunting, skeet shooting, or target practice. But I will not glorify or worship them like my opponent Anna Luna does, with her craven efforts to use guns and sex to raise campaign funds right after the Uvalde massacre. Anna Luna is the MAGA Princess of Chaos who comes bearing assault rifles and midriff. Whereas I am the voice of reason, of science, technology, engineering, and math; a father of 3, a stepfather to one, and, like my father, a staunch defender of children, above all else. I will never place guns above God and our children.
So, in the upcoming primary in August, you can pick establishment vanilla. Or you can pick the Liccione Napolitain.
Hold on tight, vote for me, and together we will rock the boat, shake up the status quo. We will re-engineer the s*** out of this terribly flawed American system that has allowed mass school shooting deaths to skyrocket in the last 10 years. All this while far too many in Congress offer up their pitiful hopes and prayers while bending the knee at the altar of the gun and kissing the rings of Wayne LaPierre and Donald Trump.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
John Liccione for Congress
For media inquiries contact John Liccione, 443-698-8156, [email protected]