U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, looking for all the world like a poker player holding four aces, leaned in as he put his question to Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Department of Education. Did she believe guns belonged in or around schools?
Mr. Murphy and his counterpart in the Senate, Dick Blumenthal, are both anti-gun veterans of the Sandy Hook slaughter, though one suspects that even before a gunman entered the school, both were afflicted with a mild case of “hoplophobia,” a political neologism coined in 1936 by military officer Jeff Cooper to indicate “an irrational aversion to weapons" and also “the fear of firearms and armed citizens.”
Ms. DeVos, whose appointment is opposed by most Democrats tied to the apron strings of powerful teachers unions, replied, “I think that’s best left to the locales and states.” And indeed most decisions bearing on education are still left to municipalities and states, even though the federal government is able to bend states to its will by withholding education funding.