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John Oliver Argues Police in Schools 'Make Shootings Worse' in Fiery Monologue

"It's not that surprising that the solution from the CEO of the NRA is more people with guns," Oliver said.
  • On Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tackled gun control in the wake of the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

    "We all know what the key problem is here," said Oliver. "It's guns. It's because we let whoever wants to buy a gun in this country have one, which has led to tragic consequences. The vast majority of mass shooters, including the shooters at Uvalde and Parkland obtained the weapons they used through legal purchases."

    Oliver pointed out that the National Rifle Association (NRA) hosted a convention in Texas just three days after the Texas shooting. He then played a clip of NRA chief Wayne LaPierre arguing that more funding for police departments and police in schools is what the country needs.

    "It's not that surprising that the solution from the CEO of the NRA is more people with guns," said the HBO host. "It'd be like hearing 'the garbage dump is overflowing, so we need more piles of garbage' from the head of the National Raccoon Association. I mean, what else do you really expect him to say?"

    Oliver went on to note that after school shootings, the government tends to allocate more money to police. In the six years after the Columbine massacre in 1999, the federal government awarded $750 million to the hiring of over 6,500 school resource officers, and since then, data shows that 58% of American schools have law enforcement officers on site at least once a week. Meanwhile, 14 million children are in schools in which other vital resources such as counselors, school nurses, psychologists, and social workers have been cut.

    "That is 14 million kids who are closer in proximity to a pair of handcuffs than they are to a medical or mental health professional," said Oliver.

    Oliver then argued that having a police presence in schools actually does not stop school shootings, citing a 2020 study indicating that shooters were not deterred by officers, security cameras, metal detectors, or locked doors. In addition, the schools in Uvalde and Parkland both had officers present at the school, but the shootings were not stopped. Oliver also showed a video in which an expert stated that having a police presence can actually make the shooter more dangerous, as the shooters arm themselves more, knowing that a police officer is present.

    "If school cops can make shootings worse, why then are we still pitching them as a solution?" Oliver asked. "If Off! discovered that their mosquito repellant attracted mosquitoes, they'd stop selling it, or at the very least rebrand it as a cologne for lonely mosquito bachelors."

    Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11:00 PM ET on HBO. The late night show is also available to stream on HBO Max.

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    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: John Oliver, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Texas School Shooting