A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education defended an anti-gun video released by the department in which Secretary of Education Arne Duncan interviews a group of inner-city children about their experiences with gun violence and discusses the possibility of making guns “less accessible,” saying that it is well within the Education Department’s jurisdiction to advocate for the Obama administration’s gun-control policies.
Duncan met last week with a small group of students at Hart Middle School in the low-income Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. to film a video about gun violence that is currently featured on the Department of Education homepage.
Duncan questioned the children on their experiences with gun violence, pressed the children to detail incidents of gun violence that had killed their family members, invoked the Newtown massacre, and raised the possibility of making guns “less accessible” in his conversation with the students, which was later edited into a video that ended with a voice over of a student’s statement, “Every time I walk, I see bullets everywhere.”
Duncan’s recent video marks another in a series of recent public statements and press releases Duncan has issued on the subject of gun control, indicating that he, like Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is doing his part to add his own department’s perspective in the administration’s push to enact gun control.
An Education Department spokesman told The Daily Caller that he sees no problem with Duncan participating in the gun-control debate, and answered in the affirmative when asked if Duncan’s duties as education secretary should involve advocacy for President Barack Obama’s gun-control proposals.
“I’m not going to tutor you on the importance of school safety right now,” the Department spokesman told TheDC. “Check the news the past couple of months to find out if the educational department has a role to play in this debate.”
“I recently visited Hart Middle School, talked to a fantastic group of students there, and tragically every single one is dealing with this in their day-to-day lives,” Duncan said in his introduction to the video. “Several of them have had family members not just shot, but killed. These children deserve more. Their stories are both inspiring and heartbreaking… we have to create a better climate, a better country, a safer place for them to live and learn.”
The Education Department released a 4:23 edited video of the conversation, which is featured on their website. The department also released video footage of the full 51 minute conversation, which is linked on the website but not featured as a clip.
WATCH THE EDITED VERSION:
WATCH THE FULL, UNEDITED VERSION: