Wednesday, December 19, 2012

U.S Debate: Should teachers carry guns? Should firearms be permitted in Schools? Is Violence the answer to Violence?

Should teachers carry guns

In the wake of the Connecticut shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday, the idea of arming teachers appears to be gaining momentum in some states.

"Firearms have absolutely no place in our schools — the Dec. 14, 2012, tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is a heartbreaking reminder of this," AFT president Randi Weingarten and his Michigan counterpart, David Heckler, wrote Gov. Rick Snyder, according to the Washington Examiner.

"Permitting firearms in schools — visible or concealed — enables a dangerous set of circumstances that can result in similar tragic outcomes," the two men wrote.

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert told Fox News over the weekend that he wished the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal, who was reportedly killed after confronting the shooter, had an assault rifle in her office "locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out … she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids."

Two Oklahoma lawmakers, state Senator Ralph Shortey and state Representative Mark McCullough are pursuing similar legislation. South Dakota legislator Betty Olso is drafting a bill that would allow teachers, administrators and even janitors to bring guns to school.

Under his proposal, teachers would have to pass a background check, a certified firearms instruction program and be proficient with basic training in order to qualify to have a concealed weapon on school property, he said.

Gun control advocates have slammed the idea. Dan Gross, president of the Brady campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, has said the idea of arming teachers is "insane" and that having additional weapons at the scenes of mass shootings in recent years would have resulted in even "more carnage."

"Think about what that's saying," he said of plans like Shortey's. "It's saying the only answer to violence is more violence. The only answer to guns is more guns," Gross said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was one of the first to urge President Barack Obama to press for a weapons ban, has particularly strong words for Louie Gohmert's suggestion about having an assault rifle at the ready in the principal's office. "You know, there are people who say dumb things and then there are people who say stupid things," Bloomberg said.


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