Teacher-arming hysteria grows

A Republican state lawmaker in Virginia is pushing for a bill to require some teachers to be armed [UPDATED] VIDEO

Topics: Video, Gun Control, Bob McDonnell, Virginia, Gun Violence, Newtown school shooting, Editor's Picks,

This post has been updated to clarify that Gov. McDonnell has not put forward any proposals to arm teachers.

UPDATE (Dec. 19, 12:57 p.m.): Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall, R, is now pushing for a bill that would require some teachers to be armed in schools, the Washington Post reports.

From the Post:

Marshall would not only allow staff with concealed handgun permits to carry them in schools, but require school districts to designate some staff members to do so. Those employees would have to be certified in gun safety and competence, Marshall said.

From earlier:

The latest high-profile Republican to say he is open to possibly allowing firearms on school grounds is Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who said in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shootings that he thinks “that’s a reasonable discussion that ought to be had.”

McDonnell was asked about allowing “adults, supervisors, principals, teachers to be armed” in schools. He replied:

I know there has been a knee-jerk reaction against that, I think there should at least be a discussion of that. If people were armed, not just a police officer, but other school officials that were trained and chose to have a weapon, certainly there would have been an opportunity to stop aggressors trying to come into the school, so I think that’s a reasonable discussion that ought to be had.

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McDonnell stipulated that there is currently a complete ban on guns within a thousand feet of schools, with the exception of law enforcement, and that he has been supportive of that. But “I think it’s a discussion that is probably timely,” he added.

McDonnell’s comments come as a number of state legislators and gun rights advocates have proposed arming teachers as a way to prevent school shootings like the one in Newtown.

Here’s the audio, via ProgressVA:

h/t ThinkProgress.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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