Newt Gingrich's guns-in-schools solution: Let's arm teachers

"We are not going to confiscate guns on the scale to make us a disarmed country," Gingrich told "Fox & Friends"

By Matthew Rozsa

Published February 20, 2018 3:30PM (EST)

Newt Gingrich   (AP/Dennis Van Tine)
Newt Gingrich (AP/Dennis Van Tine)

While most of the United States is debating whether or not to get serious about gun control, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a different solution. During a "Fox & Friends" appearance on Tuesday, Gingrich said that we shouldn't be listening to the students whose classmates were murdered. Instead, we should be giving more teachers guns.

"I think the only long-term solution, depending on the size of the school, is a minimum of six to eight teachers and administrators who are trained in the use of firearms and have conceal carry permits and are prepared to defend the kids," Gingrich told the hosts of "Fox & Friends." He approvingly paraphrased a Florida sheriff who said that America had experimented with gun free zones and they were known as "schools" before adding, "Every school in the country is supposed to be a gun-free zone. If gun control worked, how come it didn’t work? We have to be realistic. We are not going to confiscate guns on the scale to make us a disarmed country." His remarks add to the least important wing of policy in the wake of the latest national tragedy.


Gingrich's comments come as opponents of gun control have tried to devise an increasingly eclectic range of arguments to thwart gun control efforts. During an interview that was published during the weekend with Jim DeFede of CBS Miami, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., insisted that bans on semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 used during the Parkland school shooting wouldn't have been effective.

"Number one, the law would not prevent these mass shootings. Number two, there are millions of them in the street already. They’re here to stay. The genie’s out of the bottle," Rubio told DeFede.

He added: "That said, do I believe it should be harder to get one? Do I believe it should be impossible for someone to get one if they are under the condition that the shooter was in Parkland? Absolutely. And one of the problems we have there is we don’t have the complete mental health picture in the background check system."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to the airwaves last week to trot out one of the GOP's favorite blasts against supporters of gun control — namely, that they're only bringing up the issue because they want to politicize a tragedy.

"The reaction of Democrats to any tragedy is to try to politicize it. So they immediately start calling that we’ve got to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," Cruz told Fox News.

Another conservative commentator, David Brooks, incurred controversy when he insisted in his Tuesday column that the problem with the gun control debate was that Americans were being too mean to the NRA.

"If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is that guns have become a cultural flash point in a nation that is unequal and divided," Brooks wrote. "The people who defend gun rights believe that snobbish elites look down on their morals and want to destroy their culture. If we end up telling such people that they and their guns are despicable, they will just despise us back and dig in their heels."

Despite the spin from the pro-gun movement, Americans' support for gun control has reached a record high. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 97 percent of Americans want universal background checks, 83 percent support a mandatory waiting period and 67 percent want to ban the sale of assault weapons.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

David Brooks Marco Rubio Newt Gingrich Nra Parkland Shooting Second Amendment Ted Cruz