Lawmaker wants teachers to carry guns

A state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation next session that would allow teachers to carry guns in school.

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, says he plans to introduce the legislation as a result of the shooting deaths of 26 children, teachers and school administrators at an elementary school in Connecticut. Cornish says arming teachers and staff would be the best option to prevent additional attacks.

“It’s something that we have to face that all of the laws in the world sometimes aren’t just going to work,” Cornish said. “The cop can’t be everywhere so the best person to defend yourself is yourself.”

Cornish’s plan has been pushed by gun rights groups as a result of the tragedy in Connecticut but it’s already being dismissed by Governor Dayton.

“I think that would just increase the danger,” Dayton told reporters this morning. “To have weapons in classrooms, to me, defies common sense.”

Gun control is likely to be a hot topic at the Legislature this year. Some advocates want tougher background checks on those buying guns.

  • JBL

    “… the best person to defend yourself is yourself.” If that’s the case, we should really be letting the students carry guns too.

  • SHMurphy

    JBL, while it is true that there are young children out there who have been taught to respect guns, the vast majority of parents have not instilled this lesson in their kids. There is a level of maturity and responsibility that teachers have that young students… well, you know.

  • Brian

    Tony, that is sick.

  • RonLE

    SHMurphy, I’m guessing (hoping) that JBL intended the comment to be ironic.

  • Jennifer

    As a teacher and a parent, this is one of the stupidest pieces of proposed legislation that I have ever heard. I sincerely hope our legislators don’t waste any time on such a ridiculous proposition. They have plenty of other work to do – work that could actually help people. And I would hope that Rep. Cornish’s constituents remember his inappropriate political grandstanding at a time of deep national sorrow when re- election time comes. For shame.

  • John the Libertarian

    The so called school “gunfree zone” has once again, tragically proven itself to be the “feel good” farce it is. How many more of these innocent children must die on the altar of political correctness? We’ve had 15-17 years of this failed idiocy and what has it gotten us? Let’s try 10 years of letting RESPONSIBLE teachers who have concealed carry permits to be able to protect themselves and the children in their care- FACE IT hopolophobes, your school zone gun free zone nirvana is a FAILURE, and it’s price has been the deaths of many innocents. Will armed teachers prevent such tragedies? Obviously not. What they will do is drastically reduce the number and seriousness of the resulting casualties. Then, after some few of these armed response inncidents occur, sputtering the perpetrators desire for glory and martyrdom, maybe the allure will show itself to be grotesque chimera it is. Come on hopolophobes, your naive sociological experiment has had 17 years to run it’s course and it has FAILED. It’s time to try something else for 10 years that at least has a chance to work. Our children deserve NO LESS.

  • Brian Rappe

    How is this going to be funded, will teachers bring in their own guns, will there be training? We take money from the schools to make the state budget work, now instead of shrinking class sizes, hiring more guidance councilors, investing more in mental health the solution is arming teachers. That should raise test scores.

  • JBL

    We have no evidence that teachers carrying guns in school will reduce casualties in this kind of situation. We do know that more guns increase the liklihood of accidental shootings. Given that school shootings like this are extremely rare (as the same people who support arming teachers will emphasize to protect their other gun rights), and accidents do happen, this bill would have more costs than benefits. This is not phobia, it’s math.

    (And yes, I was being very ironic in the first post.)

  • Ron Lietz

    Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder should return to his district where he is poorly manages a ten man police department. He should also learn how to dress. He looks like a small time sheriff–which he aspires to be.

    He is now in the minority, and will remain there. His days of committee chair, terroizing people are over.

  • Jerod

    If you knew your teacher was armed, I’ll bet you’d get your homework in on time.

  • AnnT

    And look how well “arming herself” worked for this young mans mother. This is such crazy talk…arming teachers. I really find it hard to believe that rational people think like this. Really hard to believe.

  • Howard Schneider

    Two examples right here in MN of men arming themselves for protection:

    – In Rochester, minister shot his granddaughter twice when she was out on the porch.

    – In Cold Spring, retiree murdered two unarmed teenagers who entered his home, certainly for no good, but his response was murder, not self-defense.

  • RFiereck

    This is a truly disappointing move. Doesn’t solve any real issue. Lets talk more about how we can fund prevention. I don’t even think the GOP would want to hang their hat on this issue.

    We must fund prevention programs, not knee jerk reactions.

  • Amy Wilde

    So what if a student lights a firecracker in the hall as a prank and a nervous teacher blasts the first person to come in the door? Or if a curious (or angry) student finds his teacher’s weapon? (like Mrs. Lanza’s son helped himself to her arsenol.) The facts are clear: a civilian’s weapon is much more likely to kill or wound a loved one than to harm an intruder or stop a crime. (Ex: the MN 2-year-old seriously injured by his dad’s gun last month.)

    The NRA needs to realize that assault weapons are offensive, not defensive, and NOT needed for self defense or hunting. Arming teachers would only up the ante. A better suggestion: ban multi-round clips to reduce overall firepower.

    Reality: the US has had 12 of the world’s past 20 mass shootings because WE HAVE THE MOST GUNS. Duh. The NRA’s strategy of arming more people to make us safer has failed. Our lax gun laws result in dead children. Enough is enough.

  • John the Libertarian

    Why do we need the misnomered “assault weapons”: well how about the only people in Los Angeles during the riots after the Rodney King verdicts, when law enforcement fled and the people were without protection for over 48 hours? (and the only merchants who didn’t have their stores torched and looted were the Korean merchants atop their stores armed with the evil “assault weapons”). Or, you might ask yourself why does my DOMESTIC law enforcement agency, (homeland security) need 300 million rounds of .223 ammunition (same as the misnomered “assault weapon”)? Do they expect 300 million jihadis to cross the border, or more sinisterly, do they plan on using it domestically against US citizens in case of mass civil unrest? Might you not want semi automatic rifles against a government gone wild like at Ruby Ridge and Waco ( that suffered probably as many kids dieing in the inferno, but this time at the hands of the all knowing big brother)? Finally, for those deluded by the “it can’t happen here” attitude, remember that the organization “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership” has documented that EVERY genocide that occured in the 20th century (at a loss of over 50 million people) was preceded by gun confiscation… think about that before you blindly support banning these firearms- you just may get more than what you want…

  • Anthony Floyd

    How do these guys get elected?

  • Mike McDonald

    Moronic and insane idea. Luckily this clown is in the minority.

  • Spunkyhot1

    I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for teachers to carry guns. What it basically comes down to is that it shouldn’t have to be another responsibility on their shoulders.

    What we really need are security guards in our nation’s schools at all levels from elementary through college. Why not use military personnel to provide that protection? The ones who are still enlisted in the armed forces could be persuaded to stay (especially if the economy isn’t too rosy as a civilian) or they could choose to be put on reserve status on a transitional basis.

    The only drawback to this is the atmosphere for the students. Will they feel like their school is a war zone? On the bright side, they would be protected and bullying on school property would most likely decrease.

  • John E.

    Teachers should NEVER EVER be allowed to carry guns in schools. Just because a person has been through the customary conceal and carry class and subsequent firing of a hand gun, certainly does not properly prepare them for the actual use of this hand gun in a do or die situation. Secondly the misuse of these “legal” hand guns has in some cases, cost these legally trained people their own lives or the lives of other innocents. Also these legally trained users of handguns have NO idea of what it takes or feels like to take a human life, or the ramifications of such an action. As far as banning these military type semi automatic weapons, it should be carried out as soon as possible and should include ALL of these weapons that are now in the possession of the public in general. There is no need for this type of weapon except for seeking thrills. I myself own rifles for big game hunting, small game hunting and shotguns, these weapons are made for and used for hunting purposes. Most guns of this nature have a maximum load capacity of (6) six rounds with the exception of a 22 caliber rifle that can hold as many as 10 rounds, unlike the military style weapon that seems to be popular with the people that carry out these acts of terror. They can get access to magazines that can hold 20, 30, 50 or in some cases 100 rounds. Some gun owners claim these types of guns are also used for hunting, well if you should need more than 6 rounds to take down a deer, get out of the woods because you certainly need more training in the use of your weapon.

  • Amanda

    I am a mother of a six year old, and I am so happy that this is taking place in MN. Finally a great legislation!! The only one that makes any sense at this point!! This will deter those disgusting coward from shooting “safe zones” which is 98% of the time their target. I don’t hear about shootings in police stations or gun stores!!

  • Jordan

    I support this one hundred percent!! I am so tired of everyone else’s ridiculous propositions of taking away our second amendment. They need to take a history lesson on why we have that in place and also study the countries where they took away that right. This was one of the first things HItler did when he was dictator. Weaken the people. Then take away more rights. Then they cannot fight back against a tyrannical goverment. This is empowering for teachers, I wish the principal and teachers in CT would’ve had access to a gun and firearms training. Could’ve been a very different scenario…

  • Jackie

    Wonderful news!!! I support this all the way!!! :):)

  • BJ

    Teachers with guns? No. Other staff, such as admin and custodial staff? With proper training, yes!

    All of you nay-sayers who think that banning assault weapons will solve the problems, think again. Read the FBI statistics on homicide in the US. 46% killed by handguns, only 3% killed by rifles (all rifles, not just assault rifles). 6% were killed in fists fights and 5% by blunt objects.

    Yes, we need stricter gun laws to (attempt) to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. A person hell bent on hurting kids in schools or other mass killings will do it with or without guns. Guns just happen to be the most efficient killing tool. So, go ahead and put your head in the sand and think banning guns is the solution. If you educate yourself you will realize it is not.

    Read the police research on these mass killings. Read what the experts have to say. Ever heard of the massacre that happened in Belsan, Russia? Think it won’t happen here? Guess again. We live in a country where the vast majority of people are good people who would never even think about harming a child. However, the sooner you stop pretending that evil people don’t exist and realize that those evil people will only be stopped by force the sooner we will become safer.

    If you think I’m a crazy right-wing fanatic, then please PLEASE call your school district and demand that every school have a police officer.

  • KC

    As a teacher in a Minnesota public school, I was struck very personally by the tragedy in New Jersey. I had spent the entire day before the tragedy with a classroom full of beautiful, vibrant kindergarteners, and as the news unfolded each one of their faces ran through my mind. Our school uses similar precautions to the Sandy Hook Elementary School; the school is locked outside of normal student arrival time, there are sign-ins and you have to be buzzed-in, and we do lockdown drills. Last week’s horror showed just how tenuously helpful these measures can be in the face of someone determined to do evil. Looking at the glass fire escape doors in each kindergarten classroom now I shuddered.

    Although I am comfortable with firearms, although I have carried one on my person for protection when hiking in wilderness areas, although owning a firearm has saved my life, I would not be comfortable bringing one into the schools. I do not have the training of a police officer in response to threat or in hand-to-hand combat. I encounter almost daily children who could themselves present a threat if they believed they had access to a firearm. Some of these children have severe mental or emotional issues, and it concerns me that if I were to carry a weapon on my person they might attempt to go after it. As long as we are enrolling such children and putting them in the general school population, I do not believe that it would be safe for teachers or students to have any access to firearms.

    At the same time, I do believe we need to step up and do more to secure schools. In the large cities where I have worked previously, there were metal detectors at every school entrance, and windows were barred against exterior entry (with interior escape latches). There were armed police assigned to the schools for normal hours and special events. I felt much safer with the armed police present on the school grounds (the first time I saw this was when I myself was in sixth grade, in the Seattle area). As a teacher, I felt the students were also more aware of their personal behavior and responsibility when police were present at the school. I would support measures to increase the physical security of Minnesota schools, including the presence of armed police officers (an expense as a taxpayer I could easily justify). I just would not want to be responsible for a firearm myself, nor would I be comfortable with the majority of my fellow teachers carrying unless they had undergone extensive training and certification.

  • Randy

    I would hope that teachers do not carry weapons. I am in favor of putting armed security in schools. Now that be trained professionals, off duty police offficers, corrections officers or what have you, but someone who has knowledge of weapons, can go hands on with the person, and has the capacity to talk down the person without violence. You will need to cover all 3 area’s, as shoot first, ask questions later is not the answer either.