DeGette Assails Proposal to Arm School Staff

December 20, 2012

“INSANE”: Gun-control advocates’ demonization of the conservative proposal is another sign that efforts to address the Newtown tragedy are becoming polarized

WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver assailed a Republican governor’s suggestion that school personnel should be armed to combat a gunmsn like that of the Newtown, Conn. massacre, calling it “the craziest idea” she has heard.

“Gov. McDonnell’s point is one of the craziest I’ve heard,” DeGette said of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s comment to a Washington, D.C radio station Tuesday that the commonwealth should consider taking that step.

“If teachers had had these guns, they would have to lock them up and make sure kids didn’t get them,” said DeGette, who pivoted to a discussion of the shooting massacre at a movie complex in Aurora, Colo. on July 20. “And even members of the military and law enforcement who are at the movie theater in Aurora, they couldn’t have stopped that guy who had semi-automatics. Really, that’s the craziest idea I’ve heard.”

DeGette’s remarks follow that of the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s comment on Tuesday that a House Republican’s proposed legislation to arm school staff members with firearms was “insane.”

Gun-control advocates’ demonization of the conservative proposal was another sign that legislative efforts to address the Newtown tragedy are becoming polarized.

After the Dec. 14 shooting massacre in which 20 elementary-school students were killed, House Democrats have sought to seize control of the gun-control debate.

They called on Republican House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote by this week on a bill DeGette introduced in March 2011. The legislation would restrict high-capacity ammunition clips to 10 rounds and ban the sale, transfer, and possession of larger clips sold after the legislation takes effect.

“I think there is no doubt between us that if any one of us could have reached out to that shooter and taken away his high-capacity clip or whatever you call it, we would have, Republicans and Democrats. So that’s exactly why we need this legislation,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) said to murmurs of approval from her colleagues at a Capitol Hill press conference.

Pelosi and DeGette stood shoulder at the event with more than two dozen House Democrats, most of who represent urban, liberal districts. They said although they added 21 co-sponsors in the last 24 day, none of the 150 co-sponsors of the bill are Republican. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) announced Tuesday he would sponsor a new ban on semi-automatic weapons when Congress returns in January.

House Republican leaders have resisted calls to endorse new firearms regulations. Rep. Robert Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters Tuesday that “gun control is not going to be something that I support.” They have not put forward any new proposals to prevent shooting outbreaks, such as that in Newtown or last Tuesday in suburban Portland, Ore.

Despite the differences between big-city Democratic and rural Republican lawmakers, many House members remain in the middle of the debate. These backbenchers say the status quo is unacceptable but have stopped short of endorsing specific proposals.

In an interview Tuesday, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Lone Tree) said he is “reviewing all of the federal laws (about guns) and we’re seeing what can be updated to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder) declined to endorse any new gun regulations in an interview Monday night. He said the federal government should provide more mental health services, such as federally-sponsored hotlines, to those in need.

Democrats from rural and some suburban districts have been wary of endorsing new firearms regulations after the electoral pounding they took after the passage of the assault-weapons ban in 1994.

At the press conference Wednesday, Pelosi noted that many Democrats, including the late Jack Brooks, then chairman of the Judiciary Committee, “understood when they took that vote (their political careers) were all over.”

Senate Democrats pushed for closing the so-called “gun-show loophole” following the April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, but Democrats have not united behind gun restrictions since. Democratic lawmakers hope that with a re-elected President Obama providing political cover, they will not meet the same fates again.

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5 Responses to DeGette Assails Proposal to Arm School Staff

  1. Dabney Crayon
    December 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I would say DeGette is the crazy one here but that would be too kind. She’s actually a despicable liar who worships at the altar of the State. For instance: Teachers would NOT have to “lock up” their firarms. Hasn’t DeGoat ever heard of a holster? She must not watch too many cop shows. And for her to say “the military and law enforcement” attending the Aurora theater wouldn’t have been able to stop Holmes is just unbelievable. The place was a “gun-free” zone so we’ll never know what might have been had someone been armed. DeGoat will be one of the guards at your concentration camp, America, after you’ve allowed her and her ilk to take your liberties. She’ll be doing her beloved abortions with the camps Dr. Mengele.

  2. Laurie Bratten
    December 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    DeGette doesn’t give a rip about kids, only her gun grabbing agenda. If you really care about protecting children, you will research what does and does not work. The government and law enforcement know that restrictive gun laws did not save students from being murdered in Dublane Scotland, Erfurt Germany, Aurora Colorado, Bath Michigan (38 children death by bomb), Oklahoma City, Virginia Tech etc . Read terror in Beslan by Giduck or anything by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (a psych professor and expert on terrorism who trains military and law enforcement.) The ONLY thing that works is meeting force with force. The mental health issues need to be looked into but that doesn’t do a thing in the meantime and doesn’t address the terror threat one iota. The principal at Newtown was well trained and that school was more secure than many public school I know of in Douglas County. She ran to the active threat which is exactly what is currently taught. But she was not entrusted with the tool she needed to stop the threat. We must train some of our principals and teachers to be the “air marshalls” of our schools. Many private institutions have been doing this for some time. How can anyone justify leaving kids who attend public school unprotected. I taught high school for 7 years and my husband taught for three years. We have both had extensive firearms training (including active shooter) as have many of our teacher friends. There are lots of factors to consider in a school. Concealing your carry so the kids and bad guys have no idea who the “air marshall’s” of the school are is a popular model. You need a firearm that will stop an assailant but perhaps doesn’t penetrate a wall. We need to use our heads here to protect children, not let our emotions sway us into making poor decisions that won’t save one child.

    • Michael James
      December 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Bravo Laurie! Would you consider running for DeGettes’ seat? Would be nice to have someone with intelligence in there for a change!

  3. Bill Guman
    December 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    My 24 yr. old daughter is a 3rd grade teacher in a Colorado Springs public school. As you might imagine, the Sandy Hook massacre troubled her deeply. We have had some very emotional and thoughtful conversations this past week. I personally support gun ownership; I have a conceal-carry permit. I have offered to help train my daughter to use a firearm & she may take me up on my offer someday. But she emphatically refuses to holster a gun while teaching in her classroom, nor will she bear the responsibility of having a gun anywhere in her classroom, in a lockbox or otherwise. I will not criticize her for her decision. She is an educator first, not a security officer. Is she too rigid in her refusal to arm herself in her classroom? Not any more so than those who have a “take no prisoners” attitude or an unwillingness to compromise. Is DeGette an extremist? Perhaps. But since Sandy Hook I’ve seen equal extremism on the other side as well.

  4. Karl Wildforster
    December 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    This progressive nincompoop should get on you tube and check out the Jeanne Assam video where she explains how she took out the New Life Church shooter in Colorado Springs. Then she should get a mental health evaluation.


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