GOP Candidate: Let’s Give Guns To Kindergarten Teachers

Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo.
Following the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last Thursday, we've heard politicians of all stripes share their plans for preventing future tragedies — from Hillary Clinton's call for universal background checks to Ben Carson calling for more guns. The Republican presidential contender and former neurosurgeon, who's been surging in the polls, repeated a well-worn anti-gun-control trope yesterday: The answer to mass shootings is arming everyone. "If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere, I would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon," Carson said in a sit-down with Susan Page of Capital Download. "If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon, and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't," he added. Continuing the streak, the doctor took to Facebook, writing: "As a Doctor [sic], I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies. There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking – but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away." And, Carson is no outlier in the GOP field — the idea that gun control can't stop mass shootings is pretty much dogma for Republicans, and that includes the party's presidential candidates. Just this morning, on the Today show, Sen. Marco Rubio blamed the issue on lack of mental-health coverage, and said, "The laws that many are proposing would have done nothing to prevent these attacks." The numbers, however, don't back up that assertion. This summer, the National Journal published a chart comparing states' gun-control laws with gun deaths. The chart's title says it all: "The States With the Most Gun Laws See the Fewest Gun-Related Deaths.” Note that it doesn't read, "The States With the Most Heavily Armed Schoolteachers…"

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