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Friday, December 21, 2012

Kory's Report from Richmond: We need gun safey laws, not armed teachers

Gov. McDonnell’s outrageous and irresponsible comments in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy cannot go unanswered.

As the head of our commonwealth’s government, he should be setting an example of thoughtful reflection upon this event which has become the recent focus of our entire nation. He should be proposing serious measuresthat our state government can take to lessen the likelihood that such a school killing spree will happen again.

Particularly because Virginia has the very sad distinction of being the site of the worst school shooting in history, our governor should be prominent in the current sober national discussion—not increasing the chances that we will become fodder for “The Rachel Maddow Show” again.

Yet while speaking on his regular “Ask the Governor” radio show, he suggested that we should be arming teachers and administrators. He wants more guns in schools—not less!

He says that handgun and rifle training ought to be part of required teacher training and that armed police should be stationed in our schools. Instead of reducing violence in schools, he is setting the stage for a showdown-at-the-OK-Corral in your very own neighborhood school. Now that he has signed legislation repealing Virginia’s one-gun-a-month law, our teachers should have no trouble stockpiling guns in their classrooms as he recommends.

I know without a doubt that the Virginia General Assembly will not pass any gun safety legislation in the upcoming session, and no amount of protesting or shaming will change that. I also know that the governor will not demand or even encourage us to make Virginia a truly safer place for students and their families.

But knowing that legislative failure awaits should not prevent us from bringing the issue to Richmond and spotlighting the lack of responsible action there. We should not settle for defeated silence. We should not settle for “now is not the time.” If this is not the right time to bring sanity and gun safety to Virginia, I cannot imagine the horror that would finally be the “right time.”

Kaye Kory represents the 38th District in the Virginia House of Delegates.


  1. Having an armed officer at each school would not hurt. Children are already around armed police all the time in day to day life. She seems more interested in how she'll appear before some hack MSNBC talking head. Need to score those political points off a tragedy I guess. In a few months this story will fade from the minds of the news media and politicians. They'll have milked it for all the ratings and points that they can get, and they'll move on to something else. Maybe they'll go back to pretending to fix the economy. Virginia is already very safe, but I guess it would be bad business to let a tragedy go to waste.

  2. Please site the source of this quote: He says that handgun and rifle training ought to be part of required teacher training.

    The quote I read in your linked article is: "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 be an opportunity to stop an individual trying to get into the school".

    I don't see how you can argue with the fact that if someone in that office was armed, trained and willing to carry a gun with them they would have had the opportunity to fire at the gunman and avoid the death of so many children!

  3. I could not find where and when the Governor said "that handgun and rifle training ought to be part of required teacher training". I did see him saying maybe we should talk about having some of our school administration/ teachers armed. We have armed officers on airplanes, office building, college campuses, banks and stores. Why would we not discuss the idea of protecting our children in schools?

  4. Mason District Resident12/22/12, 11:50 AM

    I do not see anything wrong with having a policeman/woman posted at each school (yes, a lot of money and resources) to deter any intruder. I just can't imagine having armed teachers. That is simply over the top.

    Now, the question is, are we going to have armed officers at the malls, movie theaters, hospitals and other gun free zones?

    The real problem is one of MANUFACTURING far too many weapons. A gun should be a difficult to purchase as a grenade or rocket launcher

  5. Plenty of schools have armed guards. Columbine high school did, in fact. Children still died. Lanza had an *assault* rifle. Saying "if people were armed" is the worst kind of victim blaming. They shouldn't have to be armed, because schools shouldn't be getting shot up by people with ready access to high-powered weaponry and military grade body armor. We have a terrible addiction and attitude towards guns in this country, and bizarre power fantasies about shooting "bad guys". Eighty-something guns per one hundred people is outrageous. We see hoarding piles of them as normal--in the meantime, British commentators are having to assure their viewers that the NRA's press release isn't satire. The garbage I've been hearing sounds like the opinion of a bunch of five-year olds in cowboy hats.

    We should try gun control. TRY it. Study after study says the only thing that lowers gun violence is a LACK OF ACCESS TO GUNS. But we'll try anything else, anything, instead of the obvious solutions that have worked for every other country that has the same rates of mental health and the same access to violent entertainment that we do. Because we're addicted children screaming about our rights to squeeze off a few rounds anytime we want, dead kids be damned.

  6. The problem is that prohibition of any type is a child's idea of morality. People who are he'll bent of killing someone or multiple people will just give their money to another criminal. Bad people have found plenty of ways to skirt the laws whenever something is banned.

  7. Then lets not even bother, right? People bent on killing will always be able get their hands on assault weaponry and bucketloads of ammo. So let's not even attempt to make it more difficult or put in place effective, nationwide laws to reduce the number of high-powered guns available to anyone who can walk into a Walmart. Sitting on our hands is a great solution which I'm sure will be very effective.

  8. Its the same idea that if you take away a suicidal mans shoelaces and razor blade that he will stop wanting to kill himself.


    A quote: Many lives would likely be saved if people disposed of their firearms, kept them locked away, or stored them outside the home. Says HSPH Professor of Health Policy David Hemenway, the ICRC’s director: “Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide.”

    But few can survive a gun blast. That’s why the ICRC’s Catherine Barber has launched Means Matter, a campaign that asks the public to help prevent suicide deaths by adopting practices and policies that keep guns out of the hands of vulnerable adults and children. For details, visit