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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

VA politicians: Restricting guns vs. arming school officials

Since the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, Virginia politicians have been talking about guns, but their solutions for preventing more violence has taken different directions

Gov. Bob McDonnell suggested we have discussions about allowing school officials to carry firearms on campus. Speaking on WTOP radio Dec. 18, McDonnell said, “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.”
McDonnell, a Republican, acknowledged there would be a “knee-jerk reaction” against arming school officials, but said, “I think we should have a discussion about it.” He suggested that if the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School were armed and trained, she “could have stopped the carnage.”

The governor’s remarks brought swift condemnation from Democrats. State Senate Majority Leader Dick L. Saslaw, whose district includes parts of Annandale and Mason District, responded:  “And when that fails to stop this, what’s next? Arm the students? If teachers wanted to carry guns in order to do their day job, they would have become policemen.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly called McDonnell’s statements “outrageous and insensitive,” noting that “even the NRA hasn’t gone this far.” Connolly represents Virginia’s 11th District in Congress, which includes much of Annandale/Mason.

“When he talked about the principal and other administrators in the school lacking training in guns and not possessing guns on premises, which happens to be a violation of Connecticut law, he was, in fact, blaming the victims,” Connolly said. “The governor is actually implying that this heroic principal, who gave her life to protect the children in her care, was somehow inadequate, that she could have done more.”

A column by Connolly calling for courageous politicians to defy the “thuggish tactics of the gun lobby” and support new restrictions on firearms was published in the opinion pages of the New York Times Dec. 17. 

“Reasonable gun safety measures like rigorous background checks to keep dangerous weapons from criminals and the mentally ill, a ban on assault-style weapons designed to kill dozens with ease, and stiff penalties for gun owners who fail to secure their weapons have broad public support, even among gun owners and NRA members,” Connolly wrote. “Surely we, as a civilized society, can now move beyond the ridiculous argument that any restriction of any kind is an assault on individual liberty.”


  1. With liberals like these in charge, future mad men will always have plenty of areas where people cannot defend themselves.

  2. McDonnells comments are so outrageous, they are laughable. Really, this is his solution? This makes me very concerned that he suggested this crazy idea. I guess he would rather say anything other than common sense.

  3. I think what the governor meant is that we should arm the school officials with ultrasound wands.