Texas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry became the highest-ranking Republican official to throw his support behind arming teachers and administrators in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook elementary school.
During a Tea Party event in North Richland Hills, Texas, Perry “urged legislators to look at ways to improve safety at schools” and examine mental health issues, but insisted that local districts — and not the state or federal government — “should be allowed to decide their own gun policies”:
Local school districts should decide their own policies, Perry said. But if someone has obtained a concealed-handgun license, he said, “you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state.” He clarified that private property owners should be allowed to impose their own restrictions. [...]
Some school districts across the state already allow school personnel to carry guns. When Perry talked about how he had read about one district allowing teachers, administrators and others to carry weapons, he was interrupted by loud applause from the crowd. [...]
“One of the things that I hope we don’t see from our federal government is this knee-jerk reaction from Washington, D.C., when there is an event that occurs, that they come in and they think they know the answer,” he said.
Since the shooting, a growing number of lawmakers with high ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA) have come out for sensible gun safety regulations, though some local lawmakers are arguing that had teachers or administrators been armed, Friday’s massacre could have been avoided. Legislators in Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Nevada are considering the option.