RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – In response to a question during a radio interview, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said there should be a discussion as to whether teachers and school administrators should be allowed to carry guns in school following Friday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The following is a transcript from Tuesday’s interview during “Ask the Governor” on Washington-based WTOP radio:
Interviewer: What about the idea of allowing people – adults, supervisors, principals, teachers – to be armed inside of public schools in Virginia?
Gov. Bob McDonnell: I know there’s been a knee jerk reaction against that, I think there should at least be a discussion of that. 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 have been an opportunity to stop aggressors from coming into the schools, so I think that’s a reasonable discussion that ought to be had. If you remember we went through that same discussion about airline pilots after numerous hijackings.
Later in the interview the host asked, “It’s fair to say that you are open to looking at the possibility of allowing law abiding citizens to carry guns in schools beyond law enforcement?”
“Well, right now we have a complete ban, and I’ve been supportive of that,” the governor responded. “But I think that’s a discussion that is probably timely, especially you look at the facts at least from what they’ve been reporting in Connecticut, when this perpetrator went into the principal’s office apparently and actually killed the principal who was lunging – according to the facts that have come out so far – at the perpetrator heroically to try to stop him. If a person like that was armed and trained could they have stopped the carnage in the classroom? Perhaps. So I think these are discussion that rational people should have to see what works to be able to stop school violence.”
Anna Scholl, whose organization ProgressVA sent out a media alert following the governor’s statements, disagrees with the governor’s opinion.
“One of the reasons this tragedy has hit us so hard is because in America we hold our schools sacred as safe places for learning, opportunity, growth,” ProgressVA Executive Director Scholl said. “There is just no reason for there to be guns in schools. Period. “
“I think most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control,” he said. “There won’t be one perfect law to stop a crazy person from doing evil things. But when we have close to 30,000 killings a year from all types of gun violence, even if we save a few lives, we make progress.”