Republicans want to see more guns in classrooms. If I had written that ten years ago, the GOP would have screamed that I was using scare tactics, just like they did when people warned that they would cut funding to public schools and universities. Today, per pupil spending is about 18% below where it was when the GOP took power and Senator Jerry Tillman introduced a bill that would give raises to teachers who bring guns to school.
Arming teachers is a colossally bad idea. Most legislation has unintended consequences but few of those could lead to the deaths of children. This one certainly could. And that’s why almost 80% of teachers oppose such legislation.
The idea that more guns make us safer is among the stupidest out there. Studies consistently show that states with stricter gun laws and lower gun ownership rates have fewer mass shootings. Too many conservatives argue that mass shootings are the price of freedom. That’s just ridiculous.
Democrats need to offer a companion bill that holds the legislators who sponsor such bills accountable. Those lawmakers should bear financial responsibility for any inadvertent shootings that occur in schools as the result of putting guns in the classrooms. Victims of gun violence that occurs because teachers brought guns to school should be able to sue the state legislators who authorized it. That’s what personal responsibility looks like.
I thought that most of the really nutty stuff coming out of the Republican caucus was over. We should be over things like creating our own currency or promoting a state religion but apparently we’re not. It’s hard to know if Senator Tillman is just cynical and playing to his base, shilling for the NRA or if he really believes this nonsense. There are no good excuses. I hope the bill dies a painful death in committee but I’m sure glad we have Governor Cooper’s veto and enough votes to sustain it.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >