GOP Lawmaker Steven Long Is Giving Teachers Free Guns (Yes, Seriously)
Despite the fact that thousands of students, teachers, and gun control advocates are demanding stricter gun laws in the wake of the Parkland shooting, one GOP lawmaker has a different agenda — arming teachers.
South Carolina Representative Steven Long recently tweeted that he was giving away free handguns in a drawing::
"I’m giving away 3 handguns!! 1 to a K-12 teacher/staff, 1 to a higher ed faculty/staff, and 1 to a freedom loving patriot!”
Long, who is endorsed by the National Rifle Association, explained his rationale for the gun giveaway on his official website:
"We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of children in schools, both K-12 and our higher education institutions. Allowing teachers or school staff members to carry is the most efficient and most effective way to do this… This is entirely voluntary. We aren’t forcing teachers who don’t feel comfortable with a gun to carry. Not every teacher will want to carry or needs to carry, but for those who are willing and able, we need to allow them this protection. I’m open to a discussion regarding the specifics of a program that allows teachers to carry, but it is undeniable that we must take action on this issue."
Many detractors were quick to point out that arming teachers has not been proven to increase safety on school grounds. In fact, research shows the complete opposite.
Studies conducted by The Harvard Injury Control Research Center show that more firearms in the vicinity generally leads to more deaths, not less.
Furthermore, teachers providing school security does not constitute part of their job description, and most of the parents in Parkland are against arming teachers.
Lastly, there were armed deputies present during the Parkland shooting and were unable to prevent it, calling into question whether armed teachers would actually deter future shootings.