Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) ripped President Trump‘s idea to arm teachers as a means of preventing mass shootings, saying the teachers he’s spoken to do not want to bear arms in their classrooms.
“It’s deeply controversial. What I’ve heard from a lot of teachers — because we’ve been out of session this week — is that the idea of them holding a gun and pointing it at one of their students and having to make the life or death decision of whether you have to shoot one of your students is a decision they don’t want to make,” Sanford told reporters on Monday.
Sanford said that while the teachers he’s spoken to were not on board with the idea, he said it could work in other parts of the U.S.
“It may be appropriate in some places, at minimum I think it’s the decision that has to be made at the school board level, not at the Washington level, not even at the Columbia level. This is a decision that people have to make locally,” he said.
“So for some district in rural Texas, it might work, or maybe some part of Wyoming. But based on the feedback that I’ve gotten over the last week I’ve been home, it’s something that’s probably not going to fly in low country, South Carolina,” he continued.
Trump originally floated the idea to arm teachers in school at a White House listening session last week held after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month.
“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, that could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said. “We’re going to be looking at that very strongly. And I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it.”
The president doubled down on the idea in an interview the Fox News Channel on Saturday.
“He would never have run into the building if he thought bullets were going to come flying back into him,” the president said, referring to the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz.
“He left the building pretending he was a student. He didn’t want to get shot. If he thought there were people who could defend offensively, that you could have some offensive power in there, he would have never ever gone into that school building,” he added.