If educators carried guns, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School could have been avoided–according to Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America.
The gun rights activist told Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Monday that “nothing is 100%” but if “teachers, janitors and principals were able to defend themselves with guns,” children like those in Newtown, Conn., “might have had a chance. It would serve you better than sitting like fish in a barrel.”
Pratt isn’t alone in his feelings. While the National Rifle Association has remained mum on the issue, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) also argued Sunday that more guns were the answer to stopping the violence.
He told Fox News Sunday that “I wish to God [Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hoschsprung] had an m-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out…and takes [the gunman] out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”
During the interview on Hardball, Pratt argued that guns are necessary to “control the government.” When Matthews asked for an example, Pratt pointed to 1946, in Athens, Tenn., when townsmen took up arms against corrupt government officials.
David Chipman, a former special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who now works with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told Matthews that Pratt’s argument was bogus.
“Law enforcement is here as a force of good and we’re the good guys, and that’s what we saw in Newtown. When we get rhetoric like I’m hearing right now, I think this is extremely fringe, I believe most Americans believe otherwise.”