Congressman James Langevin, D-R.I., was just a teenager when his life changed forever because of a gun.
“I was a police cadet, 16-years-old in the police locker room, you would think one of the safest environments that you could be in and yet an accident happened and I became paralyzed,” Langevin said on Jansing & Co.
A police officer accidentally fired a weapon in the locker room, the bullet ricocheted off one of the lockers and lodged in his neck.
“Now, it just shows that you can’t prevent every gun related incident, but we can make sure that we take common sense steps to keep our kids safe and the answer isn’t always more guns, especially having more guns around our kids. So, when I hear things like we’re going to arm teachers, security officers in schools, it does concern me,” Langevin said.
He listened at a hearing Wednesday, while Police Chief Scott Knight told a task force on gun violence that arming teachers is not the answer. The Chaska, Minnesota Chief said the proposal is a dangerous distraction.
Knight said, “It opens a host of security issues. It is very difficult for even a highly trained police officer to engage a shooter.”
Langevin said there is a difference between arming teachers and having trained police officers in schools. The latter is something he’s open to and he also supports the President’s proposals and calls them common sense changes.
“What we should do is background checks, making sure weapons don’t get into the wrong hands,” Langevin told Chris Jansing.
He’s also lobbying his colleagues in the House to bring someone who was touched by gun violence to the State of the Union address. Members of Congress are allowed to invite one person.
“I’m hoping we have a strong presence of victims or family members of victims of gun violence in the gallery that night when the President delivers his State of the Union message and talks about responsible gun control.”
Chris Jansing asks if it’s the personal stories that will make a difference.
“I absolutely think the personal connections, the personal aspects of this will make a clear difference. I give the President high marks for making this a centerpiece so early on in his new administration,” he added, ”We need to keep the momentum going.”