Are more guns the solution–or the problem?

Updated
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, gestures while speaking at the Red, White & Blue Festival in Bullard, Texas on Saturday, November 6, 2010.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, gestures while speaking at the Red, White & Blue Festival in Bullard, Texas on Saturday, November 6, 2010.
: Dr. Scott M. Lieberman/AP

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. has prompted some politicians to pledge to push legislation to prevent similar massacres, including a ban on high-capacity magazines and a ban on assault weapons altogether.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has suggested another remedy–arming educators. On Fox News Sunday, Gohmert proposed that principals and teachers should all carry guns: “I wish to God [the principal] had had an M-4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”

But are more guns the answer?

A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that 52% of those polled favor banning semi-automatic handguns and 59%  support banning high-capacity clips that carry more than 10 bullets. A Mother Jones study of 62 mass murders over the last 30 years says those killings were not prevented by a civilian using a gun. The analysis also found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years, resulting in “a relationship between the proliferation of firearms and a rise in mass shootings.” One leading expert explained, “given that civilian shooters are less likely to hit their targets than police in these circumstances,” arming civilians could lead to more chaos and deaths.

The Tea Party Nation has also issued a response listing ways the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School could have been avoided.

“Support the creation of local organizations to act as ‘neighborhood watch’ for schools. Had George Zimmerman been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive. Perhaps it’s time we start asking for volunteers to protect our children.”


And another local Texas business owner agrees with Congressman Gohmert to bulk up security in schools, by offering an incentive for teachers to get a concealed handgun license for a low price of $90. “Teachers can be as well trained in the use of arms as any policeman can,” he said. “The teachers are there all the time, they know what’s going on. They are familiar with their surroundings.”

Are more guns the solution--or the problem?

Updated