CNN Liberals Dismiss Arming Teachers to Protect Schools

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On Saturday’s The Chris Wallace Show, CNN demonstrated that, in spite of promises of reforming its biases, worthwhile discussions of how to deter mass shootings are still lacking as a panel that actually included two conservatives still failed to point out the link between gun-free zones and mass killings.

After recalling that the Justice Department just released a report critical of the police response to the Uvalde school shooting from 2022, Wallace went to the panel for reaction, leading New York Times reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro to complain about the U.S. being “awash in guns” and suggesting that nothing would work to make schools safe.

After right-leaning contributor Jonah Goldberg used his allotted time to complain that media coverage leads to copycat attacks and recommended police reforms in places like Uvalde, but still did not mention the evidence that arming teachers works, Kara Swisher jumped in to declare: “The reason is there’s too many guns. That’s really pretty much it.

After Goldberg merely responded, “But that’s not a solvable problem right now either,” Swisher added: “Well, it’s not a solvable problem, but there’s only one reason there’s school shootings all the time, is, one, we’ve become very numb to it, like, ‘Oh, another school shooting.’ And, two, there’s too many guns. It’s really pretty much the entire –“

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Right-leaning panelist Reihan Salam of National Review then weighed in by first bringing up recommendations popular with liberals like questionable red flag laws and safe storage requirements before host Wallace was the one who brought up the issue of arming teachers: “Should teachers — in at least 30 states around the country, at least some teachers in those states are allowed to bear arms. Is that an answer?”

Salam responded by merely calling it “reasonable” for teachers to volunteer to arm themselves rather than touting it as a possible game changer.

Swisher then jumped back in to proclaim that arming teachers is not the answer because “you don’t know who they’re going to shoot at, and there’s kids in the way.”

After Wallace asked her why she was opposed, she added: “Because this is — we’re not in a movie here. We’re not in some Western. There are kids in the way. If there’s one mistake and a teacher shoots a kid, it’s just – it’s just incomprehensible.”

The right-leaning Salam then timidly jumped to voice partial agreement with his liberal colleague as he responded: “I absolutely agree with you that it shouldn’t be a free-for-all, and it should be something where you have folks who are disciplined and well-trained.”

Garcia-Navarro then admitted that she had spoken with teachers in Utah who approve of bringing their firearms to school for protection, but then added: “But the other side of this is that, of course, they also know that putting a gun inside of a classroom might mean that they harm the wrong child. And having a teacher point a weapon at a student, what message does that send to the other students? It’s a very complicated issue.”

It was not addressed that there is research finding that nearly all mass killings in public spaces occur in those that do not allow civilians to be armed (gun-free zones), and that the possibility of teachers misusing their firearms is a exaggerated by liberals. Right-leaning crime researcher John Lott frequently criticizes the media for failing to note during a mass shooting when the target is a gun-free zone (which is usually the case).

Transcript follows:

CNN’s The Chris Wallace Show

January 20, 2024

10:29 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS WALLACE: We want to focus on the bigger issue: how to keep our kids safe in school. And take a look at this. Since 2018, there have been 185 school shootings resulting in injuries or death. So, Lulu, big picture: Can we keep our kids safe in school?

LULU GARCIA NAVARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Not in this America unfortunately, and I think Uvalde shows that. It’s a devastating — devastating day when the report came out and you just see the families in absolute agony. And I think that, you know, when you have a country that’s awash in guns, it doesn’t matter how hard we make the schools. It doesn’t matter if we give our kids, you know, clear backpacks and put metal detectors and have school resource officers and on and on and on and arm our teachers. The fact is that, no, we can’t, I think, in this America right now.

(…)

(Jonah Goldberg of the National Review suggests improving police procedures and complains about Nikki Haley recommending increased screening as impractical, and that excessive media coverage causes copy catting.)

(…)

KARA SWISHER: The reason is there’s too many guns. That’s really pretty much it.

JONAH GOLDBERG, THE DISPATCH/CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But that’s not a solvable problem right now either.

SWISHER: Well, it’s not a solvable problem, but there’s only one reason there’s school shootings all the time, is, one, we’ve become very numb to it, like, “Oh, another school shooting.” And, two, there’s too many guns. It’s really pretty much the entire —

REIHAN SALAM, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE/NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, just, I mean —

GOLDBERG: I don’t think it’s the entire thing at all.

SALAM: There are other market democracies that have similar levels of firearm ownership per capita. The thing that’s really scary about this that it’s — there’s an almost virality to this. There’s a copycat element to it. And I think that, you know, one really big thing that we need to do is to effectively prosecute gun crimes. I think it is legitimate to say if you are not storing firearms properly in your home, there should be legal consequences for you — I’m thinking about the parents of kids who are disturbed. Red flag laws are something that are, you know, just identifying people who have severe mental illness, and seeing to it that those guns are taken away. … (inaudible) … a lot of bipartisan support (inaudible) …

WALLACE: But let me — let me ask you about another question.

SALAM: Please.

WALLACE: Should teachers — in at least 30 states around the country, at least some teachers in those states are allowed to bear arms. Is that an answer?

SALAM: I think it’s entirely reasonable for teachers to raise their hand and volunteer for training in how to use firearms responsibly and effectively. I think that’s legitimate. This is a big, diverse county, and I think you’re going to have —

SWISHER: … (inaudible) that the answer to guns is more guns with teachers, and you don’t know who they’re going to shoot at, and there’s kids in the way.

SALAM: It is reasonable for citizens to raise their hands and say, “I am going to undertake the kind of training to be someone who is a responsible person who’s able to respond to (inaudible)” …

WALLACE: Why do you think that guns (inaudible) in classrooms?

SWISHER: Because this is — we’re not in a movie here. We’re not in some Western. There are kids in the way. If there’s one mistake and a teacher shoots a kid, it’s just – it’s just incomprehensible.

SALAM: I absolutely agree with you that it shouldn’t be a free-for-all, and it should be something where you have folks who are disciplined and well-trained.

NAVARRO: I’ve actually interviewed teachers who have trained in Utah to carry guns after Uvalde, and what I will say is that it is a complicated issue. I actually — there is some nuance here, which is this: Teachers do not feel safe in this country. They are afraid — they look at Uvalde, and what I will say is it is a complicated issue. I actually — there is some nuance here, which is this: Teachers do not feel safe in this country. They are afraid. They look at Uvalde, and they say, “Who is going to come for us? Who is going to protect us? We are there with a potentially disturbed child who might have a gun, and what are we going to do to protect ourselves?” Which is happening. But the other side of this is that, of course, they also know that putting a gun inside of a classroom might mean that they harm the wrong child. And having a teacher point a weapon at a student, what message does that send to the other students? It’s a very complicated issue.

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