by Scott Bauer
Madison, Wis. ( Associated Press) — Wisconsin’s top legislative Republican said Thursday that he is open to the idea of arming teachers after the latest school shooting in Texas, while hailing a proposal from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers as “outrageous.” rejected. floor.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Associated Press that finding ways to better protect schools, including additional police, armed security guards and armed teachers, “should be on the table.”
“It’s not just the teachers. It’s making sure that the people who are inside the school have the ability to defend themselves,” Vos said. “But the idea that we’re going to do such a heinous act and find some kind of logical way to stop it 100% of the time, I don’t see it happening.”
Evers, when asked about Vos’ proposal at a press conference on another topic, said he didn’t think teachers would support it and that it would make schools more dangerous. Evers is a former teacher, school district superintendent and state superintendent.
“There are better ways,” Evers said. “I want to think about finding ways to keep guns away from people who are going to cause these kinds of problems.”
Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul dismissed the proposal as a “really wacky and frankly dangerous idea.”
“We cannot turn our schools into war zones,” he said. “It’s not going to make them safer. In fact, it’s going to make them more dangerous.”
Democratic State Rep. Deb Andraca of Whitefish Bay tweeted opposing the idea.
“I am a licensed teacher and a gun owner with my Secret Carry Permit,” she said. “This is a terrible idea.”
Vos said more people in schools trained to deal with violent outbreaks could respond to a range of problems, including not only shootings but also sexual assault and other crimes.
Previous Republican proposals to divide teachers have gone nowhere in the GOP-controlled Legislature. And any bill that does so now will almost certainly be vetoed by Evers, who is up for re-election in November.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson was also open to the idea.
Her spokeswoman Courtney Mullen said Nicholson had “armed and professionally trained” professionals guard the schools whenever possible, but that “some teachers trained and licensed to protect our students may also be allowed.” “
The other three Republican candidates for governor — Rebecca Clayfish, Tim Mitchell and State Representative Timothy Ramthun — did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this year, Evers vetoed Republican bills that would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to carry firearms in vehicles on school grounds and in churches located on the grounds of a private school. He also vetoed a measure that would have allowed anyone with a concealed carry license from any state to be armed in Wisconsin. Currently, only people with licenses from states that do background checks on applicants can carry covert guns in Wisconsin.
Evers and other Democrats called for action this week when an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two of their teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Evers called a special session in 2019 for the legislature to pass a universal background check for gun purchases and a “red flag” law that allows judges to temporarily remove firearms from people determined to be at risk. Will give
The Legislature did not take up those bills. Democrats, including Kaul, on Wednesday renewed a call for Republicans to consider the bills.
Vos dismissed Kaul’s plea as “an attempt to throw something out to make himself relevant”. Kaul is also seeking re-election in November.
Kaul said that Vos and other Republicans who refuse to act are “going away from core issues to appease the far-right in their base. And it’s a choice they ultimately made to not act.” and instead allow mass shootings to happen one after the other without any action.”
Evers urged lawmakers to find common ground. But Vos, who hasn’t spoken with Evers in more than a year and a half, said the proposal was “not a serious effort.”
“Evers, in an insidious way, talks about things that can actually happen, as opposed to things that are very difficult or impossible,” Vos said.
Evers spokeswoman Britt Kudbach did not immediately return a message.