Public school employees with concealed-weapons permits could carry guns in South Carolina schools if a bill filed Tuesday in the state House of Representatives becomes law.
The bill comes less than a week after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It was one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.
“The people who are doing these heinous crimes realize that there are no guns at all in a school. All they have to do is get ... in the door,” said state Rep. Phillip Lowe, R-Florence, who proposed the bill. “Even with one person watching the door, all (a shooter) has to do is take that one person out and they know the rest of the school is completely defenseless. This (bill) would put doubt in that person’s mind.”
Lowe’s proposal immediately met with heated opposition.
State Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg, called the idea “idiotic.”
“What Phillip Lowe is doing in response to the tragedy in Newtown is purely political. It makes no sense, and it is idiotic,” said Sellers, adding that he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and supports the right to carry guns.
“I don’t think there is any way Phillip Lowe or anyone else from the NRA (National Rifle Association) can tell me we can make our children safer by putting more guns in school.”
The national outpouring of grief after the Connecticut slayings has produced a wave of proposals. Some include better mental-health services for troubled youths, such as the reportedly troubled Lanza. Other proposals would ban assault-type rifles or large ammunition magazines.