Teachers Should Be Armed With Machine Guns, Says South Carolina Senator

The solution to school shootings? According to Republican senator Lee Bright (R-S.C.,) it's obvious: Teach students how to shoot, and allow teachers to carry machine guns. Right. Bright appeared on Fox News' "The Alan Colmes Show" to discuss a bill he's proposed in the South Carolina Senate, which would create offsite high school courses to teach students how to use a firearm. And while they're at it, Bright added, why don't teachers start carrying machine guns?

Here's the transcript, via ThinkProgress:

COLMES: So [teachers] shouldn’t have machine guns?

BRIGHT: I would think a teacher protecting a school grounds should be able to carry whatever she can carry legally.

COLMES: So should machine guns be legal to carry?

BRIGHT: The Second Amendment is pretty clear. It says the right to carry arms should not be infringed. [...]

COLMES: So you should be able to have any gun you want?

BRIGHT: Well, I don’t see how the government can regulate it.

Unfortunately, Bright hadn't quite fact-checked that one. We recommend that he take a look a this 2008 Supreme Court case.

In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of allowing individuals to possess firearms beyond a militia and to use it for lawful purpose. However, Justice Antonin Scalia had this to say to quell the anti-gun protests.

Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Given the terrifying prevalence of school shootings, it's understandable that people want to go that extra mile to protect themselves. Many citizens are actually wondering if armed school employees would prevent further fire from outsiders, and several pieces of legislation have been proposed to that effect. A Texas school district recently permitted teachers to be armed, and plans to put up signs that indicate that.

Unfortunately, that logic assumes that school shooters rarely have ties to the school, or that no teacher could ever possibly be a school shooter. And while the way we tackle school shootings is certainly a worthy debate, it's ironic that what allows these incidents to happen is the very thing some politicians want to put in the classroom.