Education Secretary Nominee: Let Localities and States Decide About Guns in Schools

By Susan Jones | January 18, 2017 | 5:28am EST
Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos arrives with former Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., before testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( – “Do you think that guns have any place in and around schools?” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) asked Betsy DeVos at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday evening.

“I think that’s best left to locales and states to decide,” she said. “If the underlying question is--”

“You can’t say definitively today that guns shouldn’t be in schools?” an incredulous Murphy interrupted.

Murphy made gun control one of his priorities following the Dec. 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a mentally ill man who brought a gun into a gun-free zone.

“Well I will refer back to Sen. Enzi and the school that he was talking bout in Wapiti, Wyoming,” DeVos replied. “I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

(Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, had told DeVos in an earlier conversation about the rural Wapiti school having a fence surrounding it to protect children from grizzly bears.)

Sen. Murphy asked DeVos, “If President Trump move forward with his plan to ban gun-free school zones, will you support that proposal?”

“I will support what the president-elect does, but Senator, if-- if the question is around gun violence and the results of that, please know that I – I, my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence,” DeVos said.

“I look forward to working with you,” Murphy said grimly, “but I also look forward to you coming to Connecticut and talking about the role of guns in schools.” He shut off his microphone before the final word was out of his mouth.

During the presidential campaign, Trump told an NRA gathering in May 2016, “We’re getting rid of gun-free zones, OK?”

A few days later, Trump told CNN he doesn’t want students sitting in class with guns. He said teachers and school resource officers should be allowed to carry guns, “in some cases.”

"If trained people had guns, you wouldn't have the carnage that you've had,” Trump told CNN.

"The problem with gun free zones is, it's like offering up candy to bad people. They hear gun free zones and they go in there with their guns blazing."

Also See:
DeVos: 'Human Tendency Is to Protect and Guard What Is, Because Change Is Difficult'
Sanders Lectures DeVos on ‘Oligarchs,’ Suggests Her Money Got Her Where She Is


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