National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre is not giving any ground on his controversial statement after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Lapierre said that gun control measures would not do anything to prevent mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults. On Friday the National Rifle Association launched a program that seeks to install armed police officers that would be stationed at schools across the country. LaPierre is not the only one who supports arming adults in schools. This morning Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall joins “Starting Point” to discuss proposal that would require some teachers or other staffers to carry concealed weapons in schools.
Marshall says the requirement is not as simple as a call for teachers or administrators to carry guns but rather an opportunity “for public school divisions to offer such training to people who want to receive such training.” Marshall adds that he has received requests via email from school teachers, administrators and principals around the world from public schools in Virginia who are asking for the training.
Marshall goes on to say that he feels thankful that police are there to react to school shootings but he thinks “individuals who are already certified to carry” a concealed weapon should be allowed to carry a gun on school grounds. He adds that his bill is not a requirement but rather an option for those who want to carry a gun and who have received the necessary four week training.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary has been raising a lot of questions about media coverage of the tragedy and the general tone of journalism today. This is especially because the victims, and many of the affected, were six and seven year olds who attended the school. The coverage has also led to painful questions about gun legislation and questions about how exactly one should go about covering a tragedy and if certain coverage is good or bad for the victims and the town. This morning host of CNN's Reliable Sources Howard Kurtz and Daily Download Editor in Chief Lauren Ashburn join “Starting Point” to discuss the coverage and its impact on the victims and gun laws.
Ashburn says, “It wasn’t until I saw President Obama get a tear in his eye that that was almost a signal to journalists everywhere that it’s ok to show your emotion.”
On the topic of gun legislation CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein says, “It doesn’t meant that you’re necessarily going to pass legislation. There are lots of barriers to that but I think you’re going to have a more robust debate than we’ve had in the last few years about what the options are.”
Kurtz says the possibility of new gun legislation is unknown but “I do think… journalists all thinking about their own kids – all deeply affected by this. For some reason this cut to the core.” He adds, “That’s why I think that emotions will help power a debate. It’s a debate where we have to be fair and we can’t push and agenda.”
On Tuesday, after the Winthrop Eagles Men’s Basketball team lost to the 7th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes their coach took the opportunity to focus on a much bigger loss. Coach Pat Kelsey gave a fiery post-game speech talking about the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and asked for change. In his speech Kelsey said he did not vote for President Barack Obama but challenged the president, the Speaker of the House, parents, teachers, rabbis, priests, coaches and everyone to step up because “this has to be a time for change.” This morning, Men’s basketball Winthrop Eagles Head Coach Pat Kelsey joins “Starting Point” to discuss his passionate speech about the Sandy Hook victims.
Kelsey says the national change that he wants to see from leaders is very similar to his business. He says, “The fights not in the locker room – the fights on the court.” Kelsey says that while he and his coaching staff might argue behind the scenes when the team takes the court they are all on the same page. On the same token he stresses that bipartisanship amongst politicians is important.
Kelsey says moving forward he plans to invest more time in looking into issues like gun control and mental health as well as talking about “the deterioration of the core values of what it means to be an American…right and wrong.” He adds that for “a massacre of these proportions to happen under out watch is scary,” referring to the shooting in Newtown.
On the topic of leadership Kelsey says every parent can set a positive example for their children. He goes on to say, “everybody in a leadership position and everybody to some extent is a leader, whether you’re a parent, whether you’re a boss of a company... Set a positive example of the right ethics, the right values, the right way to carry yourself.”