Missouri officials engage in gun control discussion, following Newtown tragedy

Dec 18, 2012

More guns in schools is the recommendation of Republican state Representative Stanley Cox, of Sedalia. The national debate about guns and school safety is echoed by Missouri politicians.
Credit John Murden / Flickr

The national discussion about gun control following the Newtown, Conn. shootings that killed 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is also playing out in Missouri.

Governor Jay Nixon has stopped short of saying that Missouri needs any new laws regarding gun control, mental illness or school safety – but he did tell reporters yesterday that his administration may call for legislation designed to better protect school children from tragedies like the one last week Newtown, Connecticut: “When things this traumatic occur, I think it causes in all of us in public policy to have a conversation with ourselves and be prepared to have a conversation with Missourians and other policy leaders about what we can do to minimize the possibility of something of this nature happening in our state.”

And a Republican state lawmaker from Sedalia wants the Missouri legislature to consider whether teachers and other school personnel should be encouraged to bring concealed guns to school to defend against attacks like the one that took place in Connecticut.

Republican House member Stanley Cox said Monday that there might be less violence if people knew that principals, teachers or security officers might be armed.

Missouri law currently prohibits concealed guns at schools without the consent of the local school board or a school official.

Meanwhile U.S. Senator Roy Blunt says badly administered mental health programs should be fixed rather than blame guns for violence like the Connecticut school  killings. 

The Missouri Republican blames the federal government for helping shut down some state mental programs.

Blunt was in Kansas City Monday volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer. The sounds were a contrast to the grim topic he was asked about.  Blunt said in an interview that  federal  funds  have been  handed  some communities in states that move people from mental institutions where federal dollars  were used to help them, Blunt said, “and put them back into the community without much monitoring whether people are ready to be in the community or not.”

The Senator said gun control will bring no peaceful harvest and stands no chance of passage in Congress.