CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Rep. Gohmert says teachers packing heat — not gun control — is the way to go

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Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler. (Harry Hamburg / The Associated Press)

Just days after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and the gun debate is already heating up.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert lamented the fact that the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School were not armed, having the ability to kill the shooter. Having made some sweeping claims in his defense of current gun laws, Gohmert attracted the attention of Washington Post’s fact checkers. They specifically focused on Gohmert’s claim that concealed-carry laws decrease crime rates.

While on the show, Gohmert argued:

“And to face facts are that every time guns have been allowed, concealed-carry has been allowed, the crime rate has gone down. Washington, D.C. around us ought to be the safest place in America and it’s not. Chicago ought to be safe. It’s not, because their gun laws don’t work.”

As the nation well knows, gun control is not an easy topic to talk about. Same could be said for the concealed-carry, or “right-to-carry,” laws.

The Washington Post found that while the research on the correlation of such laws and drop in crimes is not as black and white as one would hope.

Research by John Lott, who Gohmert referenced while speaking with Wallace, and David Mustard shows some correlation between the two and is even cited by the NRA. Lott and Mustard’s work has drawn a lot of criticism over the years. An analysis of their work, reference by the fact checkers, claims that the evidence that enactment of these laws lead to less crime is “limited, sporadic, and extraordinarily fragile.”

Gohmert received three Pinocchios from the Post for his claim, mainly for his insistence that “right-to-carry” laws always lead to reduction in crime rate. The Post notes that even if the correlation was more frequent and not as sporadic as it now appears, there are usually many other factors that play an important role reducing crime rate and would need to be acknowledged.

Gohmert’s stance on Sunday echoed what many predicted the pro-gun argument to be – that if someone within the school was armed, they could have stopped Adam Lanza, the shooter, before he claimed the lives of all his victims. While on the show, Gohmert said:

“You know, having been a judge and having reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves, and, hearing the heroic stories of the principal, lunging, trying to protect — Chris, I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”

On the jump: Complete transcript of Louie Gohmert’s Fox appearanceGOHMERT: Once we have this actually open dialogue about the situation, Chris, you find out that — and John Lott has done some great investigation and study into this. Every mass killing of more than three people in recent history has been in a place where guns were prohibited. These — except for one, they choose this place, they know no one will be armed.

You know, having been a judge and having reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves, and, hearing the heroic stories of the principal, lunging, trying to protect — Chris, I wish to god she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.

WALLACE: I understand the right to bear arms and the Supreme Court has made it clear that the founders meant what they said when they put the right to bear arms in the Constitution, but let me ask you the question Dick Durbin asked. Why do people need these semi- automatic weapons?

I was reading about the Glock he had and the Sig Sauer he had, five bullets a second. There is the Bushmaster. I mean, these were created for law enforcement. These were created for the military. Why does the average person — I can understand a hunting rifle, I can understand (inaudible), why do they need these weapons of mass destruction?

GOHMERT: Well, for the reason George Washington said a free people should be an armed people. It ensures against the tyranny of the government. If they know that the biggest army is the American people, then you don’t have the tyranny that came from King George. That is why it was put in there, that’s why once you start drawing the line, where do you stop? And that’s why it is important to not just look emotionally our reaction Chris is to immediately say let’s get rid of all guns, but that’s why you do that as a judge, you react emotionally, but you use your head and you look at the facts.

And the face facts are that every time guns have been allowed, concealed-carry has been allowed, the crime rate has gone down. Washington, D.C. around us ought to be the safest place in America and it’s not. Chicago ought to be safe. It’s not, because their gun laws don’t work.

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