Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer said Friday that President Donald Trump’s proposal to give teachers bonuses for carrying guns after the most recent mass shooting at a school “may be (a) good solution.”
On Thursday, Trump said scores of teachers have military experience and could protect their schools by carrying weapons.
“Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!” Trump tweeted earlier this week.
Colyer’s comments were made during an event with the newsite Axios. The Kansas Republican became governor last month and has avoided stirring much controversy during the early days of his tenure.
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“What are you hearing from teachers in Kansas about Trump’s idea to give a bonus to teachers who have guns at school?” Axios’ Mike Allen asked Colyer.
“Kansas is looking at Kansas solutions,” Colyer said, in comments reported by The 74. “Much of those decisions in our state are really made on the local level, so we’re just starting to hear different communities are looking at different opportunities on how they want to approach that. There’s a wide diversity of views, as everyone knows. In Kansas, they want to be very practical or very pragmatic. This may be (a) good solution.”
Kansas has historically been ardent on Second Amendment rights. An effort to roll back a law allowing concealed firearms on college campuses failed in the Legislature last year, though lawmakers turned against the National Rifle Association around the same time by passing a bill into law that allowed public hospitals to continue banning concealed firearms.
Trump’s proposal was strongly panned by Mark Desetti, legislative director of the Kansas National Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union. He called it “an absurd solution.”
“The idea, well we’ll give these teachers a bonus, are you kidding me?” Desetti said. “We’re 42nd in the nation, we don’t pay teachers to begin with, and now we’re saying ‘Well, if you’re willing to kill somebody, we’ll give you a bonus.’ I have never been so insulted, as an educator myself of 13 years in the classroom, by a proposal in my entire teaching career.”
Colyer’s comment was welcomed by Kris Kobach, the Kansas Republican and secretary of state running against him for the governor’s office in 2018.
“When the government fails, as it so often does, the last line of defense is regular people with courage,” Kobach said on Twitter. “It’s nice to see Gov. Colyer agreeing with the solution I described in my latest @BreitbartNews column.”