RIVERSIDE — Congressmember-elect Mark Takano (D-Riverside), who takes office next month, issued the following statement on Dec. 19 in response to a statement by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) that last week’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School could have been prevented if the principal had been armed:

Congressmember-elect Mark Takano, Rep. Louie Gohmert

“While the nation is still reeling from the tragic events of last Friday in Newtown, Conn., many questions have been raised about how such a tragedy could have been prevented. Would stricter gun laws have been effective? Would an improved mental health treatment system have helped the gunman with his illness and prevented the events at Sandy Hook? Was there anything that could have been done?

“While I believe that no single answer could give us a full understanding of the events, why they took place or how to prevent similar disasters from happening again, I am convinced that one solution being considered is not only dangerous, but impractical as well.

“Earlier this week, Congressman Louie Gohmert stated on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that he ‘wishes to God [Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung] had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.’

“Since Congressman Gohmert made his statements, several other conservative leaders have expressed similar beliefs, including 2012 Republican presidential candidate [Texas] Gov. Rick Perry.

“As a teacher for more than two decades, I’m appalled at the idea of arming teachers and school administrators.

“Our schools should be sanctuaries for our children, and having guns under teachers’ desks or in closets not only sends the wrong message to our children, but also puts their lives in danger. The minute they enter school grounds, every child would be become a potential victim of a gun accident.”

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