Republican Governor Terry Bransad is faulting President Obama for failing to outline a new approach to fighting terrorism. But Branstad himself is expressing opposition to one response some of his fellow Republicans have proposed: allowing guns in schools.
“That’s a very controversal issue and I’m not going to wade into it because it just divides the country,” Branstad said today. “instead, we need to focus on constructive things we can do that focuses on the real threat.”
Iowa schools are currently “gun-free” zones. Critics say that makes them a target for mass shootings.
“I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment, but I don’t want to try to divide people on an issue that people have real strong opinions on,” Branstad said.
The governor said he is “satisfied” with the law as it currently stands.
“I’m not advocating any changes,” Branstad told a group of reporters.
In 2013, Republicans in the Iowa Senate tried to let teachers, administrators and other school staff who have a permit to carry a gun to be allowed to bring a gun to school. Their proposal was not adopted in the Democratic-led Senate. That debate came in the wake of a mass shooting at a Connecticut school that killed 26. Last night, President Obama addressed the nation after a mass shooting at a government facility in California and Governor Branstad said Obama made a “big mistake” by bringing up gun control rather than seeking to unite the country against a common enemy.
“I think people are concerned about the safety of our country and the threat we have from ISIS and this Islamic terrorism,” Branstad said. “We know that gun control is a very divisive issue and people have very different views on it.”
Branstad made his comments to reporters after speaking to at an elementary school assembly in West Des Moines.