Governor Kim Reynolds says most of the guns used in last week’s shooting outside a Des Moines school were accessed illegally and changing Iowa’s gun laws isn’t the right response to the incident.
“The real tragedy in this situation that happened — and it is heartbreaking, heartbreaking that, you know, there was an individual killed and that we have six suspects that have been arrested,” Reynolds said. “…The age range of not only the three victims but the six individuals that have been arrested is 14 to 18.”
Reynolds says Des Moines Police tell her five of those involved were not enrolled in school and four were enrolled, but were not in school at the time of the shooting.
“I think the tragedy is our system, our educational system, is letting these kids down. They should have been in school,” Reynolds says. “We should be figuring out resources to help them stay there and to help them get an education and a life where they can take care of themselves and their family.”
Reynolds, a Republican, made her comments at a news conference Wednesday. Democrats are accusing the governor of “using the tragedy to vilify teachers.” House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, a Democrat from Windsor Heights, said the “real tragedy is that a child died and two other children were critically injured” in the shooting.
“Why are we blaming schools? Why are we blaming where they were? It is not these kids’ fault, it is not the school’s fault that these kids were shot and it is absolutely unconscionable that we would be calling anything other than the fact that these students were shot the tragedy,” Konfrst said. “I can’t believe she said it and I am furious.”
The two young women who were shot on the campus of East High School in Des Moines on March 7th remain hospitalized. The funeral for the 15 year old who was killed was held Tuesday.