After Va. Tech tragedy, conservative radio hosts called for arming teachers, students in schools

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Within a day of the April 16 mass murder at a Virginia university, conservative Colorado radio hosts Dan Caplis, "Gunny" Bob Newman, Gail Fallen, and Amy Oliver referenced the tragedy to disparage gun control and to suggest that teachers and students be armed in schools.

Following the shooting rampage that killed 32 people April 16 on a Virginia university campus, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) stated, ''I think that people who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride ... I've got nothing but loathing for them." Referring to the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Kaine pleaded, "To those who want to try to make this into some little crusade, I say take that elsewhere." Yet within a day of the mass murder, four conservative Colorado radio hosts -- 630 KHOW-AM's Dan Caplis, Newsradio 850 KOA's "Gunny" Bob Newman, Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Gail Fallen, and 1310 KFKA's Amy Oliver -- referenced the attack to speak out against gun control and to call for arming teachers and students in schools.

  • After stating on the April 16 broadcast of The Caplis & Silverman Show that "[t]he only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Caplis added that "the best plan that I can come up with" is to allow "qualified volunteers from faculty and staff at different schools to be trained to protect themselves and the children. That means training in weapons, training in tactics, really professionally trained."
  • On the April 16 broadcast of The Gunny Bob Show, Newman claimed that the "anti-Second Amendment crowd, the anti-Bill of Rights crowd" planned to "exploit" the tragedy "for their personal and political gain." But later he asked, "If Hillary or Obama get elected and the Congress remains under Democratic Party control, do you think liberals in full power of our government -- do you think that they will attempt to disembowel the Second Amendment even more so than what we've seen today?
  • During a discussion with guest Larry Pratt on the April 17 broadcast of Mornings with Keith and Gail!, Fallen asked, "Will this be the incident that finally enables us to turn the corner ... because how many mornings will we have to wake up to hear of yet another senseless, malicious, hateful, cruel school shooting in which 10, 20, 30 people lose their lives and we wring our hands and ask why?" Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, replied that "gun control has not been effective" and that mass shootings have been stopped only "when there was one of the potential victims who had a gun." He also asserted, "I mean, what happened yesterday on the Virginia Tech campus is an example of gun control at its best."
  • On the April 17 broadcast of The Amy Oliver Show, Oliver promoted the arming of school personnel, stating that if "teachers and administrators were properly trained," a threat "could be neutralized." She further stated, "The key here is ... we've got to teach kids how to defend themselves, and it isn't always running away and going to call 911. It isn't always running away and finding an adult to help you. Maybe that works when you're 5 years old, maybe it even works when you're 10, but as we get older, we have to realize that there are bad people in the world." Oliver added, "[O]ur kids -- we do them a disservice by not teaching them how to defend ... themselves. "

From the April 16 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show:

CAPLIS: Listen, we knew this was gonna happen. We were talking about it a few weeks ago on the show. It was just a question of where. We know it's gonna happen again. We know that there are evil killers among us. We know that they prey on our children because they're defenseless and they're easy targets. We know they're not gonna stop coming for our kids. In -- in my view, just blaming the evil people who do this while we bury the dead isn't good enough. I think what we have to do is, we have to do more to protect our kids. We cannot less -- let mass murderers have their way with our children. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The best police force in the world can't be there to fight back for at least five to 10 minutes. By then you could have a hundred-plus dead. We know all these things. We've known all these things for a long, long time. And, and what that means is, we have two choices. We either sit back and say, well, you know, you can only do so much. We're just gonna play Russian roulette with our kids' lives. To me, that isn't good enough. Or else we move forward and we find an aggressive, sensible way to protect our children. Whether they're sittin' in a kindergarten classroom two blocks from here, or whether they're across the country, they're still kids, and I include college students as kids. And, and so bottom line is, the best plan that I can come up with is I think -- and I've been saying this for a while -- we've got to allow qualified volunteers from faculty and staff at different schools to be trained to protect themselves and the children. That means training in weapons, training in tactics, really professionally trained.

From the April 16 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Gunny Bob Show:

NEWMAN: The anti-Second Amendment crowd, the anti-Bill of Rights crowd, heard of the attack and immediately began their plans to exploit it for their personal and political gain. Is the gun the killer used to blame? Well, the guns. Or is the killer to blame? Liberals opposed to the Bill of Rights, and opposed to the Second Amendment in particular, will now and are now using this tragedy to again attempt to strip you of your constitutional rights, blaming the weapon rather than the person who used the weapon. If Hillary or Obama get elected and the Congress remains under Democratic Party control, do you think liberals in full power of our government -- do you think that they will attempt to disembowel the Second Amendment even more so than what we've seen today?

From the April 17 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Mornings with Keith and Gail!:

PRATT: Yet we have put up with so much gun control and confiscation in our own country, and we -- we're seeing the fruit of it. It, it's rotten fruit. I mean, what happened yesterday on the Virginia Tech campus is an example of gun control at its best. It reduces people to being defenseless, and it doesn't stop the bad guys from getting guns.

FALLEN: Will this be the incident that finally enables us to turn the corner, though? That's the question, because how many mornings will we have to wake up to hear of yet another senseless, malicious, hateful, cruel school shooting in which 10, 20, 30 people lose their lives and we wring our hands and ask why?

PRATT: Gail, I hope it does. I mean, I -- I hope that we as, you know, that our society realizes that, you know, gun control has not been effective. I, I hope that we do like the citizens of Texas did in realizing that, you know, it wasn't banning guns that, that was working, it was that we needed more guns out there in good people's hands to create that deterrent. You know, you guys are absolutely right; there's folks on the Hill that just don't get it, and they're already crying for more gun control. But, you know, let's hope -- I mean, that's one reason why I think it's important for us to be talking about this. You know, to talk about the, the real-life examples out there. How -- how do you stop this kind of thing? Well, well, the only places they've been stopped, again, is when there was one of the potential victims who had a gun.

From the April 17 broadcast of 1310 KFKA's The Amy Oliver Show:

OLIVER: Immediately what I thought was, somebody has told him that, has said we don't have guns in school because some child will accidentally get a hold of one and shoot you. Whereas in reality, if the gun were put in a safe place, and peo -- and teachers and administrators were properly trained, the minute a shooting occurred, the minute that somebody came in and threatened a school, that threat could be neutralized. Possibly before more lives are lost, or before any.

[...]

OLIVER: The key here is -- I've heard this repeatedly on the show today -- we've got to teach kids how to defend themselves, and it isn't always running away and going to call 911. It isn't always running away and finding an adult to help you. Maybe that works when you're 5 years old, maybe it even works when you're 10, but as we get older, we have to realize that there are bad people in the world and our kids -- we do them a disservice by not teaching them how to defend -- to defend themselves. What about a curriculum that taught -- what if hunter safety was actually taught in schools?

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