Dan Crenshaw Wants to Solve School Shootings with ‘More Guns’
In the wake of yet another school mass shooting — this time in Nashville, Tenn. — Rep. Dan Crenshaw asserted that putting more guns in schools would prevent these tragedies from occurring. “If we had a minimum of two armed guards or police officers at every single school in America, you would probably prevent these from here on out,” the congressman said, adding, “Yes, more guns, the kind of guns that protect the president.”
Crenshaw also said during his Sunday appearance on CNN’s State of the Union that it’s “very difficult to build a pattern” around these school shootings because they are “anomalous.” Maybe he should start with the fact that 10 of the 17 deadliest shootings in America over the last 11 years — including school shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Uvalde, Tex.; and Parkland, Fla. — were committed with an AR-15.
“You said that they’re random,” host Dana Bash said in response to Crenshaw. “The one through line in these deaths is that they are shootings. Therefore, they are done by guns. And guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S. So shouldn’t helping save the lives of children be a top priority for you, as a member of the House majority?”
Crenshaw answered, “No, it absolutely should be, which is why I say I would look to the thing that would absolutely stop this, which is putting armed police officers at every school. I visit a lot of schools. I do talks at various schools. It’s very rare that I go into a school, especially the newer ones, and they don’t have some kind of armed police presence there at all times.”
“So the answer is more guns?” Bash asked.
“No, the answer is armed guards. No, the answer is armed guards, right, armed guards,” he responded. “Yes, more guns, the kind of guns that protect the president, that protect you all at CNN.”
This is far from the first time a Republican has suggested that more guns would stop mass shootings in schools. But scholars have investigated it, and a number of studies have found that police in schools do not reduce shootings or deaths in shootings. One 2021 study concluded that more people were killed in school shootings where a school resource officer was present than when a school police officer was not present.
“One argument has consistently been that if there was a school shooting you want the school resource officer there, but what this study says is not necessarily,” study author and Hamline University criminal justice professor Jillian Peterson told Minnesota Public Radio. “It was actually the number one predictor of the increase in casualties after the presence of an assault rifle.”
A Washington Post analysis of gunfire incidents on school grounds found only two instances out of 68 where an armed school resource officer was present and the officer stopped or disarmed an active shooter. In fact, more police in schools often leads to more negative outcomes for students and harsher punishments for students of color and students with disabilities.
While Crenshaw was arguing for more guns in schools, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy appeared on Face the Nation where he easily identified commonalities in U.S. shootings. “You can’t explain it through a prism of mental illness or a lack of school security,” he said. “The thing that’s different in the United States is the number of guns, the number of high-powered weapons of mass destruction, and the ease with which we allow criminals and dangerously mentally ill people to get those guns.”