The Corner

Leftists Are Outrageously Misrepresenting Betsy DeVos on Guns and Schools

Yesterday, during her senate hearing, Trump secretary of education nominee Besty Devos had this exchange with Connecticut senator Chris Murphy:

In response to Senator Murphy’s question, “Do you think that guns have a place in or around schools?” she responded by saying that was “best left to locales and states to decide.” That answer is unsatisfactory for most on the left, but it’s essentially conventional wisdom on the right. Different schools have different security needs. For example, some schools are so violent that they’re treated like airports — students walk through metal detectors and run personal items through x-ray machines while surrounded by armed guards. Other schools have no such history of violence but are still vulnerable to random shooters. Others may have different needs entirely — like the specific school that DeVos referenced, a school threatened by bears. 

The Left, of course, when nuts. NBC has a roundup of some of the tweets, and this, from Think Progress, is typical of the way many described the exchange:

On Tuesday, Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s Education Secretary nominee, answered a question about the presence of guns in schools during her confirmation hearing by saying students need protection from grizzly bears.

Or this, from Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe:

They’re misrepresenting DeVos, and they know it. The school she mentioned had enough incidents with — yes, grizzlies — that it built a built a fence to protect the kids:

Two years ago [a bear biologist] live-trapped two grizzly cubs that were hanging around Wapiti Elementary School, 20 miles west of Cody. Then the trap was reset for the mother – successfully.

Wapiti Elementary School has had a bear fence since 2002. As a reminder of what lurks beyond, a huge grizzly hide, complete with head, is nailed to the wall just outside the principal’s office.

“That one,” says Wapiti teacher Angie Terri, “was a problem bear. It was hanging around the school, and then it started hanging around the post office just down the street.”

DeVos’s point stands. Different schools have different needs, and it should be up to local communities to decide how best to protect the children under their care. 

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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