Connecticut congressman lashes out at Rick Perry, 'fantasy of testosterone-laden individuals who hav
Updated 5:46 pm, Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Connecticut congressman Jim Himes today challenged Texas Gov. Rick Perry about his contention that teachers with concealed gun permits should be allowed to carry weapons in schools.
Using blunt, evocative language, the Democratic congressman, whose House district is near Newtown, Conn., where 20 students and six educators were murdered last Friday, told a Capitol Hill news conference that "there are no good arguments against doing something'' to toughen gun control laws.
He ridiculed Perry's contention that teachers with permits to carry concealed weapons should be allowed to do so in schools, calling it a "pernicious argument'' in a nation already "awash in guns.''
Himes, citing a study by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said a gun in the home is "22 times more likely to be used in a suicide or a murder than it is to be used in self-defense.'' A study by the Rand Corporation of trained law officers in an exchange of gunfire found that those officers "hit their intended target less than two out of 10 times,'' Himes said.
"So the notion that more Americans . . .in the words of Gov. Perry, 'packing heat,' will make us safer is not founded in reality, facts, or history; it is founded in the fantasy of testosterone-laden individuals who have blood on their hands for articulating that idea.''
Perry, addressing a North Texas Tea Party meeting earlier this week, said local school boards should decide whether to allow teachers with concealed weapons permits to carry weapons in school.
"One of the things that I hope we don't want to see from the federal government is a knee-jerk reaction from Washington, D.C., when there is an event that occurs, that they can come in and think they know the answer," Perry said.
Perry's statement triggered a response from Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of the Texas Democratic Party, who said the governor's comments were "ridiculous and offensive.''
"It is 2012, and we have a governor who thinks the answer to our societal problems is a Wild West shoot out,'' Hinojosa said.
Here's Hinojosa's complete statement:
"Gov. Perry recently said,'(if) you are a concealed-handgun-license-carrying individual, you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state.'
"To call Rick Perry's recent statement ridiculous and offensive would be an understatement. As Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, and as a father, I could not be more revolted by his harmful suggestion. Perry thinks that the answer to horrific violence is to have more guns in schools, and at soccer games, and frat parties, and large scale public events where alcohol and emotion already lead to too many fist fights.
"Twenty children have died, and Perry sees it as an opportunity to push his own radical agenda. Nothing could be sicker and more of an abuse of power. It is 2012, and we have a governor who thinks the answer to our societal problems is a Wild West shoot out."