MNGOP Rep. Tony Cornish will introduce legislation to arm teachers

Cornish believes guns in the classroom could possibly prevent a mass shooting from occurring.

Cornish believes guns in the classroom could possibly prevent a mass shooting from occurring.

Last Friday, we told you about how some Minnesota conservatives, in the hours after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, opined that Minnesota teachers should be allowed to carry firearms in the classroom.


-- Cornish, author of "deadly force" bill, thinks Byron Smith is a murderer

-- Norm Coleman praises Obama gun control speech that didn't use the word "guns"

-- Al Franken didn't want to talk gun control on Friday; Betty McCollum did

As loony as that idea might seem to some, turns out it has at least one legislative supporter. Yesterday, WCCO's Pat Kessler reported that Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, "will introduce legislation to arm [Minnesota] teachers after [the Newtown] school shootings."

[jump] "It's something that we have to face that all of the laws in the world sometimes aren't just going to work," Cornish said, according to an MPR report. "The cop can't be everywhere so the best person to defend yourself is yourself."

Last session, Cornish authored the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act that was approved by the MNGOP-controlled legislature but ultimately vetoed by Gov. Dayton. But while he's known as a staunch advocate of gun rights, his decision to push a bill arming teachers is still a bit surprising.

During an interview with Chad Hartman last month, Cornish was asked whether he'd reintroduce to the Defense of Dwelling Act in 2013. He said there was "zero" chance.

"It's dead on arrival," Cornish said, alluding to the gun-unfriendly DFL majorities in both chambers. "I'm not going to spin my wheels when I know something isn't going to come to fruition."

You would think the same logic would apply with regard to Cornish's Armed Defense of Classrooms idea, as earlier in the day yesterday Dayton said arming teachers "defies common sense."

"You just increase the danger," Dayton said, according to a Star Tribune report.

But even though he'd likely veto a guns-in-the-classroom bill, Dayton made clear he believes Minnesotans have the right to bear arms.

"My reading of the constitution is that it provides a complete permission for any law abiding citizen to possess firearms, whichever ones he or she chooses, and the ammunition to go with that," Dayton said. "There's a limit on what society can do to protect people from their own follies."