Texas Gov. Rick Perry has indicated that he favors allowing school officials and teachers to carry guns in the wake of the Connecticut shooting that left 20 children dead.
At the same time, the Dallas Morning News
reports that he is also advising against what he called "knee-jerk" reactions by the federal government on gun control, suggesting that gun laws or policies should be left to the state and local governments to decide.
In the case of possibly allowing school personnel to carry concealed weapons, Perry said local districts should decide their own policies. But in Texas, he said, "you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state."
Perry, who ran for president this year, made the comments at a tea party forum on Monday, according to the News and several other Texas-based media outlets. He used the event to comment on a number of issues, and also raised the possibility that he might consider another bid for the presidency in 2016.
He called his national campaign during the early Republican primaries "an extraordinary experience . . . that I wouldn't trade.
"And looking back on it . . . I would do it again," he added.
On the issue of guns and violence, Perry said he also believes that lawmakers need to look more closely at what can be done to make schools safer, including strengthening mental health services to help deal with disturbed youth.
“It appears that this was a young man who was very disturbed,” Perry said, referring to Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old man Connecticut police said killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., before taking his own life.
According to the Morning News, some school districts in Texas already allow school personnel to concealed guns. But in response to the Newtown massacre, Perry said he had directed all school districts to review their emergency operation and security policies.
The governor, according to one account, paused several times during his talk to tea party supporters while mentioning the tragedy in Connecticut. He reportedly said at one point it was just "not right," adding, "We have to do everything we can to make sure that those types of evils are restricted the best that it can be."
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