As another school shooting made headlines on Thursday, former astronaut Mark Kelly waded into the national gun-control debate with a very personal perspective that more restrictions are needed.
“We certainly can’t allow ourselves to continue down this road where this happens almost now as a regular occurrence,” said Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was critically wounded during a 2011 shooting that left many dead and others wounded.
During an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Kelly railed against many of the arguments from gun rights advocates for solving shooting-relating problems, especially putting armed guards in schools. The former combat pilot said he had friends who had been elite Navy SEALs and they thought it was a “ridiculous” idea.
"I have friends that are former members of SEAL Team Six and I asked their opinion about what they think about an armed guard at the front of a school with a man potentially walking in with an assault rifle and a high-capacity magazine," he told Piers Morgan. "And you know what they think? They think it’s a ridiculous idea, that these things happen very fast.”
Giffords nearly lost her life when she was shot in the head at an outdoor "Congress on Your Corner" event in Casas Adobes, Ariz. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, killed six people and wounded a dozen others.
Kelly said having an armed guard present at a shooting like that, or the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 may not have helped.
"In that case, I don't think an armed security guard in the school would barely slow one of these guys down. It's not a good solution. Do you put somebody also in a theater? How about a museum? How about a sports stadium? Where does it end?"
"I don't think by having more guns in the public that you're going to be safer," he said of the claim that more people carrying guns would help ensure safety.
"I certainly think, and Gabby does, that you have the right to protect yourself in your home. To listen that the solution would be to put an armed guard in every school doesn't really resonate with me. I've flown airplanes in combat, I've been shot at multiple occasions… it's chaos."
Though Kelly and Giffords say they both own guns, they announced in a USA Today op-ed on Wednesday — the second anniversary of the attempt on Giffords' life — that they would counter the gun lobby.
"You know, Gabby and I, we're gun owners, we're strong supporters of the Second Amendment, and I think we're with a large part of American society that realizes there's a problem and realizes that we can come up with some common sense solutions to address this terrible condition we have in the United States."
Kelly also commented on the interview Morgan conducted with Alex Jones, the radio host who threatened a 1776-style revolution if gun rights are further restricted.
"He's got a business and an audience and I think his audience expects that out of him," Kelly said of the interview, which has gone viral. "He's certainly on one side of this issue. And I don't think a lot of the country is with him on that."
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