The only unpopular policy idea to help stop gun violence is the only one that's really been enacted since the Newtown school shooting. A Pew Research Center poll released Monday finds that a majority of Americans support eight of the major gun-related proposals floated both nationally and at the state and schoolboard level since the December shooting: background checks for all gun sales, blocking the mentally ill from buying guns, a federal gun sale database, armed guards or police in schools, a semi-automatic weapons ban, an assault-style weapons ban, a high capacity magazine ban, and a ban on buying ammo online. That's right, even the National Rifle Association's proposal to put an armed officer in every single one of America's 99,000 public schools has the support of 64 percent of Americans. But a majority opposes the one gun-related proposal that seems to have the most momentum — 57 percent of Americans oppose giving teachers and school officials guns in in schools.
School boards have floated arming teachers in Lake County, Florida and Springboro, Ohio; lawmakers have discussed bills to arm teachers in Virginia, Washington state, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, and Kentucky. Free training sessions by gun companies are increasingly popular. The Colorado Springs sheriff offered teachers weapons training and to waive conceal and carry license fees. A Montpelier school district is arming janitors. A third of states allow teachers to bring guns to school, NBC News reports, noting that an Alabama lawmaker proposed allowing teachers to carry guns, apparently unaware that they already could.
But you can see why this idea to limit gun violence is the most popular with politicians. Pew found that while only 23 percent of Democrats want to arm teachers, 56 percent of Republicans do. And then there are the political donations: 23 percent of pro-gun people "have contributed money to an organization that takes a position on gun policy," while just 5 percent of pro-gun-control people have done so.
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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.