Doug Jones: Arming teachers is the 'dumbest idea I've ever heard'

Doug Jones: Arming teachers is the 'dumbest idea I've ever heard'
© Greg Nash

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) had harsh words for a bill proposed in his state’s legislature that would arm teachers on school campuses in response to the deadly school shooting last week in Florida.

"I think that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard,” Jones told Alabama’s News 5 on Monday in response to the proposal from state Rep. Will Ainsworth (R). “I think it's crazy. You don't need 40–50 guns in there, and it's a cost issue.”

“You're going to have to train those teachers,” he added. “You don't need to arm America in order to stop this, you just need to be smart about it."

Ainsworth, who is running for lieutenant governor, announced last week that he planned to introduce the bill and has garnered support from law enforcement and other GOP officials, according to AL.com.

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The bill would allow teachers and administrators to carry guns on school grounds after undergoing 40 hours of training and a mental health evaluation. The state would cover the cost of firearm training, but would not pay for the guns, according to AL.com.

At least three state Republican lawmakers said they would support the bill.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) made a similar proposal on Tuesday, saying arming teachers is “the only long-term solution” to mass school shootings.

“I thought the sheriff from Florida said it perfectly when he said we have experimented with the gun-free zone, it’s called a school,” Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends.”

Jones and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Monday both called for metal detectors in schools as a possible method of protecting students.

Democratic lawmakers, advocates and survivors of the Florida shooting have called for gun control legislation in the wake of the shooting, which left 17 dead and  14 injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Wednesday.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE is scheduled to hold a “listening session” with high school students on Wednesday to discuss school safety.