* That evolved quickly…
On Friday, Gov. Rauner was in Champaign, where he said President Donald Trump’s concept of arming teachers to prevent gun violence in schools should be discussed.
“I certainly support having armed security at schools,” Rauner told reporters. “I think we should have a discussion about teachers themselves. I think there’s arguments pro and con, we should look forward to that discussion.”
By Saturday, Rauner’s campaign had emailed a statement to the Belleville News-Democrat after the the St. Clair County GOP’s Lincoln Day gala.
“No, teachers should be focused on education. We need armed school resource officers, emergency training for students, and we need to get guns out of the hands of criminals and those with mental illnesses,” the Rauner statement said, according to the newspaper.
* From that BND article…
Teachers who want to be armed should be allowed to come to school with a gun, Ives said. Teachers who do not want to be armed “absolutely should not,” she added.
“Look, you only carry if you want to,” Ives said. “If you’re not comfortable using it or you don’t regularly go for practice, then you shouldn’t carry it. If there are certain teachers who maybe have a law enforcement background, maybe have a military background, know that carrying and practicing on a regular basis could prevent a tragedy in the future, I’m willing to do that.”
* NBC 5…
“There’s so much that we need to do, but it’s not arming teachers in classrooms, or getting rid of gun-free zones around schools,” JB Pritzker said.
Fellow candidate Daniel Biss echoed those sentiments.
“The last thing I want is guns in those classrooms,” he said.
In a display of party unity, candidate Chris Kennedy slammed the president’s proposal.
“That’s like the craziest idea, and it’s offensive to everything that I believe in,” he said. “We do not want to send our children to school in a war zone.”
* In other news, the House is taking up several gun-related bills this week…
Republican lawmakers said they would review the specifics of the legislation, but they questioned whether there were ulterior motives behind Madigan’s announcement. The veteran speaker has been under fire in recent weeks for his handling of sexual harassment and bullying complaints lodged against two of his top political workers, who have since left Madigan’s campaign organizations.
“It is timely that we talk about this, but let’s not let this distract from Speaker Madigan’s own problems,” said Rep. Grant Wehrli, a Republican from Naperville and frequent critic of the speaker. “He continues to hide from the accusations within his own organization, and once again is trying to slink off.”
Madigan’s call for action was backed by Cardinal Blase Cupich, who was invited to the Capitol for Wednesday’s votes. Gun control supporters also are planning a large rally.
“It is not too much to say that innocent people are dying as much from lack of courage and political will among our leaders as from bullets,” Cupich said in a statement.