Mark Segraves, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Education Secretary Arne Duncan is calling for new restrictions on guns and says allowing teachers and faculty to carry guns inside schools doesn't make sense.
Duncan was speaking at Thomas Elementary School in Northeast Washington one week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. When asked about the idea of arming school officials, Duncan was quick to say no.
"I don't think that makes sense," he told WTOP after his speech. "I think we need less guns, not more."
Duncan was at the school to announce the awarding of a $25 million grant to several D.C. schools."
"It's a bittersweet day," Duncan told the crowd, which included D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
Lanier said allowing school staff to carry guns might work in some parts of the country, but not in D.C.
"In Texas, where firearms are part of everyday life and everybody has them and the community is used to them, I think that is an individual community choice," Lanier said. "Here in Washington, D.C., the community wouldn't support it."
After announcing the grant, Duncan went on to speak about the shootings and called on Americans to support President Obama's proposed restrictions.
"Reasonable people should be able to agree on these restrictions," Duncan said. "Renewing an assault weapons ban, limiting high capacity ammunition clips and closing the gun show loopholes that allow criminals to buy a gun without a background check."
Duncan closed his remarks by reflecting on the victims who died inside the Connecticut school.
"Unfortunately it's too late for them," he said. "It's not too late for America."
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