The owner of Keller’s Riverside Gun Store outside Austin said the cause of the tragic shooting that left 20 children dead was simple. It wasn’t mental illness or a culture of violence, but too few guns. Hosts on KRLD, a local radio station, asked Keller what advice he’d give to any teacher thinking of carrying a concealed weapon.
“Well, as we do with veterans, I would offer them a discount. Our normal rate is $110, so I would give them a rate of $90,” Keller said. “If they are teachers, we would be more than happy to do that. We need to lobby our various state governments to allow teachers to be armed. We have airline pilots that now carry pistols or weapons of some sort. I think the same thing needs to happen in these gun-free zones that are so dangerous.”
Keller’s comment come just days after Oregon state Rep. Dennis Richardson sent out an email advocating that all teachers and school administrators carry firearms to protect their children in their care.
“If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide,” Richardson wrote.
Opponents of gun control have generally remained quiet since Friday morning. On Sunday Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announced her plans to introduce a new ban on assault weapons. The last one expired in 2004.
President Barack Obama was also critical of the easy access to automatic weapons during his speech at a memorial service in Newtown, although he has provided no details on how his administration plans to curb the violence.
Keller said his customers were cognizant of a potential limitation on assault weapon, claiming his sales have increased since Friday. “I was stunned, but not necessarily shocked, when I heard what happened. … I thought, 'There we go again, another gun-free zone.' What would have happened had there been a teacher with a handgun or a principal with some sort of defense training?”
Both Keller’s and Richardson’s theories are in direct opposition with the evidence gathered by gun researchers. A Harvard case study found that in every situation where guns are easier to obtain, murder rates increase. Homicide is more likely to occur when there are more guns per capita, a statistic that applies no matter the country or state.