As the incoming class of congressmen prepare to take the oath office, one Republican newcomer has already come out against the National Rifle Association's proposal to place armed guards at every school and signaled his openness to discussing a set of gun control measures.
Rep.-elect Chris Stewart (R-Utah), an end times novelist supported by pundit Glenn Beck, cruised to victory in November in his deeply red district, after receiving high marks and a small donation from the NRA. In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune this week, however, Stewart said that the gun control discussion was one that he was willing to have in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
"I would consider looking at some of the larger magazines and other things if it gave us an opportunity to talk about the other things as well," he said, clarifying that he didn't think such measures would prevent such mass shootings or gun violence, but that they might at least allow for a serious discussion "about the big picture." Stewart went on to say that he thought the issue of mental health care was a critical one.
Stewart also criticized the NRA's controversial proposal to post armed security personnel at every school in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting as a "bad idea."
"A lot of people are not comfortable having armed guards at grade schools," he said, expressing additional skepticism about calls to allow teachers to carry their firearms into classrooms.
Stewart isn't the only Republican to reject the NRA's blueprint for school safety. A number of GOP lawmakers spoke out against the idea over the weekend, though most also concluded that new laws restricting access to guns were an unnecessary response to the Newtown shooting.