South Carolina state Rep. Steven Long (R) announced a contest on Monday to give handguns away to educators.
In an effort to support state legislation that calls for arming teachers, Long said he was hosting a raffle for teachers to win firearms and obtain their concealed weapons permits. He also launched a fundraiser for individuals to donate money to pay for the purchase of three Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9 mm handguns.
One firearm will go to “a K-12 teacher, school staff member, or school administrator; one to a higher education (college/university) faculty, staff member, or administrator; and one to any freedom-loving patriot who wishes to participate in the drawing,” read the announcement posted on Long’s website.
He also shared the news on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
In response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead, President Donald Trump and fellow Republican lawmakers have suggested arming schoolteachers.
There are five bills currently in the South Carolina House that call for teachers to be able to carry guns.
In a statement published on his website, Long said that allowing teachers to carry guns in schools will show mass shooters, whom he referred to as “mentally defective cowards” and “deranged psychotic degenerates,” that “children are our top priority and we will protect them.”
Meanwhile, survivors of the Parkland shooting are vehemently advocating for stricter gun control laws, including bans on automatic rifles, so it’s harder for individuals to easily obtain military-style weapons. Parkland student Alfonso Calderon said arming teachers was a “terrible idea.”
“This is not what we stand for,” Calderon said on behalf of Parkland students during an appearance on CNN. “We stand for small policy changes and maybe possibly big ones in the future. Because, right now, I’m pretty sick of having to talk about teachers being armed. Because that is not even a possibility in my mind.”