Feb. 7: A Grizzly Tale
The Claim: Newly confirmed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos thinks school administrators should carry guns because you never know when a bear might attack. It’s a narrative that won’t die.
The Source: The Washington Post, repeating what many others have claimed since mid-January.
The Facts: DeVos said during her confirmation hearing that there should be no blanket federal policy regulating guns in schools.
Asked by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., whether she supported federal solutions to this issue, she responded by saying she doesn’t think it should be left up to Washington. She argued that states and localities are best suited to make these judgments, and she said federal policies tend to overlook the individual needs of individual schools.
This is what DeVos said: “I think that’s best left for states and locales to decide. I would refer back to Senator Enzi, and the school he was talking about in [Wyoming].”
“I would imagine there, that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies,” she added.
This is hardly the same thing as saying she thinks schools should be armed against possible bear attacks.
As one Youtuber commented:
Politifact had one job, to copy the quote they were fact checking, and they couldn’t even do it. Sad!
While the specific school in Wapiti Wyoming does not currently have a gun in it, the Wyoming Legislature is right now (7/2017) passing HOUSE BILL NO. HB0137 – Wyoming Repeal Gun Free Zones Act.
Here is an editorial from a Wyoming newspaper: “Guns in schools? Locals should be the ones to decide”.
Also, at to the often cited counterintuitive studies claiming to show that bear spray is actually more effective than guns and stopping a bear attack…this commenter seems to explain the studies (though I don’t know and can’t verify the accuracy of the claim):
Additional link to National Review article about this: “Leftists Are Outrageously Misrepresenting Betsy DeVos on Guns and Schools”