PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — As the president called for gun law solutions Wednesday, Virginia lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said they would introduce new proposals.
This comes days after a shooting in Newtown, Conn. left dozens dead.
President Obama said the nation has a deep obligation to stop gun violence and appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force to come up with solutions by his State of the Union speech in January.
These solutions could include an assault weapons ban, a ban on high-count ammunition clips and making mental health treatment as easy to get as it is to buy a gun.
In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell said on a radio show he thinks guns need to be in schools, in the hands of approved personnel.
"I know there has been a knee-jerk reaction against that, but I think there should at least be a discussion," McDonnell said.
Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) plans to submit a bill that will kick off that discussion.
"My statute simply says you must designate an individual," Marshall said. "I'm not saying pick 30 people, but you need someone trained with the handling of guns."
State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) vehemently disagrees.
"He always puts in crazy bills like that," Lucas said.
Lucas has had several gun control bills die in the legislative process and is outraged by McDonnell and Marshall's ideas about guns in school.
"That is insanity," Lucas said. "Straight up insanity. We do not want guns in our schools."
Lucas pointed out this year's repealing of the "buy only one gun a month" law.
"Now teachers with guns? Now we want to make them police officers? Come on, give me a break," Lucas told WAVY.com. "They are already overworked, underpaid and now we want them to carry a firearm? That is the dumbest statement made by a governor though this entire process."
Marshall said the only way to stop an attacker is to reciprocate, avoiding the wait for first responders.
"When there's a problem, what does [Lucas] do? She calls 911," Marshall said. "Why does she call 911? To get a guy with a gun there, or a woman with a gun there."
Lucas will submit a bill that closes what she calls the "no background check at gun show" loophole.
"You have all these nut cases buying a boat load of guns right here in Virginia," Lucas said.
McDonnell made it clear this will be a critical discussion in January when the General Assembly convenes.
"If people were armed, not just police officers, but school officials, there would be opportunities to stop aggressors from coming into the school," McDonnell said. "I think that is a reasonable discussion to be had."
The scope of the gun control issue is also bound to have an effect in the Virginia Governor 2013 race, according to Politico.
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