By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily
Lawmakers and officials in Wyoming are eyeing different approaches to stopping mass shootings such as the one seen in Texas earlier this week.
While the group Wyoming Gun Owners issued a statement saying the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children dead shows why teachers in schools should be armed, a group advocating stronger gun control laws said it shows the need for more action to stop gun violence.
“Our children deserve more than thoughts and prayers from our elected leaders … to protect them from gun violence — in their schools and communities,” Mothers Demand Action wrote on its Wyoming Facebook page.
A lone gunman earlier this week stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, killing 19 students and two teachers and wounded many others before killing himself.
Aaron Dorr, policy advisor for Wyoming Gun Owners, said on Facebook the shooting is proof of the need for arming teachers in Wyoming. He added he has received death threats for taking the position.
“For every troll sending me death threats on social media, keep ‘em coming,” he said. “Just motivating me to work harder to stop your agenda.”
The Wyoming Democratic Party, meanwhile, called for more leadership by government officials to protect children in schools.
“(The) tragedy is sickening and heartbreaking beyond words,” the party posted on Facebook. “We need leaders who will put a stop to the wanton murder of our nation’s school children.”
At the federal level, the shooting has spurred debate over the proposed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which is designed to help prevent mass shootings by providing for additional surveillance and investigation of domestic terrorism threats, including white supremacist and fringe groups.
The teenager in the Texas shooting, however, gave very little warning of what he planned and had no ties to any terrorist or white supremacist groups.
The act has been approved by the U.S. House, but did not collect enough votes in the Senate to be considered in a vote Thursday.
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis weighed in on the effort to have the bill considered in the Senate, attacking Senate Democrats on Twitter on Friday for their efforts.
“Instead of honoring our service members as we head into the Memorial Day weekend, Senate Democrats tried to pass a bill that accuses our military and federal law enforcement of being white supremacists and neo-Nazis. This is shameful,” she said.
The bill’s proponents say it is designed specifically to eliminate white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups by encouraging collaboration between federal agencies investigating and monitoring the groups.
Her tweet drew a sizable response on Twitter, with many calling her post disingenuous and false.