Catherine Templeton, who is running for the GOP nomination for governor, doubled down Monday on her support for arming teachers.
The Mount Pleasant attorney, who was unveiling her new Midlands campaign headquarters, also said she opposes any proposal to toughen background checks before buying a weapon or restrict access to assault rifles “because our Second Amendment is a constitutional right.”
“It’s irresponsible,” she said. “It’s what government does all the time. They throw money at an emergency or they react to an emergency, and that is not the appropriate, responsible or intelligent adult way to handle an emergency.”
Teachers who want to carry weapons into schools should be allowed to do so with the proper “permission and training,” Templeton said.
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But, she added, “You have to know how to use a gun before you can protect our kids with the guns.”
Templeton also railed on the state of South Carolina’s prisons, workforce and schools.
“Right now in South Carolina, prisoners are jumping the fence. It's too politically correct to protect our history,” she said. “It's easier to lay on the couch and collect welfare than to take one of the 60,000 open jobs in South Carolina. And idle hands lead to an opioid epidemic that’s killed more than the Vietnam War.”
Asked whether welfare recipients should get one of those open jobs, Templeton said, “We have created a situation in this society where it is less expensive to sit on the couch and collect entitlement programs than get up and go work and make something.”
Templeton said the state needs to look at the falling number of South Carolinians working or looking for work. Templeton lauded a Upstate drug store for employing disabled young adults, saying the store’s productivity went up while its costs went down because the employees wanted to work.
On public education, Templeton echoed a campaign pitch made by Phil Noble, the self-described political outsider seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.
“We're failing the kids that actually do want to work because our education system is dead last in the nation,” she said.
Templeton is one of five Republicans running for governor. Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, former Lt. Gov. Sen. Yancey McGill of Williamsburg, Gov. Henry McMaster of Columbia and businessman John Warren of Greenville also are seeking the GOP nomination.