A state lawmaker from Alabama knew exactly how to add fuel to an already controversial issue, saying that teachers shouldn't be armed because... most of them are women. The Twittersphere had a few things to say about that.
Republican State Rep. Harry Shiver (64th District) said Alabama lawmakers need to protect "our ladies" by not arming teachers because most of them are females who are "scared of guns."
"I'm not saying all [women], but in most schools, women are [the majority] of the teachers," he told AL.com. "Some of them just don't want to [be trained to possess firearms]. If they want to, then that's good. But most of them don't want to learn how to shoot like that and carry a gun."
The comments were made while Shiver was discussing a bill sponsored by fellow Republican state lawmaker Will Ainsworth (District 27), which would allow school districts in the state to arm trained, certified teachers on school campuses.
"I've heard...that 75 percent of Republicans support [the bill], but I was there live and in person and I know what it is like in the schools," said Shiver. "Most women wouldn't like to be put in that position. I know from South Alabama, they wouldn't."
It didn't take long for Twitter to respond to Shiver's remarks, calling them outdated, sexist, and stereotypically Alabaman. One person responded with an "are you f**king kidding me" and a "hey Alabama, where do you get these guys?"
"Alabama state representative Harry Shiver stated that teachers shouldn't be armed because most teachers are women...well, I guess that should be considered progress for Alabama," one person wrote.
"Well, after all he is from Alabama. I lived in that miserable state for 4 years. Most of the women I met owned their own guns and handled them extremely well," Twitter user @Old_Privateer wrote, countering sexism with a regional stereotype.
"Damnit (sic) Harry! You were so close!" tweeted @zacharyado, agreeing with Shiver's sentiment, but not his rationale.
One person stated that Shiver's comment proved it was time for the 71-year-old to retire. "Everyone gets to the point in their life when it's time to retire. State Rep. Harry Shiver has announced his..." Twitter user @wvwarcht wrote.
User @damien_field tweeted in agreement, albeit using harsher terms. "Harry Shiver sounds like he is senile or trolling," he wrote.
Another person seemed to agree, saying that Shiver was "showing his age," and gender stereotypes in Alabama go the other way around.
The very women Shiver says he wants to protect also chimed in. "As both a woman and an Alabamian, I'd be happy to show Rep. Harry Shiver how to carry," @annakatclarke wrote.
"I am a woman in Alabama. I do not believe we should arm teachers because that's so incredibly stupid. However, he must not have been raised here. Because come on, people, this IS Alabama. There are probably more guns than people here. Women in Alabama shoot guns. Often," said @christyallison.
Perhaps the most ironic thing about Shiver's comment is that he was a physical education teacher for 32 years in Bay Minette, Alabama. And he doesn't appear to be a woman.
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