Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on gun violence, being selected as U.S. News' best state

Iowa governor on gun control, best state

Iowa tops U.S. News & World Report's 2018 ranking of the best states in the country due to its infrastructure, health care, education and quality of life, among other factors. It is followed by Minnesota and Utah, while at the bottom of the list, Mississippi ranked 49th and Louisiana was last. The list evaluated states in eight different categories: health care, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, education, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and quality of life.

"Iowa truly is a place where if you work hard, dream big, anything is possible," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." "And I'm honestly a product of that. I grew up in a small town in Iowa, town of about 500 people. Kevin [her husband] and I, when we were raising our three daughters, to make ends meet I checked at a grocery store during the weekends and on nights. And even with all of that, I'm sitting here today as the governor of the state of Iowa, and I think it's reflective of the opportunities that exist within our state."

U.S. News' 2018 Best States Rankings – Overall

1. Iowa
2. Minnesota
3. Utah
4. North Dakota
5. New Hampshire
6. Washington
7. Nebraska
8. Massachusetts
9. Vermont
10. Colorado

Reynolds, who was with President Trump and fellow governors at the White House on Monday for a listening session on gun violence in the wake of the Florida school shooting, also discussed why she thinks the gun debate needs to be approached from a "holistic perspective."  

"We all have a role to play in this. I'm a mother. I'm a grandmother of nine. My daughter is a teacher so we've had some pretty heart-to-heart conversations about what they're doing in their school. We need to strengthen the laws that are in the books. We need to do a better job with background checks," Reynolds said.

Asked whether teachers should be armed with guns, as Mr. Trump has suggested as an option, Reynolds said, "I think we need to look at everything. I think that needs to be very thoughtful. I think it needs to be a local decision. I don't think that that's something that should be mandated from the federal level. I think they have a role to play."

"Would you want your daughter armed?" "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King asked.

"If they're trained and if they have the proper vetting and they are capable of doing that, that's a decision that Jessica [her daughter] needs to make," Reynolds said.

Reynolds stressed that the gun violence debate can't focus on single solutions.

"We need to look for ways to secure our schools, single-point of entrance. We need to make sure that we have mental health counselors in our schools. We need to make sure that we have possibly a law enforcement security guards in each one of the schools," she said.