Senator 'shaken to the core by' Trump's education pick Betsy DeVos take on guns in schools

U.S. Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy came out in fierce opposition to President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of education on Tuesday.

Betsy DeVos, a billionaire from Michigan, faced a room full of Senators on Tuesday -- fielding questions from Democrats and Republicans as she sought confirmation to lead the Department of Education in the Trump administration.

SEE MORE: Scott Pruitt 'worst nominee ever tapped' to lead EPA, NRDC President Rhea Suh warns

Murphy, who represents the state that suffered one of the most tragic school shootings in recent history when dozens of young students were killed at Sandy Hook, pressed DeVos on whether or not she thought guns belonged in schools.

RELATED: Sen. Chris Murphy

"I think that's best left to locales and states to decide," she said, adding when asked if she would support a Trump ban on gun-free school zones if he called for one.

DeVos raised some eyebrows by suggesting that guns in schools could be used to prevent bear attacks.

"I think probably there, I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," DeVos said.

She was referring to an earlier remark by Sen. Mike Enzi from Wyoming, who said an elementary school in Wapiti, Wyoming, had to build a fence to protect children from local wildlife.

The bear line was enough to set gun control activists ablaze, and "potential grizzlies" trended on Twitter shortly afterwards.

Social reaction to Betsy DeVos' grizzly bears comment
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Social reaction to Betsy DeVos' grizzly bears comment
DeVos responds to @ChrisMurphyCT with support for Trump plan to get rid of gun free zones; cites grizzly bears as r…
School shootings since 2013 = 210. Grizzly school attacks = 0. #BetsyDeVos says teachers should carry in class to s…
Somebody somewhere just decided to open a gay bar called "Potential Grizzlies".
Exit DeVos, pursued by a bear
I trust local wildlife managers to manage wolves and wildlife better than judges, lawyers & lobbyists in DC.…

"I was shaken to the core by her answer," Murphy said in a tweet after the hearing. "So should every American parent."

DeVos faced a series of tough questions from other Democrats during the hearing, who pressed the billionaire on issues of school privatization and student loans, but she was overwhelmingly acclaimed by Republicans who championed her bold leadership and support for school choice.

DeVos made a passionate case for vouchers and charter schools, arguing that the shifting of funds allowed poorer parents to have more control over their children's educational opportunities.

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon


Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Learn more about Betsy Devos' background:

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