The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby called Friday for the placement of an armed police officer in every school, but parents and educators questioned how safe such a move would keep kids, whether it would be economically feasible and how it would alter student life. Their reactions ranged from supportive to disgusted.
Already, there are an estimated 10,000 sworn officers serving in schools around the country, most of them armed and employed by local police departments, according to a membership association for the officers. Still, they’re deployed at only a fraction of the country’s approximately 98,000 public schools, and their numbers have declined during the economic downturn. Some departments have increased police presence at schools since last week’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead, but say they can only do so temporarily because of funding.
The National Rifle Association said at a news conference that it wants Congress to fund armed officers in every American school, breaking its silence on the Connecticut shootings. The idea made sense to some anxious parents and teachers, but provoked outright anger in others.
“Their solution to resolve the issue around guns is to put more guns in the equation?” said Superintendent Hank Grishman of the Jericho, N.Y., schools on Long Island, who has been an educator for 44 years. “If anything it would be less safe for kids. You would be putting them in the midst of potentially more gunfire.”
Where school resource officers are already in place, they help foster connections between the schools and police, and often develop a close enough relationship with parents and children that they feel comfortable coming forward with information that could prevent a threat, said Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.
Around the country, school systems sometimes rotate armed officers through schools or supplement them with unarmed safety agents. New York City’s school district is the largest in the country with more than 1 million students. The NYPD has 350 armed officers who rotate throughout the school system, and they’re supplemented by unarmed safety personnel who also report to the department. In Philadelphia, school officials have rejected armed patrols in city schools and instead use unarmed school police.
In rural Blount County, Ala., a tobacco tax is used to fund a squad of nine armed sheriff’s deputies and a supervisor who are assigned to work inside the system’s 16 schools on a full-time basis, superintendent Jim Carr said Friday. They also assist in sports games and other after-school events.
But wait! There’s more:
December 22, 2012 at 12:35 am
Armed guards in schools is another leg down the shit hole for this culture. It’s an admission of failure. A rather complete one at that. First destroy the schools. Then turn them into armed camps. It’s not a serious answer. It’s a deflection. And one that is essentially impossible. Who pays for this? Even volunteers need training, one hopes psych evaluations as well. Who pays for this in poor districts? “We” don’t pay for armed guards in malls. Merchants do.
RD, on December 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm said:
I have to put my foot down about adding any additional security anywhere. It’s getting to be stupid and a real pain in the ass for Americans to get on with their lives with peace of mind just so some gun enthusiast’s right to own an at-hand arsenal is preserved.
I guess you would have to have kids growing up in a post 9-11 world to understand how ubiquitous the security issue has become.
Enough is enough. It’s time to disarm America. Having a single non-assault revolver or rifle in your house for protection or hunting is fine. Anything more than that violates other people’s right to liberty.
If there were a bunch of incidents of pedophiles coming in and molesting kids at school you can bet your bippy that parents would be demanding cops on every campus. The same thing if some terrorist used homemade poison gas or firebombs to murder some school kids.
Do we need police or armed guards at our schools? That’s debatable. I believe that in most cases we don’t. School shootings are statistically rare, especially at K-5 schools. Most of the school shootings we do have involve gang activity, not homicidal nutjobs.
But if the problem is so bad that we have to take away most or all of the guns in this country, then yes, we need police or armed guards on every single campus. We already have them just about everywhere else. And yes, it will cost money. Lots of money. Think of it as another government jobs program.
Anything we do about the problem with gun violence will cost money. If this is really an urgent problem then putting cops or security guards at every school is the only immediate remedy.
Let’s say we ban all guns. No new ones allowed, and people are required to turn in the guns they already have. There are at least 100 million guns out there right now, maybe as many as 300 million. Nobody is quite sure how many guns there are or who has them.
Assume we passed this law and it passed constitutional muster (which would probably require repealing the Second Amendment) and it took effect today. How many gun owners would turn in their guns? How many would simply ignore the law? You can bet the criminals won’t cooperate.
How to we collect all those guns out there? Do we send the cops out to look for them? What if the gun owner claims he/she lost the guns or they were stolen? Do the cops get to search their homes? What about using metal detectors to look for buried weapons in their backyards?
How much to you think enforcing a gun ban would cost? How long would it take for a gun ban to significantly reduce the number of firearms in the country? What do we do to protect our children between the passage of the gun ban and it taking full effect?
There are similar issues and questions regarding a major revamping of our laws concerning the mentally ill.
During the 80’s there was a big child molestation scare involving preschools and allegations of Satanic cults engaging in ritual pedophilia. People thought child molestation was a growing problem but statistics show that pedophilia rates remained stable. Despite parents’ fears, stranger abductions are rare and most cases of pedophilia involve someone known and trusted by the parents and children.
One final thought – what else is going on while the media and the Obama administration try to whip up hysteria over last week’s tragedy? Gun control is a really big squirrel.