NRA Task Force Recommends Armed Staff In Every School
A National Rifle Association (NRA) task force released a student-safety plan Tuesday that dismisses the idea of new gun controls in favor of the placement of armed staff in every school.
Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), the head of the NRA task force, said a at a press briefing in Washington that focus on tougher gun laws is "inadequate" to protect schoolchildren from gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre.
The 225-page report outlining a "School Shield" program that calls instead for new funding to train school staff to carry firearms on site.
"The specific finding is that the presence of an armed security personnel in a school adds a layer of security and diminishes response time that is beneficial to overall security," said Hutchinson.
"We recognize that the decision (to deploy armed guards) is locally made. Some school districts decide not to go that direction," he added.
"We want to make sure our resources are available whenever decision is made. I come from a rural state. The smaller school districts struggle. This is a key tool to provide more options for school security and safety."
The NRA launched the National School Shield initiative in the wake of the December 14 killing of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, who had earlier shot and killed his own mother, went on a spree, killing his victims with a semi-automatic assault rifle in a matter of minutes before turning a handgun on himself, investigators say.
Last Thursday, President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea for gun reform, infuriated by the notion that fading memories of the Newtown massacre three months ago were undercutting a push for new laws.
"What we're proposing is not radical, it's not taking away anybody's gun rights," said Obama, whose proposal for thorough background checks on all firearm purchases is running into stiff opposition on Capitol Hill.
In addition to proposing that legislators in all 50 states amend existing laws in order to allow school personnel to carry firearms, Tuesday's report also included recommendations ranging from better door locks to a 40- to 60-hour training program for armed school guard volunteers.