Well, those concepts aren’t actually diametrically opposed, although they do get played against each other in the media. In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, the NRA’s proposal to put armed guards in every school was laughed off by many gun control advocates, even though it’s not completely unreasonable in and of itself—but it is rather costly, and it is a bit ridiculous when it was advanced as the ONLY solution to the problem by the NRA’s fire-eating spokesman, Wayne LaPierre. (Plus the fact he was also advocating using volunteers to police the schools, which should make us all a bit nervous.)
While there may be increased public support for bans on semi-automatic assault weapons and oversize ammo magazines, and cracking down on unregulated online and gun show sales of weaponry, the NRA position has support as well. After all, about one-third of U.S. schools already have armed resource officers, as they’re called. They’re typically posted in middle and high schools in an attempt to maintain order in the face of often-lawless teens.
A recent poll of Virginia voters shows that two-thirds support placing armed guards in public schools.
In Georgia, the upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly will be looking at increased school security.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
(S)chool safety is now the hot issue, with legislation now being prepared by state Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, that would allow one or more administrators to carry a weapon at school, at a school function or on a bus.
… It would allows schools to choose whether they want to allow armed administrators in schools and at school functions. It would require peace officer training for anyone chosen to carry a weapon.
The idea of armed officers in schools has broad support.
“We do support additional school resource officers in our schools,” said Tim Callahan, director of public relations for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. “They are a plus and, in conjunction with strong school safety plans, provide a first line of defense.”
Districts are already wrestling with how to improve security.
For example, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has beefed up its presence at schools in the county. Cherokee Schools Superintendent Frank Petruzielo told school board members earlier this month that he has formed a committee to examine safety protocols in the district’s schools.
Many high and middle schools already have armed resource officers, but adding them to more schools could be costly.
Georgia Superintendent John Barge said he likes the idea of having an armed resource officer at every school. But in stressing that he does not endorse the NRA’s position, Barge has raised questions about the cost of having an armed resource officer at every school.
Local school districts, already facing tight budgets, would have to get help from the state to add resource officers, Barge said.