Gun Control Debate: Newtown School Board Agrees With NRA, Seeks Armed Guards in Schools

It's been almost two months since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and gun control has dominated political discourse as a possible solution.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), however, proposed another solution — the National School Shield program — which aimed to put armed security in all schools. Gun control advocates immediately criticized and dismissed the proposal, saying that the solution to our nation's gun problems is not more guns in schools.

Apparently the Newtown school board disagrees with gun control advocates, as they have now requested funding for additional police officers to be assigned to its four elementary schools. The irony is that school resource officers are already prevalent in many public schools across the U.S., as nearly half of them already have school resource officers. This is not a new idea, as it was introduced under the COPS program that was established under President Clinton's administration in 2000.

According to a report by the Department of Justice, under the COPS program, we know that putting police officers in schools does reduce violent crime in those schools as well as provide a feeling of safety and security for students and faculty. The report also outlines the many other advantages of having a school resource officer on site at schools.

During Vice President Joe Biden's most recent fireside chat, Biden was confronted with the statistics on why the original Federal Assault Weapons Ban did not work to reduce violent crime, to which he responded that the reduction of violent crime could be attributed to putting more police officers on the streets, alluding to the very same COPS program. In addition, included in President Obama's list of executive orders was an order to provide more funding and incentives for schools looking to employ school resource officers.

So why exactly was there such criticism for the NRA's proposal to put armed security in every school to protect our children? Perhaps gun control advocates have been blinded so much by their ideology and aversion to the NRA that any solution being offered by the NRA should be immediately discredited, even if the proposed solution is the same solution proposed by gun control advocates. Where is the ideological consistency here?

Could it be that the primary concern for gun control advocates is not so much the safety of our nation's schools or society, but promoting their ideology and discrediting their political opposition even if their opposition is proposing the very same solutions that they are?

We should take note that the NRA and Wayne LaPierre are right when they say that we should focus on what works instead of failed gun control policies that don't work. For some gun control advocates it seems that school and public safety is not their goal. Their goal is to demonize guns, gun owners, and the NRA, and it is time to call them on it.

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Jack Lee

A graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice with an interest in history, I've been contributing articles to PolicyMic since December of 2012. I'm always open to discussion without the rhetoric.

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