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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NRA Unveils Details Of School Safety Plan

Opponents of proposed gun control bills being considered by the Colorado Legislature holds signs to those passing in cars in front of the State Capitol, in Denver, Monday March 4, 2013. (AP/Brennan Linsley)

Opponents of proposed gun control bills being considered by the Colorado Legislature holds signs to those passing in cars in front of the State Capitol, in Denver, Monday March 4, 2013. (AP/Brennan Linsley)

Schools across the nation should train selected staff members to carry weapons and should each have at least one armed security officer to make students safer and allow a quicker response to an attack, the director of a National Rifle Association-sponsored study said Tuesday.

The task force that produced the report has developed a 40- to 60-hour training program that the study recommends making available to school staff members who are qualified and can pass background checks.

“The presence of an armed security personnel in a school adds a layer of security and diminishes the response time that is beneficial to the overall security,” said former Republican former Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who led the study.

Asked if every school would be better off with an armed security officer, Hutchinson replied, “Yes,” but acknowledged the decision would be made locally.

“Obviously we believe that they make a difference,” he said.

Hutchinson said the security could be provided by trained staff members or by school resource officers – police officers assigned to schools that some districts already have.

Hutchinson made his remarks at a news conference at which the report was released. The event was held a week before the Senate plans to begin debating gun control legislation. The NRA opposes the main feature of the legislation – an expansion of background checks to cover nearly all gun purchases.

At the White House, meantime, press secretary Jay Carney said administration officials were working with lawmakers to try to reach a compromise on legislation that could be supported by both parties.

“The president has always recognized that this is something that would be a challenge but that in the wake of the horrific shootings in Newtown was an obligation of all of us to work on and try to get done,” Carney said.

The spokesman commented as the White House revealed the president plans a trip next week to Connecticut, scene of the horrific shooting in December that spurred the new push for gun-control legislation. The aim of Obama’s trip is to build pressure on Congress to pass legislation.

Obama also plans to focus on firearms curbs in a trip Wednesday to Denver, not far from last summer’s mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Obama and his allies – mostly Democrats – are trying to bolster prospects that Congress will approve gun legislation. Chances of such action on Capitol Hill have waned since the shootings in Newton, Conn.

The 225-page NRA study, which Hutchinson said cost more than $1 million, made eight recommendations. They included changing state laws that might bar a trained school staff member from carrying a firearm, NRA-provided online assessments that schools could make of their safety procedures and better coordination with law enforcement agencies.

The study drew immediate opposition from the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.5 million teachers and other workers.

“Today’s NRA proposal is a cruel hoax that will fail to keep our children and schools safe,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “It is simply designed to assist gun manufacturers” to flood the nation with more guns and large magazine clips.

Hutchinson said the NRA dropped an earlier recommendation that retired police officers and other volunteers be armed to provide school safety. He said the idea encountered “great reluctance” from school superintendents.

The NRA had suggested the retired officer idea just days after 20 first-graders and six staff members were shot and killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Several NRA-supplied security guards were at Tuesday’s event – unusual for an announcement at the National Press Club, a building that houses offices for many news organizations.


  • Kevin Robillard, politico reporter

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  • Siva

    Would NRA fund these programs at their own dime ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      the NRA funds all sorts of educational programs. they provide free educational materials for children and adults. i dont see why they would not provide the materials for free for this program as well

  • http://www.ohioken.com Ken Palosi

    First of all I am disapppointed with the NRA’s proposal to meet the gun problem in our country with more guns. The concept of having volunteers with guns in our schools presents a whole new host of problems. The NRA has opposed a universal background check program: if we have volunteers with guns in our schools I hope the background checks for them would be even more stringent than than the background checks for those in the military or our intelligence bureaus. I can envision every wannabe John Wayne in the country wanting to volunteer. The school rescource officers that we have in our school district are full time, well trained police officers. The thought of poorly trained and poorly vetted volunteers scares me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      anyone who works or volunteers in a school already takes a background check.  i think the best thing is to allow the teachers to carry if they so choose just like everyone else

      • http://www.ohioken.com Ken Palosi

        I volunteer as a tutor for kindergarten children in an elementary school and the background check in Ohio is only a cursory check of the local and FBI databases for a criminal background. Those checks do not check for mental problems. There isn’t even a questionaire about your personal life. If this is the only background checks that persons receive who would be carrying guns in our school then we have a potential problem of great proportitions.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          thats what a background check is. unless you are getting a top secret clearance thats all a background check will ever be. what sort of mental check or personal questionaire would you like to see implemented? so you trust that check for people to have access to your children but not enough to trust those people with their basic rights? how can you trust a teacher with your child but not with a gun? 

          • http://www.ohioken.com Ken Palosi

            There are just too many variables to having teachers carry guns. For example there are the possiblilites of accidents, misplaced guns being accessed by children, a teacher panicking to a real or perceived threat and shooting the wrong person. If we do need armed personnel in our schools they need to be thoroughly trained professionals who undergo a very intensive background check similar to one for a top-secret security clearance, one like the one I had to undergo when I held a top-secret-krypto security clearance while in the army. The crux of it all is that the only solution the NRA and others can offer is to meet the gun problem in our society with more guns. There has to be a better way!

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            well teachers have been carrying guns for a while in many places and we have not heard of any incidents in the media. gun owners do not believe in accidents what you call accidents are always preventable by following the gun safety rules so we call them incidents.  why should a teachers right to self defense end at the schoolhouse door? especially when there is no other mechanism in place to protect them. what solution do you offer?

      • LianeSperoni

        When the NYPD shot and killed Amadou Diallo they thought he had a weapon but it turned out to be a wallet.  If we move down the road you suggest, then there is going to have to be strict accountabilty for civilians if they shoot someone who was not armed. There cannot be a defense of…” well it looked a gun so I thought I was doing a good thing.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          of course we already have that. what you call “civilians”, i call citizens. citizens have a much better track record with using restraint than the police (who  must be military if they are not civilians right? and here i thought the military was not allowed to be domestic police but i digress) see if you  can find a incident of a CCW holder shooting 9 innocent bystanders like the NYPD did in front of the empire state building a few months back 

          • LianeSperoni

            There are no such statistics that measure citizens versus police using restraint that I am aware of. Where did you see that? Cite your source. In the past, we have had a cultural taboo on citizens, civilians, whatever you prefer,  stepping in to what has traditionally been a matter for law enforcement. This is new- and you seem to want to go down that path. What I am saying is this, if you want to be a vigilante, you better be prepared to pay the consequenes if you make a mistake.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so when has a CCW holding citizen shot 9 innocent bystanders in one incident like the nypd? thats the track record i think of.  it is  anecdotal but i challenged you to find such an anecdote to refute it. i agree 100% that vigilantes should be held responsible for their actions is anyone arguing that they should not? i think all CCW holders would agree that they are responsible for their actions.

          • LianeSperoni

            Your claim is that there is track record of “restraint by police versus restraint by CCW holders” showing the latter perform better. What I am saying is that you can’t make that analogy because most police are acting as police 40 hours a week 50 weeks a year and the NYPD  are constantly facing threats.  How often does a person with a CCW confront a situation in which they have to draw a gun? I am not defending police misconduct, but proportionality matters.

            You want to be a hero? Take responsibilty if you make a mistake.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i dont know where those figures might be found if they are kept at all. i just hear about incidents where the NYPD shoots 9 innocent bystanders while murdering a man who was not a threat to them and an incident where a CCW holder did not pull his gun when he did not have a good shot on a mass shooter in action. many ( i dont have any statistics so i won’t claim most) people who CCW do so all the time 24-7-365. i am sure most have and will never pull their gun just like most police officers never have to use their guns.  the  most anti-gun advocate i am aware of says that legal guns are used for self defense 100,000 times a year. other figures place it at about 2 million times a year. either way guns clearly prevent many crimes

          • LianeSperoni

             Police officers face dangers and they are under pressure to act, lethally or otherwise. They don’t have the option of being a bystander.  I don’t condone police misconduct,  nor do I feel it is fair to misrepresent the nature of their work and how it differs from a a CCW holder who is not a public servant.

            Guns are also responsible in the commission of many cimes. I find your statistic of 2 millions hard to believe.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            guns themselves dont do anything. they do not commit any crimes. dont hold them responsible, hold the criminals who are responsible for the crimes responsible. this idea that guns themselves cause things to happen is what i felt you were leaving out of your previous postings. that being said i think you need to recognise the difference between those who own the guns legally and criminals whose guns are not legal.  no one goes through multiple background checks and spends hundreds of dollars on a liscense and classes in order to commit a crime. its much easier to go to any housing project in america and buy one cheaply there out of the back of someones car if you are going to commit a crime, no law can change that.  i notice you did not comment on the antigun statistic of 100,000 times per year. thats a whole lot. its very hard to calculate how many crimes are prevented. how can you count how many times something does not happen?  who misrepresented the nature of police work? i feel like you think CCW holders are somehow vigilantes and not just people who wish to protect themselves and their families.

          • LianeSperoni

            Perhaps I should have said, guns are used in the commission of many crimes.

            Sandy Hook was a mass shooting. The guns were legally purchased by the kid’s mother.  The guns he used had the capacity to fire off 30 rounds without reloading. Connecticut lawmakers are responding my banning these weapons and today a bunch of people are going out to buy them before the ban takes place. We can argue til the cows come home, but I tell you, that I don’t want to be stuck  in the crossfire between heroes and villians.  Some people do not want to live in a Hollywood Western.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            discus wont let me reply below but i dont want to be in any crossfire either. epsecially if its the NYPD on one side. the mother did not store her guns according to CT laws at the time. making laws to address the last incident do nothing to prevent futire incidents and are nothing but feel good measures intended to make it look like politicians are doing “something”. thats just foolish

  • LianeSperoni

    I am concerned that what we are seeing is not just the inability of Congress to pass gun legislation. I think we are seeing the deepening of a cultural divide in this country that is going to play out at the state level. I think you will see armed guards at schools in some states, and in others, like Connecticut, there will be strict gun control and no guards. I think the same will hold true for gay marriage. I think there will be some states that will not recognize gay marriage no matter what, unless the Supreme Court states otherwise. We will continue to see the divide in this country grow and people will gravitate to states that are more hospitable to their way of thinking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      where did you see a parade without a bunch of lazy cops standing around? disney? I agree a police state is foolish. if you live in a state and area that allow concealed carry you are already protected even if you don’t know it. banning things does not work. we know this because drugs have been banned for a while and all that has caused is expense misery and death. a war on guns seems likely to be even more expensive miserable and more deadly.

      • LianeSperoni

        When I lived in  New York City I went to St. Patrick’s Day parades, Columbus Day parades and at least seven Gay Pride parades. In Boston, I have been most recently to a New Years parade- which, of course, happens at night when it is dark making it difficult for the cops to see.  (or any vigilante wanting to be a “hero” and get his face on TV). A man could be firing from a building above the street. The idea that a paradegoer can just pull out a concealed handgun to prevent this is just not realistic. You let people buy military style assult weapons and people start to act like they are in the military- they will become strategic as defenses are raised. What we are witnessing is a war mentality, it is an escalation of fire power.

        Why do you think the relatively conservative Mike Bloomberg is one of the most outspoken proponents of gun control? Diane Feinstein made the same point to Ted Cruz when he lectured her about the second amendment. They know that cities can be vulnerable because of their population density. And for some reason, no one seems to be able to empathize with their point of view. Disney? I am talking New York City.

        Is the failure of the war on drugs because drugs were made illegal, or is it a failure because we thought we could fight drugs with guns? While I agree that people will try to smuggle guns just as they do drugs, the “one time purchase” of a gun makes it less profitable than drugs, which are addictive and require the buyer to keep making purchases. If the risks of getting caught are high and the reward low, it might not be worth it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          Mike Bloomberg is that the same idiot who wants to ban soda? he is a great example of how gun control is not about guns its about control. i have watched those parades on TV there are always tons of cops there ditto with new years events i have attended. its not a matter of letting people purchase rifles. Americans have already purchased them, millions of them, yet shootings with rifles are relativly quite rare. ” they will become strategic as defenses are raised. What we are witnessing is a war mentality, it is an escalation of fire power. ” not sure what that means. oboma and and fienstien and bloomberg have been responsible for the largest spree of gun buying i have ever seen because of their efforts to restrict firearms more. the failure of the war on drugs is because banning things does not, has never and will never work. the black market will set a price that is profitable for the seller and people need to purchase ammunition. there have been laws in america that make possesion of a small amout of cannabis a life sentence and that did not prevent people from doing that. stop with the wishful thinking.

          • LianeSperoni

            You do not seem to appreciate the dangers of assault weapons in big cities. Bloomberg is not the only big city mayor who wants gun control.  A city would need thousands upon thousands of police officers with eyes in the back of their heads to guard a parade in a city like NYC. You want to arm the crowd? Take the consequences if there is a shootout and an innocent child gets shot.

            The war on drugs failed, in part, because drugs are addictive.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            whats an assault weapon?  maybe if you can tell me what that is i could understand why its so dangerous to own in a city.  NYC allows concealed carry in theory anyways so people already have legal guns at parades. maybe thats why their murder rate is 1/4 of what it is in Chicago. I dont know how many police the NYPD has but it is clearly in the thousands.  have the CCW holders been involved in  many “shootouts” at parades or elsewhere? of course people are already responsible if an innocent is shot why do you think it is or would be otherwise? i feel like there is something you are not saying.

          • LianeSperoni

            NYC has strict gun laws. What mayors worry about is people coming into the city with assault weapons (semi-automatic rifles) bought in other states which is why they are asking for national gun laws.  Neither police nor CCW holders have been in shootouts at parades. What mayors like Bloomberg worry about, is that some nut with a semi-automatic will open fire on a crowd. You believe a CCW can stop that? You can believe that all you like. I’d rather see the semi-automatic  guns banned.
             I don’t think there is something I am not saying, I think you just don’t want to accept that I disagree with you and you are not accustomed to hearing people challenge you with a good argument.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so someone who is crazy enough a criminal to open fire on a crowd of people would not violate a law about purchasing or posessing whatever you are calling an “assault weapon”?  sounds like mayors are worried about something that has never happened and that their law would not and could not prevent. does not seem like a good reason to steal my basic rights. you understand that practically every pistol is semiautomatic right? even a cowboy’s six guns.  i feel like you believe that a law could be passed that would make 300 million guns disappear and prevent new ones from being made or imported. i know that that cannot ever work because we have tried to do that with drugs and it has failed and caused much more violence, death, and expense than the drugs themselves ever could. actually i come here because i expect people to disagree with me. unfortunatly i have yet to hear a good argumant from them

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    so what does the American Federation of Teachers’ study suggest?

  • Robin Y

    In response to some of the first few comments about volunteers.

    To be clear, the NRA DROPPED their original push for VOLUNTEER armed security in schools.
    That was one of 8 recommendations from their commissioned study. They decided not to embrace it.

    They are putting their new efforts into a push to train and arm school staff.


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