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NRA to school officials: Train and arm a staffer

By Alan Fram

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:38 a.m. HST, Apr 02, 2013

WASHINGTON » 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 today.

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 today's event — unusual for an announcement at the National Press Club, a building that houses offices for many news organizations.

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allie wrote:
Yikes..what is this..the Wild West?
on April 2,2013 | 08:57AM
busterb wrote:
Took the Newtown guy less then 5 mins to wipe 26 souls from the face of the earth. How fast does this additional government worker have to be to cover a school as big as say, McKinley?
on April 2,2013 | 09:19AM
Allenk wrote:
Schools may have to analyze their student population and campus size to equip their personnel proportionately.
on April 2,2013 | 09:55AM
patk wrote:
NRA = vomit
on April 2,2013 | 09:45AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
patk, you being an expert on this by your response, what is your solution?
on April 2,2013 | 11:53AM
JnS wrote:
I can't answer for patk, and I don't have any solutions, but the only solution that the NRA has for gun violence is to give more people guns. By this logic, the US should have less of these incidents due to the fact that gun registration has gone up significantly over the last few years. Not so much as mass shootings seem to have risen. The solution the NRA is presenting will probably fail as no rent-a-cop getting paid $9 an hour is going to trade fire with an individual that doesn't fear death armed with an automatic weapon. The more likely scenario will be a panicked "security officer" unloading his/her clip and hitting children.
on April 2,2013 | 02:23PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Hmmmm, you have a point in your response. The individual(s) that doesn't fear death would probably take out more victims knowing someone is coming after him/them with a weapon.
on April 2,2013 | 06:24PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
I'm actually surprised that the NRA did not come out with more extreme stuff like a SWAT Team in every school, roving bomb sniffing dogs, mini-armored vehicles that can patrol the halls, and of course ..... RoboCop.
on April 2,2013 | 11:01AM
false wrote:
I heard they scraped the idea about having machine gun turrets for fear it might spook some children.
on April 2,2013 | 11:58AM
control wrote:
Gosh, that certainly helped columbine, Virginia Tech, and Ft Hood...NOT!
on April 2,2013 | 12:40PM
Mahalo wrote:
Really thats the solution??? Why not more education, teaching kids from young age the right and wrong? Why not parents with these"good kids" seek medical attention and not bring guns into the home? Guns should only be used to hunt to feed your family ONLY!
on April 2,2013 | 01:08PM
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