NRA: Put Armed Officers in Every Parkway and Rockwood School

Parkway School officials said they have already asked law enforcement to up their presence by having patrol officers check in at elementary schools.

Posting an armed officer in every Parkway and Rockwood school and in schools across the country is the goal of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the guns-rights lobby announced on Friday. 

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said Wayne LaPierre, the organization's top lobbyist, at a Friday news conference, according to a Huffington Post report.

The statement comes on the heels of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT, where 20 children and six adults were killed. NRA had remained silent until Wednesday, when it first announced its intention to offer "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

The Parkway School District already has armed school resource officers (SROs) stationed at every middle and high school in the district. In each case, the officer is provided by the local department in which the school is located. 

On Thursday, Parkway Deputy Superintendent Desi Kirchhofer said the district was already in talks with the Chesterfield Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department about having patrol officers provide regular check-ins at the elementary schools. 

"We have already decided to up the presence at our elementary schools," he said. 

The funding for SRO is entirely footed by individual districts, so the financial burden of increasing patrols or adding additional security personnel is placed squarely on schools. Kirchhofer didn't detail any specific plans to add dedicated officers to the elementary schools at this point, but said providing a safe environment for learning is one of the district's goals. 

"If that's what it takes, then their may be funds to reallocated to make it up."

Tim Fitch, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, previously suggested that school officials arm themselves to protect students, an idea that was rejected by local school officials during a meeting of the Safe Schools Partnership Program on Thursday.

Fitch said the "main interest" of school during the meeting was putting police officers in area elementary schools.

“But their main concern about doing that is how are we going to pay for it?” he said.

The idea of asking voters to approve a specific tax that could fund an added police presence was discussed as well, but Fitch said asking for tax increases is always a “significant hurdle.”

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Following the shooting, President Barack Obama has pledged to make gun control a "central issue" in his second term, reports the New York Times. A proposal is expected within a few weeks. 

The NRA's statement approaches the issue much differently. Instead of creating more stringest gun control laws, the NRA suggests that guns in schools would prevent future shootings.

TELL US: Do you believe an armed officer in every school is the right approach? Or do you think tougher gun laws is necessary? Let us know in the comments below. 

Vic Panus December 22, 2012 at 04:33 AM
There are already hundreds of gun laws on the books. I just read that a person was stabbed to death, so I guess we should ban knives. New York has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation. Does it help??? Maybe the do gooders, Obama and a lot oof the stay at home moms that thing as long as its a rifle its a assault rifle should take a walk in some of the dark areas at night and ask the people to turn over their guns. Right. Take away the guns from the legally owner, trained concealed carrier and the only person that will have a gun is the bad guy. People SNAP and gun laws won't change anything. IF YOU DON'T LIKE GUNS AND DON'T BELIEVE IN CONCEALED CARRY THEN DON'T BUY A GUN AND HOPE HELP COMES WHEN YOU NEED THE GOOD GUY.
Debbie Rowe December 22, 2012 at 04:54 AM
The answer is not more guns. We've got enough people out there carrying weapons or that have access to weapons. I would vote for bullet proof glass in windows and doors and keeping doors locked at all times.
Tom Maher December 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
You forgot that we need to outlaw lightning and automobiles. And lets not forget milking stools; after all, the death rate from falling off them is horrendous. Your belief that all of the "legally owner" [sic] (whatever THAT means...) are adequately trained is disingenuous at best and ludicrous at worst.
Cynthia C. January 03, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Most of the schools already keep the doors locked and have bulletproof walls. That's not going to help in a situation in which an armed intruder enters the building by breaking into it, as did happen in Newtown, with murderous intentions. The problem is not guns in and of themselves. The problem is that people have become increasingly more isolated and no one really knows anything about their friends, neighbors, and even their families. We don't need "Big Brother", but we could sure use some nosy neighbors!


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