A Georgia school district close to one where a tragedy was narrowly avoided last month because an employee was able to convince a gunman to lay down his weapons has proposed putting assault rifles at each of its campuses.
In a shocking 911 call released last month, McNair Discovery Learning Academy staffer Antoinette Tuff could be heard telling 20-year-old gunman Michael Brandon that she loved him and that he would be safe if he put down his weapon and surrendered to police.
At a Gainesville City School Board meeting on Tuesday, officials pointed to last year’s shooting at Sandy Hood Elementary School in Connecticut and the recent incident McNair to make that case that at least three schools — Gainesville High School, Gainesville Middle School and Woods Mill Academy — should have police-issue M4 assault rifles available on campus.
The proposal calls for one weapon at each school to be locked in the school resource officer’s office.
Gainesville police Lieutenant Jay Parrish told WGLC that the firepower was necessary because perpetrators have “bigger, better weapons than what the officers carry in their day-to-day operations.”
“In some of these schools, we have 100 plus foot hallways,” Parrish explained. “A handgun is just not affective in that area, whereas a rifle would be.”
Watch the video below from WGLC, broadcast Sept. 5, 2013.