Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has proposed a school program to prevent gun massacres like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by training a designated school employee in firearm use and keeping that employee's weapon on school premises whenever classes are in session. According to Talking Points Memo, Horne suggested the measure as second best to his "ideal solution" of placing an armed police officer in every school.
In a press release from his office, Horne said, "(T)he ideal solution would be to have an armed Police Officer in each school. Some of our schools have such officers, referred to as School Resource Officers (SROs). They are not only there to handle emergencies, but also make friends with the students, and the students learn that Police Officers are people one can confide in, and are not the enemy."
"However," he said, "budget considerations have caused the Legislature to cut back on the SRO program. It may not be possible to afford a Police Officer in every school. In that case, the next best solution is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location. This proposal is analogous to arming pilots on planes.”
The release was signed by a number of Arizona sheriffs, including outed gay Republican Sheriff Paul Babeau. The peace officers pledged their support to such a program and urged the state legislature to take up a bill enacting the program as soon as possible.
In neighboring Utah, the Utah Shooting Sports Council is offering to train teachers to use firearms. The group hopes to avert another Sandy Hook-style bloodbath by putting more guns into the school setting. Currently Kansas and Utah are the only states in the U.S. that allow people to carry concealed weapons in schools.
An armed school guard was on duty at Columbine High School on the day of the school shooting there. Also, the mass murder at Fort Hood, Texas took place on the most populated military installation in the country with a number of armed, highly trained personnel present. 13 people died at Fort Hood, 29 were injured, including shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who was partially paralyzed.
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