NRA Still Winning the School Safety Debate

Despite being mercilessly mocked by the MSM for suggesting armed police officers be put in schools — a program the NRA dubbed the National School Shield program — the idea has quickly taken hold all around the country. From Texas to Virginia to Staten Island to Sandy Hook Elementary itself, parents are demanding that their children be afforded armed protection rather than trust their luck to gun-free zone designations that determined murderers tend not to comply with. And as the self-evident logic of the proposal has convinced parents and school administrators alike, perhaps the most surprising group to come to the epiphany that a spree killer who faces armed resistance is likely to kill fewer people is . . . wait for it . . . the Obama Administration . . .

As RF mentioned, when a dim bulb like Barbara Boxer sees the light in having an armed presence protecting our most precious assets, you know an idea has some inherent heft. And not only is the proposal’s simplicity and logic getting through to one of the Senate’s least distinguish chair-warmers, but Steven Rucker in today’s WaPo reports that,

The Obama administration is considering funding many more police officers in public schools to secure campuses, a leading Democratic senator said, part of a broad gun violence agenda that is likely to include a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips and universal background checks.

That’s right. Even VP Joe Biden – someone who’s managed to stake out a position on the wrong side of just about every major policy matter in the last quarter century – thinks cops in schools is good, too. Looks like his Civilian Disarmament Commission will recommend that the guvmint make federal dollars available to districts that want to install armed security guards and surveillance equipment.

But since giving the NRA any credit at all for the idea isn’t something that can be done in polite society, Rucker’s quick to add that whatever the feds go with won’t be ”nearly as far-ranging as the National Rifle Association’s proposal for armed guards in every U.S. school.”

Not that credit really matters much. What’s important is taking steps to ensure that the next mal-adjusted bedwetter with a gun meets force with force. Armed personnel in schools is the only solution that’s been floated that would have a real, tangible effect in improving school safety and reducing casualties in the future when the inevitable happens again.

Still, not matter how blindingly simple and unassailable the logic of placing armed personnel (whether they’re cops or teachers) in schools may be, there are still plenty of lefty anti-gun groups who are still digging in their heels against the horrific thought of using guns to protect children from potential wackadoodles who want nothing more than to kill them.

But the school safety idea also faces some opposition within the Democratic base. A coalition of progressive groups — including the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Advancement Project, the Alliance for Educational Justice and Dignity in Schools — plans to release a report Friday titled “Police in Schools Are Not the Answer to the Newtown Shooting.”

“What seems like a rational solution of let’s have more security in our schools is really the NRA argument — that you fight guns with guns,” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project. “The introduction of police officers into schools has detrimental impact on young people.”

Their calculus is simple: if the NRA is fer it, they’re agin’ it. If it costs the lives of innocent children and teachers, that’s just a cost society will have to bear to keep up the pretense of schools a pristine firearm-free utopias. There’s only so far any self-respecting “progressive group” can bend on something like this, after all.

64 Responses to NRA Still Winning the School Safety Debate

  1. avatarborekfk says:

    I’m pretty sure the Obama Admin is going to say that armed guards in school was their idea, and their idea alone the entire time.

    • avatarTaurus609 says:

      If the NRA had mentioned this only during the task force meetings Thursday, maybe. But the fact that W.L. declared this during a news conference a week after the shootings and was lambasted by MSNBC and members of congress for even the mention of it, means the administration can’t walk it back and make it theirs.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    “The introduction of police officers into schools has detrimental impact on young people.”

    Yes, it does. Especially young people who have their heart set on never permitting their classmates to become old people.

  3. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    A coalition of progressive groups — including the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Advancement Project, the Alliance for Educational Justice and Dignity in Schools — plans to release a report Friday titled “Police in Schools Are Not the Answer to the Newtown Shooting.”

    Make no mistake: some of those “liberal” groups are just as anti-police/anti-government as the anti-cop reactionaries to be found in the comments here on TTAG. It isn’t just guns they want kept out of schools, it’s police.

    Because if you get rid of the police and the guns, then every day is sunny and you hear nothing but kind words. Right.

  4. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    At what point is the NRA going to realize that perception of its brand is irreparably damaged with a huge swath of American voters, and engage in a serious re-branding effort?

    At the very least, the NRA could set up some affiliate (puppet) organizations to be the face of NRA public relations under shiny new brand names, while maintaining the core organization as-is behind the scenes. Yes, it’s cynical, but this is an issue that is long past easy fixes.

    • avatarC. Walther says:

      And here I thought the NRA *was* the puppet organization that distracted the MSM while SAF et al did all the real grunt work. That’s what it seemed like lately, anyway.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        They may draw incoming fire and focus on legislation while SAF works in the courts, but in my opinion that model falls apart when it’s time to represent firearms rights directly to the American people on the national stage.

        Frankly, I think the NRA should co-opt one of the national groups whose brand has NOT been destroyed, and make them the public face of the NRA. Form a coalition and appoint the untainted organization the voice of the community.

        Next time something big happens and people look to the NRA, they just say “oh, us? We support training and sports programs. You want the guys over at [X] who speak for our coalition.” All press releases and public initiatives come out under the other organization’s banner.

        I’ll stop there. It’s not like some NRA staffer is going to read my comment and go “OMFG! This! This is what we should do!” and immediately change strategy. (sigh)

    • avatarC. Walther says:

      I say grunt work. I mean the work that keeps the pro-2A cogs turning but doesn’t get recognized and ridiculed by the MSM.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        NRA-ILA does the legislative grunt work and wields the (very) effective stick that denies candidates re-election.

        SAF, as mentioned above, handles the courts and the legal fight. Frankly, I think they’ve proven that they’re better qualified to do so than the NRA.

        And those are the Tier-1 operators. CalGuns kicks ass, but their scope is limited to state-level action. At least they work in both the courts (visibly) and in legislature.

    • avatarjmkcolorado says:

      AlphaGeek – upon what evidence do you make that (ridiculous, imho) statement?

    • avatarThomasR says:

      That is an a bizarre statement AlphaGeek, the NRA has an over 50 % approval rating by the general public, how do you figure they have “irreparably damaged” thier image?

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        I don’t know about irreparably, but I do know that when the subject of guns comes up and someone learns of my affinity for them, I’m often asked, “Are you an NRA member?” with the same distasteful tone that I used to be asked, “Are you a car salesman?” when people learned I worked at a car dealership. (I wasn’t, I worked in parts.)

        It’s not often, and it’s nowhere near 50% of the time, but it does happen.

    • avatarMarty Ahrens says:

      Why should the NRA hide behind another name when they’re promoting a popular, common sense, point? Like ‘em or not, the NRA often makes some basic good sense. They aren’t powerful simply because of the size of the membership, but they happen to promote a point of view that much of the public agrees with. I’m not a member of the NRA, but I do vote like one. Maybe it’s time people recognize the fact that the NRA isn’t the comically demonized monster that many liberals and the mainstream press fantasize about.

  5. avatarCulpeper Kid says:

    If we want to stop the killing in the schools, we need to start supporting reasonable, common sense proposals, like removing the restrictions on guns on school property (does anyone think that those who come to kill will pay any attention to that restriction) so that there might be someone legally armed on the premises. Next, we need to support the placement of armed security personnel in every school that we would like to see protected. Sure, that will add expense, about as much as for one or two more teachers, but it’s for the children. This reasonable action has proven effective in protecting wealthy individuals, celebrities and government personnel, offices and facilities. Why would we want less for our children. Can opponents answer that question? Better to carry an umbrella than to try to eliminate the rain. If President Obama and the others do not seriously consider these recommendations, then they are obviously not serious about protecting children, or they have other ulterior motives.

  6. avatarLance says:

    Good to hear hope NRA wins all the arguments against fascist in power.

  7. avatar1911moocher says:

    Maybe we should ban arm guards from prisons too, since these guards have a detrimental impact on prisoners. People are ok spending money protecting prisoners in prisoners with armed guards but not ok with putting armed guards in schools to protect our children. These people are unbelievable.

    • avatarMatt says:

      “Maybe we should ban arm guards from prisons too, since these guards have a detrimental impact on prisoners.”

      Ha! Great point.

  8. avatarPoman says:

    Why not create an organization funded by government to hire honorably discharged soldiers or veterans who are mentally fit but out of job and pay them to guard the schools (heard that somewhere?) They got all the tactical training and ready to roll.

    • avatarPascal says:

      There you go using logic to solve a problem again. That idea will never work because it would give good soldiers a good job doing something they would be proud to do for their country.

      I would happily support that

  9. avatarInBox485 says:

    People resist the armed cop idea because it really doesn’t make sense. The last thing this country needs is more cops – ANYWHERE. When or where has another expansion of the police state helped anything?

    What good will a cop do across campus? How much will that cop cost? How much trouble will that cop cause? A bored sub par cop with a badge sitting around looking for trouble at tax payers expense is an absolutely horrible idea. One of the high schools in my area USED to have armed security. They had to scrap it after some moron pulled a gun on a kid for skate boarding. You can’t have people that bored while armed without problems happening, and the problems are all but guaranteed to outweigh any benefits.

    They should have stuck with the idea of teachers being allowed to get training and certification on their own dime and time and carry if qualified. Not a penny to the tax payer, and not another TSA-esq mall cop with a gun.

    • avatarC. Walther says:

      They should have stuck with the idea of teachers being allowed to get training and certification on their own dime and time and carry if qualified.

      That would have pissed off not only the antis, but teachers and their sympathizers. Antis would claim that teachers will never have the training of a police or military person and that doing so would be asinine. Teachers (and their supporters) would complain that they get sh!t pay anyway and forcing them to get trained on their own dime is equally asinine.

      I’m not here to debate the validity of either argument (I think they’re both false). I’m just telling you what squawking that argument would produce.

      • avatarTaurus609 says:

        From what I understand on the news, the armed security officer in the most recent school shooting (the kid with the shotgun) couldn’t make it in that day because he was snowed in. Which lends itself to allowing teachers and staff to be armed, if they can’t make it in, there’s no school!

        Oh and Martin Bashir (yes I watch MSNBC also) made mention of this fact today, to justify not needing armed guards or teachers. In his opinion, all we need is teachers to talk down armed students, not guns!

      • avatarThe smiling swordsman says:

        Not all teachers. There are probably more who are open to the idea of carrying in the classroom than you might think. Even providing teachers the opportunity to carry may be enough of a deterrent to prevent shooters with a weak resolve from showing up. As a middle school teacher, I would love to carry and know at least half a dozen more who would carry if they were given the opportunity.

        • avatarC. Walther says:

          Letting them carry wasn’t the concern. I know there’s plenty of support for that. The issue I was referring to was making them get trained on their own dime. I think that would have rubbed a lot more people than just the antis the wrong way, especially if being able to carry was contingent on taking LEO-style training and said training was cost-prohibitive, whether incidental or by design (if you get what I’m saying).

          From what I understand though, that was the entire point of the Shield program—get the training to those who want it at no cost.

      • avatarTaurus609 says:

        In two states, teachers are getting free instructions for CC, and I know for a fact, that Frontsight has offered free training to teachers for over four years now. If more stepped up and offered free or vastly reduced training, maybe more teachers and staff would consider CC at school (if allowed).

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Inbox: I agree with your sentiment but not your conclusion. A one-for-one substitute of DEA agents (gone) for retired state cops (hired) would represent a large improvement on the trends in this country. The kids would be a bit safer. A BATFE/DEA split might be preferable. The result would be similar.

    • avatarjmkcolorado says:

      holy sh*t, Inbox!
      we have, in a matter of days, come back from a full and permanent dive into gun confiscation lunacy and you’re worried about whether it’s a cop on campus?

      this is shaping up to be an unbelievable vindication and VICTORY for us and all you can do is complain?
      if this goes through we can rub the anti’s face in a deep pile of it and laugh.

      the most important thing is that this is one of the exceedingly few things that will actually improve the safety and security without trampling on rights and privacy.

      and later, it becomes much easier to make the case that armed citizens take up the duties.
      perhaps schools are where the Minutemen rise again?

      take advantage of the situation and stop your paranoid whining.

  10. avatarJavier says:

    Politicians = Hypocrites. Enough said?

  11. avatarInBox485 says:

    TBH, I never thought gun owners would be gullible enough to actually beg for more police standing over everybody’s shoulder at all times. Here and I thought gun rights were about wiping your own butt for a change.

  12. avatarThomas Paine says:

    On July 21, 2011 US Representative Ron Paul introduced H.R. 2613 which would repeal the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act. The bill was last referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

    Hey congress, part of the solution is right in front of you.

  13. avatarDrus says:

    What are the chances of another school incident? They seem to be statistically very safe places. Maybe Nick could let us know. He already has looked at the CDC reports.

    The statistically insignificant but determined shooter will always find a way. Not a school, maybe a school bus or football field or bus stop.

    Where are the majority of gun related injuries and deaths happening? Why are we not concerned about them…

  14. avatarDaniel says:

    “The introduction of police officers into schools has detrimental impact on young people.”

    My elementary school had a police officer. Last I checked, every kid that went through there didn’t come out socially maladjusted and ready to join the Foreign Legion.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      +1. One of my kids, early in this “debate” turned to me in disbelief and said “Dad, don’t they know we already have police officers in our schools? The high schools all have one full time, and we have them visit our [elementary] school just about every week.” From the mouths of babes…

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        I never attended a school that didn’t have a School Resource Officer. They came from the Sheriff’s office. I went to the same school from 7th grade through graduation, and it was the same deputy the whole time.

  15. avatarSmaj says:

    If we lose the narrative/debate to JOE BIDEN, we really deserve whatever comes our way.

  16. avatarAharon says:

    The mass media stuck their foot into their mouth once again by massively criticizing the NRA’s position and call to protect kids as a crazy dangerous idea. Average Americans do understand and can relate to the local events in their lives realistically. The mass media can pull off misinformation and character assassinations only when people can’t relate to and don’t know the issues ie foreign events. The day of the WLP speech, I read a review on a blog. The review pointed out that the speech was brilliant and was not intended for politicians and the mass media. The speech was intended for moms and dads across America. We’ve been seeing the NRA message for real security for kids being applied in different ways spreading across the land. Israeli adults who attended school in Israel as children are proof that going to school protected by armed guards are not a detriment to a person’s intellectual and emotional health and growth.

    • avatarLeo338 says:

      You have to think like a liberal (I know that’s a scary thought). To them armed guards are detrimental to children. Because these kids will grow up around guns then it will be much harder for liberals to stigmatize firearms. How can you possibly brain wash the youth of America into believing guns are evil when they grew up knowing their life was protected by a gun?

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Yes.

      • avatarAharon says:

        Agree 100%. If I can add to what you wrote, security personal whose job it is to protect kids is not the same exposure as gang bangers in the projects acting cool showing off their guns. In the first case it demonstrates that adults and society cares enough about kids to protect them from the few bad guys.

      • avatarDrus says:

        It is not the “armed” part that worries me.

        It is the early brainwashing to make children believe that people in uniforms and/or wearing badges, protect them and their rights. Talk to NYC students or any teenagers about their 1st, 2nd, 4th or 5th amendment rights and how those rights are enshrined and protected by people in uniform.

  17. avatarAccur81 says:

    My first choice would be the eliminating the 1990 Gun Free School Zone Act. Teachers, administrators, and parents with valid CCW permits would be allowed to carry concealed. The cost for such an action would be minimal or non existent.

    I don’t believe that armed security guards or police in schools would automatically be damaging to children. There are a lot of schools that already have armed guards. I don’t want TSA for schools or additional gun control. If it came down to it, I’d much rather have schools decide for themselves, without meddling by the federal government. Actually, if the Feds just repealed GFSZA and did nothing else I would be ecstatic. Unfortunately, like the budget, I don’t place much faith in them.

  18. avatarDavid-p says:

    I think the real problem the antigunners have with this solution is trying to push any new laws through after having armed guards in school. Imagine if you will, the guards are in school and they do the job that they are put there to do. Chances of school shootings drop, maybe not eliminated but can be dealt with quickly if needed, and school children feel safe because a guard with a gun is there. Before long these young children grow up and the antigunners say we need to pass new gun laws, because a different gun free zone was shot up, but now all of these grown up children, who can now vote, say:
    “NO, how can you say it is the guns fault, a gun is what protected us, a gun is what made us feel safe going back to school, a gun is what stopped a gunman at a school a couple counties over. A gun is an object, it can’t be good or bad, just the person behind it”

    How will the antigunners get their message of a gun is always bad across when the kids are exposed to it everyday and no one gets hurt by it. You basically could have an Eddie the Eagle for every school with a good guard leading by example. With this push to put guns in schools we also need to push that if guns are going to be in school then children need to be taught about gun safety. I think this is a good first step. The schools and government will not want to pay for it forever and then we need to push for allowing others to posses guns in their absence.

  19. avatarjwm says:

    So we can’t fight guns with guns? Does that mean we have to fight guns with swords? Doesn’t seem half smart to me.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Sure, I’ll take a sword against a gun any day of the week — if it’s within 7m and we’re both starting with weapons sheathed.

      Then again…

      It doesn’t take 5+ years of diligent training to get reasonably good with a gun. Definite argument in favor of the gun.

      My full-size USP will tuck behind my hip and, with cover garments, be mostly unnoticeable even in the OWB holster. Advantage: gun.

      My sword is >1m of razor-sharp steel. Unless I fake up a leg injury with crutches, it’s not getting concealed on my person. Advantage: gun.

      My gun uses expendable ammunition cartridges, and it’s fscking LOUD. My sword never runs out of ammo, and 99% of the noise involved in using it comes from my exertions, not the blade. Advantage: sword.

      Yeah, on the balance, seems like guns are a better idea overall.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Well, I CC a gun and have a multitude of knives aliso. I wouldn’t want to face a sword inside of 21 feet unless I had a 12 gauge with 00 or slugs.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Smart man. Repeated practical tests in our dojo have demonstrated that inside 21 feet, basically nothing beats a sword. At best the defender wounds the swordsman but the outcome is never in doubt.

          Inside 3 feet, you might think that the swordsman would be a disadvantage. Long sword, short space, big problem, right? Nope, I can draw a full length sword and get it into play standing nose-to-nose with an opponent.

          Not the most practical thing to have invested a chunk of my life in studying, but very effective and satisfying nonetheless.

        • avatarjwm says:

          I think most of us gun people also have a group of knives. People who are into shooting sports tend to be the outdoors type and a good knife is part of that.

          A sword is a whole other animal. As AG said, it takes a lot of dedication and work to get good with a sword. Still, rank amatuer that I am, if a sword was the only weapon available to defend myself I would do my best with it.

          I think I’d rather have a shotgun myself.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Even starting with years of prior martial arts experience, it took me 3 years studying under one of (IMHO) the best sword instructors outside of Japan* before I felt like I had achieved a minimal level of competence, and ~5 years before I didn’t suck.

          *If you’ve seen the Mythbusters episode about whether a sword could cut through another sword, you’ve seen my sensei and one of his senior student-instructors.

      • avatarAharon says:

        I like swords. What type and make do you have?

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Cheness 9260 differentially tempered katana, with matching iaito for practice work. I prefer a “working man” grade sword that I am can use without hesitation for tameshigiri over a >$2k rack queen that I might afraid to get any sweat on.

  20. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    It doesn’t matter how many people die or get injured, as long as the life of even one child can be saved. (facepalm)

  21. avatarBHirsh says:

    While it’s a step in the right direction, it still ignores the obvious besides being poison pilled with a mag ban.

    One cop in a school isn’t enough. One gun in a school isn’t enough. If the cop is at one end of the school and the shooter begins at the other, people will die while the cop is a) notified that there’s a shooter, and b) gets to the location to stop him.

    The real answer is multiple armed and trained school personnel dispersed throughout the campus.

    If/when the next attempt occurs and the cop (presuming there IS one at that school) fails to stop the mayhem before a bunch of innocents are shot, they will come after our guns, AGAIN.

    Armed CIVILIANS who are there normally, all the time, are the answer, not more cops.

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