NRA Task Force Recommends Training School Personnel Who Want To Be Armed | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

NRA Task Force Recommends Training School Personnel Who Want To Be Armed

A task force launched by the National Rifle Association after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has come back with a report that recommends the creation of programs that give additional weapons training to school resource officers as well as "selected and designated school personnel" who could then carry arms.

The task force is also recommending to states that haven't already got such laws on the books that they consider changing their statutes to allow trained school personnel, including teachers, to be armed while on the job.

Former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., who led the task force, outlined its findings and recommendations on Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. After his appearance, copies of the report and a summary of its recommendations and findings were posted online.

One of the main reasons to have more armed personnel in schools, Hutchinson said, is to cut "response time" to attacks. The American Civil Liberties Union was among organizations that issued statements critical of the task force's report. "It is important to create a culture of trust between students and teachers, and arming teachers is the antithesis of that," Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office, said. The National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators, has previously said "guns have no place in our schools. Period."

But Mark Mattioli, whose 6-year-old son was among the 20 children killed during the December attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School appeared with Hutchinson to say he supports the task force's work and believes it has come up with "real solutions that will make our kids safer." Other parents of children killed at the school have spoken out in favor of tougher gun laws and against the NRA's opposition to such changes.

Among the other suggestions in the task force's report:

-- Creation of an "online self assessment tool" that school administrators could use to gauge the adequacy of their districts' security programs.

-- Changes in state education policies to require that school districts conduct safety assessments.

-- That the NRA continue the "National School Shield" program launched by the task force and turn it into an "umbrella organization to advocate and support school safety."

Many of the recommendations — particularly those about putting more armed personnel in the nation's schools — echo NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's statement in December that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Hutchinson, though, told reporters that there is "no guarantee the NRA will accept these recommendations." He said one proposal — to arm retired police officers and other volunteers and have them patrol schools — was dropped due to opposition from school superintendents.

As The Associated Press adds, the task force released its report "a week before the Senate begins debating gun control legislation. The [NRA] opposes the main component of that bill — expanding background checks to cover nearly all purchases of firearms.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

NPR's Michel Martin will sit down with a panel of award-winning playwrights to ask about diversity in theater. Follow here or join us on Twitter on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, using #NPRMichel.
NPR

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

Two major doughnut chains have bowed to consumer pressure to better police their palm oil purchases. Environmentalists say it's a win for consumers, trees and animals.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Legislators Kill Medicaid Expansion Effort

The Republican majority killed a compromise effort on a 64 to 33 vote. That means no action will be taken to expand Virginia's Medicaid program.
NPR

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

NPR's Michel Martin will sit down with a panel of award-winning playwrights to ask about diversity in theater. Follow here or join us on Twitter on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, using #NPRMichel.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.