In what seems like a surprise move, the White House working group on gun control is considering expanding federal funding for cops in schools.
It was the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre who, a week after the shooting in Newtown, recommended placing armed police officers in every school in America. The idea was ridiculed by the left but has been embraced by the school superintendent in Newtown at the behest of many parents. There are currently two officers present at each of the six schools in the Newtown district.
The White House has found that even many Democrats support the idea of cops in schools. Senator Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) told the Post, “If a school district wants to have a community policing presence, I think it’s very important they have it.” Ninety percent of large, urbanhigh schools already have SROs on duty; however, the majority ofschools, especially at the elementary level, have no security at all.
President Bill Clinton initiated a program which offered federal funding to offset the costs of hiring school resource officers, but the money was cut over the last five years. Even if the White House does embrace the new plan, it will not be as extensive as the NRA recommendation. Effectively, the administration would be restoring funding to a program that had fallen out of favor.
The White House has been signaling for weeks that it planned to make amajor push on gun control in the wake of the Newtown shooting lastmonth. Most analysts have expected the effort, headed by VicePresident Joe Biden, to focused on banning so-called assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, priorities favored by gun control advocates.
The move to consider cops in schools may be the closest thing to a compromise the White House will offer. At the very least, it should put an end to the snickers coming from the President’s progressive allies who ridiculed the NRA recommendation. It seems the White House now believes–like the parents of Newtown, CT–that armed cops are part of the solution to gun violence.