On December 21, 2012, the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Wayne LaPierre spoke of the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary by decrying the fact that “we protect our banks…airports, office buildings…even sports stadiums…with armed guards” while our children are left “utterly defenseless.”
Nearly one year since that speech, banks, airports, office buildings, “even sports stadiums,” remain better protected than our schools.
According to Reuters, in the year since Sandy Hook, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) “has trained slightly more than 1,800 new officers.” Further, in September, the Department of Justice announced it would spend nearly $45 million on 356 new officers.
Considering there are approximately 99,000 public schools in the United States, these 2,156 officers are a “drop in the bucket,” at best.
To be fair, President Obama has lately put in a request for Congress to fund just over 1,000 more officers; however, where was this willingness in the aftermath of Sandy Hook? The majority of school security changes that have taken place in 2013 still concern the ability to “shelter-in-place” and hide until police arrive.
Meanwhile, our banks, our office buildings, and yes, our NFL stadiums continue to have armed security personnel.
Earlier this week, NBC reporters were able to breach school entrance security at seven out of ten schools they tried and walk through their halls unimpeded. If they had criminal intent, the results might have been tragic. “Sheltering-in-place” would not have stopped them.
An armed guard could.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.