Local Officials Skewer NRA Proposal

Armed officers in every school makes no sense, community leaders agree.

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre would turn American schools into an armed camp, complete with an armed police officer at every school in the land.

Elected officials and community leaders think that's nonsense.

"Our priority is to make our schools a safe haven for our children," said superintendent of Plainview-Old Bethpage schools, in a sentiment echoed across the political spectrum.

"The solution is not to escalate the number of firearms available in society and certainly not in schools," she said Friday. "Our schools must be a place of joy, welcoming students to engaged learning spaces. Guns do not send that message to us."

"It's absolutely ridiculous," said D-Woodbury, of the NRA's proposal. "We can't turn schools into armed camps. What would we do, have one gunman opposing another and getting kids caught in the middle?"

Rep. D-Huntington, described LaPierre's statements as “tragically out of touch."

"We do not need an arms race in our schools," Israel said. "We need common-sense initiatives like limits on high-capacity assault magazines and closing the gun show loophole. It's time for common ground, not more guns on school playgrounds.”

R-Seaford, is largely in agreement:

“Except in extremely rare cases, armed police are not the answer to school violence," said King, the chairman of the powerful House Homeland Security Committee. "What we must have are common-sense guns laws such as banning assault weapons and ending the gun show loophole.”

Even the police think LaPierre's proposals are unrealistic:

""Why don't we just have cops at every movie theater now too?" said Nassau PBA President James Carver. "And maybe at every post office? And every place else where there's been mass killings?"

Carver described LaPierre's ideas as "ludicrous."

"Kids -- especially grammar school kids -- shouldn't have to walk into a school with police set up there [with] the fear that there's something bound to happen," Carver said.

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Instead, many believe a better solution is examining the root cause of the problem:

"I think that we need to allocate resources to deal with the mentally disabled so that incidents such as the tragedy in Connecticut are no more," Dr. Lewis said.

Jacobs agrees funding must be in place to address deranged individuals before they have a chance to murder and maim innocents.

On the floor of the Nassau County Legislature this week Jacobs criticized Nassau County's proposed 2013 budget for slashing mental health program funding by nearly 50 percent from 2012 levels.

"We, unfortunately, do not have powers to enforce stricter gun laws on the county level, but we certainly have the power to provide mental health programs in the county and, thereby, serve as a model for the state and federal governments," Jacobs said.

Matthew Hogan contributed to this report.

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Nassau County Civic Assocation, Inc December 21, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Why is it "ludicrous"? New York City schools already have armed Police officers. In regards to "assault weapons" (semi automatic firearms) which are defined by what they look like, those that are labeled assaut weapons are already banned in New York and Conneticut. Further more, both states have the most restrictive gun laws in the nation yet this tragedy occurred. Governor Cuomo has proposed to ban the majority of semi automatic weapons, require permits for all long arms and actually confiscate weapons that are currently legal. How is that a balanced approach protecting gun rights with protecting children? Any approach must be comprehensive and must include a change to our culture of violence such as video games and movies. The explosion in personal devices has reduced the level of human interaction and has isolated people as they rely on electronic comunication. This limited social interaction is not healthy. Early intervention with those who need mental health services must be more available. Together we can work together to reduce violence and better identify those who will resort to violence. It's not a gun problem, it is our current culture and those who seek to ignore it. The Nassau County Civic Association, Inc.
Simba December 22, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Big question is who pays for the ongoing training, do you want teachers armed with weapons that they can't hit the target. NYPD officers are required to put in hundreds of hours in training each year, that's time and money right there. DId you ask the teachers if they want the responsibility. Who maintains the weapons, NYPD has gunsmiths to service the weapons, another expense. Our School Districts have a tough time getting funding aimed at education which is the primary responsibility. The plan sounds nice in principle but it is a pipe dream. We can not afford to arm teachers, train them regularly and maintain the weapons. If you haven't noticed our taxes are already sky high. As for an armed guard at the door, tell me how that stops a sniper with a .50 caliber positioned 500 yards away ? Any gun owner will tell you that a teacher or guard armed with a 9mm is outgunned by a lunatic with a Bushmaster, it's a losing proposition at best.
Jodi Campagna December 22, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Sorry, NRA....but the "armed guards" approach has already proven to be ineffective. There were two armed guards at Columbine the day of that shooting. That didn't stop two teenage boys from shooting and killing a dozen people. And, there were several armed guards (an armed on-campus police force, in fact) at Virginia Tech, where 30+ people died at the hands of a gunman.


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