NRA-Commissioned Study Expands on Call for More Armed School Police


A study commissioned by the National Rifle Association has amplified the gun rights group's immediate response to the mass killing in Newtown, Ct.: that all U.S. schools should have police or armed staff members trained to confront a shooter, reports the Washington Post. Although ostensibly independent of the NRA, the examination of school safety issues provides the organization with an alternative narrative to the various gun-control measures on Capitol Hill that it is opposing or seeking to dilute. The National School Shield Report focuses on a host of possible safety measures, such as internal door security and perimeter fencing. Its central recommendation is that armed personnel should be posted in all schools. Former congressman Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), who led the $1 million study, said schools could use “school resource officers” — typically local police trained to work in schools — or arm teachers or administrators. Those staff members should receive 40 to 60 hours of weapons instruction and other training, the report says. It does not offer specific recommendations for the ratio of armed personnel to students or what kind of guns school personnel should carry. Hutchinson said those are local decisions. He said that many smaller school districts cannot afford school resource officers and that their only option is to train existing staff members in how to respond to a shooter.

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