Originally published December 21 2012
Gallup poll: 64 percent of Americans want school officials armed to protect children
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The Obama administration and its gun-grabbing allies in Congress are planning to exploit the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in a renewed bid to take away guns and gun rights. But in the days following the massacre of 20 first graders and six adults, the Gallup polling firm found that, by overwhelming majorities, most citizens favor decidedly different solutions to prevent further senseless attacks on our nation's schools.
According to the survey, the most popular option chosen by respondents is boosting police presence at schools; 53 percent of respondents said more police would be "very effective" at reducing acts of mass murder, while another 34 percent said it would be "somewhat effective."
In addition to boosting protective measures, Americans also believe that increasing funding and access to mental health services would be an effective deterrent. The Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, was reportedly afflicted with mental issues; so was the Aurora, Colo., shooter, James Holmes.
Fully half of respondents - 50 percent - said more mental health access and funding would be "very effective" at reducing future violence, with an additional 34 percent saying such measures would be "somewhat effective." Only 14 percent said they believed more funding would not be effective.
Arm the educators
Americans also believe that there is far too much violence depicted on television and in video games to which kids are exposed. 47 percent of respondents said reducing depictions of gun violence in movies, on television and in video games would go a long way towards reducing real-life violence; 31 percent said doing so would be "somewhat effective."
What is especially noteworthy; however, is the number of Americans who believe that arming school personnel would be an effective deterrent; fully 64 percent believe allowing education professionals to be armed would be a "very effective" or "somewhat effective" step.
It's this latter idea that is catching on in a number of public policy and law enforcement circles.
Just days after the Sandy Hook shooting, St. Louis County Police Chief Tom Fitch stated plainly that educators and education professionals should be trained to carry weapons and armed while in school, to protect kids.
"We can talk on the back end of the need for funding of mental illness programs and gun control, but as a law enforcement officer, I'm focused on that five-minute window that it takes for the cops to get there while people are getting killed," he said. "There is somebody out there right now trying to figure out how to do something worse than this guy did, and there is only one way to end a threat, and that's with lethal force."
"We cannot continue to do things as we've always done it, that's why we need to have frank discussion in this country as to where we go from here," he added.
At this point, denial has become our most dangerous enemy
Knee-jerk reactionaries; however, quickly dismissed his suggestion and illogical, unworkable, foolish - you name it - but Fitch, a career law enforcement officer, remained undeterred, mostly because he has yet to hear a better idea.
"How do you think we should respond to that?" he said during an interview on local radio station KMOX, regarding the lag time when shots are first fired to when police arrive. "Nobody has an answer. Nobody has said, 'well, I would do this.' They just say, 'I don't like what you said, it's unacceptable, it's irresponsible, you should be fired.' I've heard all of that. But, nobody has an answer for that critical time period."
He's not alone. Other law enforcement and security experts have similar sentiments.
In an excerpt from a compelling article posted online at PoliceOne.com, featuring a hard-hitting presentation on school security by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, the solution is laid bare:
The challenge for law enforcement agencies and officers, then, is to overcome not only the attacks taking place in schools, but to first overcome the denial in the minds of mayors, city councils, school administrators, and parents. Grossman said that agencies and officers, although facing an uphill slog against the denial of the general public, must diligently work toward increasing understanding among the sheep that the wolves are coming for their children. Police officers must train and drill with teachers, not only so responding officers are intimately familiar with the facilities, but so that teachers know what they can do in the event of an attack.
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