Dec 24, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
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Excerpted from NBC New York: On the same day the National Rifle Association spoke publicly for the first time since last week’s elementary school massacre in Connecticut, one local school district announced plans to place armed police officers in every school.
The mayor of Marlboro Township in New Jersey said Friday there would be armed security guards at the district’s nine schools starting in January.
“This is not such a major change– we’re not putting in SWAT teams,” said Mayor Jon Hornik.
Hornik, who has three school-aged children, told NBC 4 New York he was still shaken from the Newtown shooting, and he “hasn’t stopped hugging” his five-year-old.
He statements about safety and protecting children echoed those made by the NRA earlier in the day.
“Just like what happened on 9/11– air travel changed,” he said. “In my opinion last Friday, school security changed, and you can sit by and hope that it doesn’t happen at your school or you can take action.”
The NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, suggested armed guards be placed at every school.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.
LaPierre wondered what would have happened if 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza had “been confronted by qualified armed security.”
Protesters interrupted the remarks. A sign that gun policy will become an increasingly intense debate in the weeks ahead.
It was unclear Friday if the plan in Marlboro Township was in place before the briefing. And like the protesters at the NRA meeting, the Marlboro plan has critics, too, including Governor Chris Christie.
“You don’t want to make this an armed camp for kids. I don’t think that’s a positive example for children. We should be able to figure out some other ways to enhance safety it seems to me.”
Critics on social media point out armed guards might not have saved anyone in Newtown.
But in Marlboro Friday, parents like mother of three Doreen Coluccio said the new school stance seems fine.
“To one extent I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction,” she said. “But I also think that they’re just trying to look out for the welfare of the kids.”