The National Rifle Association weighed in today on the Sandy Hook school shooting that left 27 people dead including 20 children. While many have been calling for gun control and a reassessment of mental health in America, the gun lobby said it is developing and hopes to implement an emergency school safety plan that includes but is not limited to having an armed guard in every school.
“The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.
Former Congressman, U.S. Attorney and Administrator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Asa Hutchinson has been appointed director of the NRA’s National School Shield Program. Although details are scarce, as the plan is still underdevelopment, Hutchinson gave a general overview of the plan.
“I envision this initiative will have two key elements,” Hutchinson said. “First, it would be … a comprehensive strategy for school security based on the latest, most up-to-date technical information from the foremost experts in their fields.”
He said the plan will be more of a template, meaning a school and community will be able to modify it as they see fit. And while having an armed security guard posted at the school is only part of the plan, he added, “If a school decides for whatever reason that it doesn’t want or need armed security personnel, that of course is a decision to be made by parents at the local level.”
The second element, Hutchinson said, is that the program will not rely on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government to operate, and instead will rely on volunteers. Otherwise the NRA’s plan will made available to schools across the country “free of charge.”
LaPierre said that the NRA aims to have the plan ready and possibly even implemented by the time students return to school after the holiday break.