June 5 of this year, Secretary Betsy DeVos of guns and grizzly bears in schools fame, said the commission she heads to study school safety would not be looking into the role of guns in school shootings – that that activity was not a “part of the commission’s role, per se” according to her testimony in the video below.
Color me not surprised at all.
According to the article:
In its research, the Education Department has determined that the gun purchases could fall under improving school conditions, people familiar with the department’s thinking said.
An about-face if ever there were one, and it appears to contradict the Homeland Security Department.
From the article:
Guidance for grants distributed by the Homeland Security Department that are intended for “school preparedness,” for example, notes that weapons and ammunition are not permitted.
Congress even added a rule under the Stop School Violence Act that prohibits “the use of grants for firearms or firearm training.”
So, DeVos appears to be using a loophole in the grant program that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases for schools,
August 13 of this year, the Bismarck, ND Police Department requested funding to purchase AR-15s for their School Resource Officers.
The requested funding would be included in the city’s 2019 budget for equipment according to the article.
If DeVos does move forward with her plan, it appears funding for the AR-15s might not have to come out of the city’s funding budget.
According to the article:
State laws related to guns in schools vary by state and although many only apply to college campuses, some states give teachers with concealed carry permits the ability to have guns on the grounds of K-12 schools, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
There’s a significant problem with DeVos’ plan and the push to allow assault style weapons in schools, in general, as I see it.
At the onset of the massacre at Columbine High School April 20, 1999, a School Resource Officer engaged the two shooters outside the building. He was approximately 60 yards away from them and had only a handgun. He was outmanned and outgunned.
Arguably, if he’d had an AR-15 style assault weapon to use he may have been able to stop the carnage before it got any worse.
The fly in the ointment in this argument, however, is that most of the proposals to arm SROs and/or school staff with assault style weapons include provisions to keep that weaponry under lock and key inside the school.
That, in and of itself, should be enough to discourage schools from considering this kind of ‘solution’ to a very complex problem.
At Columbine, the SRO would have had to somehow evade the two shooters outside in order to get into the school. Then he would have had to run to the storage locker, secure a weapon, ensure it was loaded, find the shooters, and take them down…not an assured outcome by any stretch.
Even if an SRO or school staff were already inside the building, the same constraints would affect how well they might be able to engage an active shooter.
So, color me skeptical that this ‘solution’ being considered by DeVos would come anywhere close to actually being effective.
My two cents.
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