The left is going apoplectic at an idea presented by NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre that there should be armed guards in every school following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
Some critics called the idea “impractical at best, dangerous at worst,” and likened any such program to the Trayvon Martin shooting, suggesting that schools would be patrolled by neighborhood watch individuals such as George Zimmerman.
The reality however is that the Justice Department has long had a program in effect with the accurate title, “COPS in Schools”, a program heavily funded, promoted, and implemented by former President Bill Clinton following the horrific shootings in Columbine over a decade ago.
In a manual created by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2005, the program benefits involved in using Safety Resource Officers (SROs) are partly described as such:
“… most school administrators and teachers gain three significant benefits from SROs that sometimes the program needs to remind school personnel they are gaining in order to motivate them to continue to support program funding:
• increased safety in the schools,
• the feeling of increased safety, and
• improved response time.
SROs improve safety in the schools by handling violence and preventing violence.
As Yid With Lid writes:
In April 2000 as part of his commemoration of the first anniversary of deaths at Columbine High School in his weekly radio speech President Clinton announced $120 million in grants, much of it for a program to place armed police officers in schools.
Indeed, a Los Angeles Times report from 2000 spells out some further details:
Clinton also unveiled the $60-million fifth round of funding for “COPS in School,” a Justice Department program that helps pay the costs of placing police officers in schools to help make them safer for students and teachers. The money will be used to provide 452 officers in schools in more than 220 communities.
“Already, it has placed 2,200 officers in more than 1,000 communities across our nation, where they are heightening school safety as well as coaching sports and acting as mentors and mediators for kids in need,” Clinton said.
Not only did Clinton provide more funding as a direct response to the Columbine incident, but he was the one who implemented the COPS in Schools program in the first place. And it was President Obama who cut funding for the program.
The NRA came out with a proposal to post armed police officers at schools to prevent or at least minimize the next school shooting. The left promptly called the idea nuts.
Turns out, it wasn’t a new idea. President Bill Clinton proposed the same idea in April 2000. He implemented it, too, only to see Barack Obama cut the funding for it.
So, if you’re keeping score, the NRA agrees with a 12-year old Bill Clinton position on school security. The left just called a former Democrat president “crazy.”
The cuts made by the Obama administration were made despite warnings from the Government Accountability Office which stated that, “many school district officials said that they experience challenges in planning for emergencies due to a lack of equipment, training for staff, and expertise and some school districts face difficulties in communicating and coordinating with first responders and parents.”