December 27th, 2012
10:52 AM ET

Arizona plan would arm principals

By Alan Duke, CNN

(CNN) - Arizona's attorney general proposed arming one principal or employee at each school to defend against attacks such as the recent Connecticut school massacre.

"The ideal solution would be to have an armed police officer in each school," Attorney General Tom Horne said in a news release Wednesday. But budget cuts have limited the number of Arizona schools with "school resource officers" on campus, he said.

The "next best solution," Horne said, "is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location."

A shooter, armed with a semiautomatic rifle and two other guns, on December 14 killed 26 people - including six faculty members and 20 young students - at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown.

Horne compared the plan to the FAA's program adopted after the September 11, 2001, attacks to arm airline pilots.

A school would be invited to send the principal "or another designee" to "training in the use of firearms and how to handle emergencies such as that which occurred in Newtown," Horne's release said. Horne's office would oversee the free training with help from sheriffs, he said.

"The designated individual (no more than one per school) would then be authorized to keep a firearm locked in a secure place, and would have adequate communication to be alerted to an emergency in any part of the school," the release said.

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Filed under: Policy • School administration • School safety
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Joe LittleBear

    Restricting guns from law-abiding citizens only makes them easy prey to criminals...Criminals will steal their weapons from those who CAN obtain them legally....even if that means ambushing a law officer or security guard... In the early stages of the Viet Nam war.....those who DID NOT have weapons would manufacture guns from pipe or even hollowed out bamboo just to ambush one person who DID have a gun...so they could take that gun from them... A person whose intent is to murder others IS NOT concerned if the weapon they use is legally registered to THEMSELVES...nor if they have a PERMIT for it...

    January 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  2. Joe LittleBear

    One faculty person armed would not be enough....better to have TWO OR THREE ,.....in a firefight, while one "good guy " had the "bad guy's attention...the others could easily take him down... dividing his attention and striking from different directions is the key...

    January 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  3. Madison

    This sounds like it might work. I think that it's a better idea than stricter gun control simply because democracies would be much more easily overthrown if people gave up their right to bear arms. The people of America could be controlled if we give up power. Safety precautions could help cut down on the unwanted side-effects, like psychos that deserve to rot in prison, but I'm still not sure. These are honestly two sides of a coin that I'd rather not have to flip.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  4. Russell G. Berry Jr, BS, MA

    My name is Russell George Berry Jr, I am a Navy and Army veteran who served his country proudly, all of us veterans took an oath to support and defend this country against all invaders foreign and "DOMESTIC"! And every time some act of evil is perpetrated on an unsuspecting and innocent people there is always an outcry to take or modify our rights away, what if a perpetrator chose to use a baseball bat to commit the same type of heinous crime that evil not law abiding citizens choose to commit, would there be the same outcry as there is when a gun is used? Regardless of the weapon used, we would still have innocent women, children and men dead, no I don’t think there would be. I'll tell you why there is no outcry, because a people who have baseball bats are not a threat to their government and could be easily managed by said government. However, a nation where its people are armed do pose a creditable threat to said government and makes the true dictates of said government that much harder to come to fruition.
    I understand that we need to do something and we need to do it now, you will not get an argument from me on this point. However, that being said, once again the solution is to address the mediums that are being used and not the source that uses those mediums.

    The one thing we as members of the human race must learn, is not to react to a crisis, but to take action to resolve the crisis, we can start doing this by not clouding the issue with our emotions or our desire to get revenge or to make sense out of something that we will not be able to make sense of. We are not other countries, we are our country and though the dynamics may seem similar, in reality they are not, we can't allow the concept of the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" to dictate our national policy. The statement was made “The right to bear arms needs to be modified" well what everyone must also consider is the unintended consequences that may give rise to this type of solution. Because once we as a people start down this slippery slope, what will be the next right we will feel that needs to be modified, Liberty of conscience, religious freedom, due process of law, self-expression or how about modifying the right to protect against unlawful search and seizure? Patriot Act is a prime example of why we should not and cannot allow our national policy to be dictated by our emotions.

    The problem is not the mediums that are used to commit such heinous crimes, the problem is the source that uses those mediums to commit said heinous crimes, the source is "US" that's right, we as humans are to blame, if we as members of the human race truly wanted to fix or create a better society to witch we can live with the reduced occurrence of said heinous crimes, then we need to fix ourselves and not some inanimate object. If we truly want a change in the society that we live in, then let us focus on making us better and not focus on modifying our rights because it is easier to do that than to face the real reason why we live in the type of society that we do; all one has to do is look in a mirror and change how we view that image that is reflected back to us.
    As a veteran who has sworn a life time oath to the protection of this country, its peoples and her national interests, in the strongest terms possible I am siding with the sentiments put forth by Cpl. Joshua Boston U.S. Marine corps veteran. I also would like to reiterate what Cpl. Boston had wrote to California Senator Dianne Feinstein “You ma'am have overstepped a line that is not your domain.” I am also not your "subject," "servant" or "peasant" you ma’am serve me and all the other Americans who put you where you are, do not allow yourself the luxury of forgetting that!
    Russell George Berry Jr, BS, MA

    January 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  5. FLB

    I think placing a police substation on school grounds might not be a bad idea. or at least assigning multiple officers to each school. this would reduce the time, that a shooter has to run freely throughout the school. i do not believe we should be arming teachers, they would not have the training, to react in such a situation. and they can be under a lot of stress, at time (with 20-30 kids) that i fear a teacher snapping. and having a gun handy would just be a bad idea.

    December 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Mike G

      I think youre forgetting how many of our teachers are prior military or law enforcement. I would bet you would be hard pressed to find a school without one who would perfectly meet the ability and training level necessary to handle a firearm. Perhaps armed security is the answer. But no amount of words on paper is going to stop anyone. The next guy will just be a bolt action in a tower (sounds familiar).

      December 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm |