Schools don’t need an arms race

A bill is advancing toward the Assembly floor that would put one armed officer at every school campus in California, at the state’s expense.

In the wake of such frequent school shootings recently, many ideas are floating around about how we can make schools safer and more prepared in these types of situations, but this seems more wasteful than beneficial. School shootings have been in the news far too often and lawmakers think by adding additional guns to the equation it would somehow make schools safer. This would not make schools safer, but more dangerous. Putting guns in schools is not the answer to this problem, this is a band-aid solution that would add unnecessary costs to California. The projected tab would be about $1 billion which could go toward funding mental health programs for the youth and additional teachers and classrooms.

In the most recent school shooting at Santa Fe High in Texas, the school had an active shooter plan and also two armed officers patrolling the hallways of the campus. Even with all of these measures, 10 people still died. Putting officers at schools is not going to deter people from this kind of behavior. In the Parkland shooting, there was an officer who was at the school and failed to confront the shooter after he heard gunfire. Even when there are armed cops at schools, there is no guarantee of safety for students and teachers. Citizens need to apply more pressure on lawmakers to pass new legislation and make guns less accessible, especially for the youth. It is far too easy in many states to get a gun, and this is the reason for many of these tragic school shootings.

What are armed officers supposed to do with their time when there is no school shooting?

Shootings make the headlines, but for a majority of the time these officers would have free time and there would be nobody to police them on how they spent that time. Paying an officer to stand around when there can be more mental health services on campuses across the state would be the wrong choice. The answer to safer schools is clear, stricter gun laws is the only solution to making schools safer. Metal detectors, armed officers and staff would only make schools more dangerous by adding guns to the mix.

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