Schools clash about NRA suggestion to have armed guards patrol halls

DENVER — For some parents who’ve put themselves in the shoes of parents at sandy hook elementary, the idea of armed guards in schools posed by the NRA Friday holds a definite appeal.

“As my kids get older, I do feel like something like this would make me feel better about sending them to school,” Denice Bailey said.

Another one of those parents is Wayne Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association.

“I think Wayne LaPierre’s statements are exactly on the mark,” Fabian said, referencing Friday’s remarks from the president of the NRA. “Every time we make some place a gun-free zone, what that turns into is a criminal enterprise zone.”

But for the father of one Columbine victim, who’s worked tirelessly for more gun control, a guard in each school is not the answer.

“I think the NRA is still in denial, said Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was slain on April 20, 1999. “I would have thought they would have at least done some acknowledgement of the concern the American public has and it seems to me they’re not tuned into that at all.

“If having more guns in more places made us safer we should be the safest nation on earth.”

The NRA’s proposal has re-exposed the fault lines in America’s gun debate. On Friday, LaPierre, the head of the state shooting association, echoed the idea that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Kerrie Dallman, the head of the Colorado Education Association, wouldn’t take on the NRA directly but said mental health services, which have suffered severe budget cuts in recent years, should be the real focus.

“Oftentimes we have cut funding for school counselors and school social workers and school psychologists,” Dallman said. “And if we’re going to prevent this type of tragedy occurring in the future we’re going to have to invest more heavily in those mental health professionals that service our kids.”


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