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Patch Talker: Readers Respond to Issue of Armed Guards in Schools, Gun Control

What do you think needs to be done to stop school shootings? Do you agree with President Obama’s plan for gun control? Are you a fan of the NRA’s idea to have armed guards in schools?

Following another school shooting, this time in Atlanta on Jan. 31, Patch asked readers if they believed President Obama's gun control proposals will help prevent school shootings.

We also asked readers what they feel needs to be done to stop school shootings, such as bringing in armed guards.

Here are some of the responses we received. Some comments have been edited for length, grammar and clarity:

"What will stop the school shootings? 1. Pass a law forcing all gun owners to buy a heavy duty gun box and keep all guns locked up 24-7. Keep a hand gun out for home security, but if you go out lock up the all the guns. 2. Armed guards in all schools. 3. Metal detectors. 4. Bullet proof all school first floor windows and doors. Keep all school doors locked up. 5. Cameras all around the schools. That is going to cost some money but it will keep kids safe 99%," posted Jose.

"I don't believe mandating armed guards is the answer. There are 2 better solutions: 1. Allow any teacher or staff member that wants to have conceal carry to do so once trained. You could even only allow biometric triggers for those staff members. 2. Place weapons in safes in strategic locations around the school. Train the staff on their usage," posted Lennie Jarratt.

"Not enough money for supplies or up-to-date materials, but when it comes to guns and the gun culture, no cost is too much," posted Sully.

"Schools are responding with metal detectors and armed guards as a solution. This will only make matters worse. Shooting a gun on a range is one thing but shooting in a combat situation is something completely different. By arming our school personnel with guns we will be facing worse episodes of violence and shooting, and even if you remove all the guns people who want to create an act of violence will always find a way," posted Robert Howard.

Got an opinion? Share it in the comments.

One Injured in Atlanta School Shooting: How to Stop the Violence?

Cheer Dad! February 05, 2013 at 06:37 PM
What Vortex said is spot on. As a Marine and a victim of gun violence by career criminal, I can personally tell you that it's the individual, not the weapon of choice. If someone is determined to do something, they will find a way. However, if there is someone with the ability or means to stop them, they may not succeed, they might be deterred or think twice. Its what our national security is founded on, deterence. Hence, trained armed security vs. non-armed at schools, the cost is not significantly more. Our HS has a security staff but they are not armed. Why not change that? On a positive note, we are fortunate to have one police officer assigned at our school. In regards to school staff being armed. I agree that it should be looked into. There are military veterans that are staff at schools, and if the proper training and annual qualifications were met, I think a select number of staff members armed could be an inexpensive and effective option. We obviously don't have the funds to turn our schools into Fort Knox nationwide, but there are ways to make the schools more safe, provide us peace and mind, and incorporate measures to deter the evil souls that wish to terrorize us.
eicy February 05, 2013 at 06:47 PM
My comment relates to having a valid FOID card; every law abiding Illinois gun owner has to have one just to handle a gun or purchase one. It is also required to buy ammo. So how are the gang bangers and illegal owners without a FOID card able to buy so much ammo and so many weapons? Enforcing existing laws and regulations may be just a start but a necessary one but clearly something more needs to be done; there's also a huge social problem here with how lttle human lives are valued by these people so quick to kill. Much of this is proven to be illegal drug related which is another issue that needs to be addressed.
Cheer Dad! February 05, 2013 at 06:47 PM
In regards to assault rifles and high cap magazines. It does not matter what type of gun that is used to kill anyone including our children, or how many bullets a magazine holds, 7, 10, 30 etc. the bottom line is that each bullet can kill. Our politicians are more concerned with winning a party line issue than addressing the real issue, protect our schools. No ban is gonna stop a determined person from acquiring a weapon of choice to commit their crime. A well thought out security plan and properly trained and equipped personnel may.
D15parentanddriver February 05, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Arming teachers and school staff? What is next. After what happened a week ago to the bus driver in Alabama, are they going to want to arm all bus drivers too? Come on gun lovers, unless the NRA want to pay for the training, and the weapons for the MILLIONS of teachers, school staff, (bus drivers?) etc.....lets pass some reasonable laws that will be in the best interest of the CHILDREN without compromising the 2nd Amendment. I for one DO NOT want to carry a gun with me when I go to work. Gettin my children to and from school safely is my #1 priority and I would do the same thing that that bus driver did. God Bless Charles Poland for protecting his kids that fateful day. May he Rest in Peace.
Carl Castrogiovanni February 05, 2013 at 08:19 PM
"lets pass some reasonable laws that will be in the best interest of the CHILDREN without compromising the 2nd Amendment." Let us know if/when you come up with some specific details on how to accomplish that... "Reasonable" is obviously subjective and leaves too much room for capricious and arbitrary. Try using "effective" instead. Taking truly effective measures involves focusing on people and their behaviors, not guns...
McCloud February 05, 2013 at 08:20 PM
What is a reasonable law? A symbolic one? People need to get real with their reliance on passing laws. Guess what, there already are "reasonable" laws and the bad people do not think they pertain to them. This is a political apple, complete with young children at the President's feet, as he takes a big bite out of it.
Pete Speer February 05, 2013 at 08:37 PM
There is a significant percentage of the people who believe that the Republic is falling apart. We have moved from a free society to an Entitlement Society with people and institutions subsidized by politicians attempting to remain in power. The net result of an Entitlement Society will be a Statist nation and an overthrow of the Constitution based Republic in which Central authority rests on that granted by the States. That overthrow, if by force, is to be resisted. Already States and local governments have been cozzened by money received from Washington, D.C. It enables them to avoid direct taxation and face voter displeasure. The functioning family is the most efficient and effective level of government; the homestead must be secure. The result of a Statist government is Tyranny. Resistance will be necessary. The Second Amendment is a necessary condition for security and resistance. It is up to each citizen to prepare their child for life in a Republic and to protect him or her from evil. This is the meaning behind the First Amendment. It is too bad that the failures of a few parents require armed guards in schools, but so be it.
Sandra Sims February 05, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Wow, you sound just like the guy in Alabama. Fear and hatred of the "gubmint" and a gun fondler. Will we be reading about you soon? LOL
Gary February 05, 2013 at 09:50 PM
While your enjoying your little chuckle Sandra, you might want to consider how you are going to explain why our country as run by Democrats is completely unraveling. Over 8 million people have dropped out of the workforce in the last 4 years. Health care costs have gone through the roof. The economy just shrank last quarter. Your guys are failing and it's nothing to laugh about.
Gary February 05, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Sandra, please tell us your view of how the country is doing right now, and where we're headed. Let the readers decide who's out of touch with reality and who should be laughed at.
Charles February 05, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Sandra is an Patch troll. It's best to not feed the trolls.
Gary February 05, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Sandra represents 51% of our population. She must be challenged.
Charles February 05, 2013 at 10:20 PM
LOL.. o.k.... I've seen this before so good luck.
Pete Speer February 05, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Sandra...when you choose to rebut my ideas with yours, I would be pleased to debate you. In the interim, confine your nonsense to nursery rhymes you read to your students.
Gary February 05, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Charles, I've seen it before too, so I know how it ends. Sandra will not answer the question because she can not do so without damning her own ideology. Her only choice is to blame Bush or Edgar or Nixon or some other ghost from the past, and if she does that, well, then the real fun starts doesn't it?
Charles February 05, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Her normal modus operandi is to dodge your questions and resort to name calling and insults. She's been presented with the facts time and time again yet she's hell bent on making up her own and attempting to pass them off as legit. But I do have to confess, she is fun to watch on occasion.
C. Johnson February 05, 2013 at 11:05 PM
A friend of mine gave a speech back in the 70's on how to properly check and clean a rifle in class. He brought in his rifle, showed how to load, unload and clean it. Guess what? No one was hurt! Now kids get kicked out of school for making a gun with their fingers. We've gone mad with Political Correctness. And let's leave Sandra alone. She can say whatever she wants. It's her first amendment right, at least until the government says it isn't!
Sodi Levin February 05, 2013 at 11:24 PM
It all started when hand outs became a way of life and a career choice. Do a web search for Atlanta Mall Cop Taser. This is what the entitlement society now looks like, listen to her language. Listen to her kids language. No amount of hand out money will change this. No amount of armed guards are going to stop every nut case from doing harm. It starts at home and in the case of Chicago usually ends up in the morgue. Then it's always "he was just turning his life around." It's the same mentality that assault weapons can shoot down planes and blow up trains (look it up, another brilliant mind!)
gemma February 06, 2013 at 04:37 AM
The thought of armed guards in our schools breaks my heart - this should be a place where children can focus on learning and feel safe. However this is no longer the reality and unfortunately we can not ignore it. The reality is I actually do feel safer and have accepted having armed personnel at many other locations, the bank, the airport heck even at Black Thursday at Walmart so why would having armed guards protecting the place where our most precious children are be any different. Tougher gun laws are needed and screening are needed but and law abiding gun owners will most likely follow those laws (even if they complain about them) but until the people who wish to inflict harm also follow those laws I don't know think this is a discussion of "either, or" but rather of "both".
Pete Speer February 06, 2013 at 06:06 AM
Gemma, Ithink it breaks the heart of every respondent to this article. It unfortunately ahows the present state of American society. Look at what passes for the communications media, the R rated violent movies which mothers and fathers blithely permit their children to watch at ages when images compound in their brains and violence is stopped only after fifty minutes of TV police stupidity And the violence appears not to hurt the victim. So in a way, we have done it to ourselves. We wanted the best for our children. Indiscriminately. So we gave them everything instead..
Sodi Levin February 06, 2013 at 06:37 AM
The left used to embrace guns and violence; Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale, James Forman, Huey Newton and the President's friend Bill Ayers all used violence to achieve their means. They were backed by the ACLU, Charles Garry and William Kunstler for their actions. Now that they have risen to a high place in Government they want to disarm all those who may oppose them. They have taken control of the power structure and the stupid American people are falling for it. Peace through strength! It would appear that Sandra Sims has done exactly like the others stated she would. Duck and cover!
Cheer Dad! February 06, 2013 at 12:47 PM
As we continue to post on this topic, SOME prove exactly what this is, All about your own opinion and party beliefs, while using our children as the tool. Anyone who has served in the military, law enforcement, or a real security firm knows what options are realistic and effective. Politicians see one thing, an opportunity. We are a reactive country, think 9/11. We enhanced airport security, hardend cockpit doors, created a system for background checks, don't allow certain (security risk) persons on aircrafts, armed pilots (well trained, many of them veterans) and added armed marshals on the planes. Has there been another 9/11 or U.S. aircraft blown up since? Attempts, yes, but unsuccessful, perfect?, no system is. This HAS come at a cost, $, inconvenience, etc. You MUST have a last line of defense to be effective, I.E. a means to stop the threat. Or, our kids like others will wish at that last breath that there was, you will too. Limiting types of guns doesn't=security, effective and full security plan does.
Robert P. Mark February 06, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Interesting discussion here in HP on guns. We had a similar one last week in Evanston. That said, the lady Sandra that you all seem to know did touch on something we learned in Evanston has an element of truth to it about the gun folks being afraid of much more than simply losing their guns. http://evanston.patch.com/blog_posts/guns-and-the-second-amendment-i-finally-get-it-and-its-not-pretty
Gary February 06, 2013 at 03:55 PM
... and I touched on something that has an element of truth in an earlier thread on this topic. I'll have to ask you to put aside your aversion to history lessons for a moment. While you read the post below keep in mind that I have protested peacefully and lawfully against my government for overspending and breaking their own laws that should keep me safe from their fiscal abuses. Because of that government LEADERS, not bloggers, leaders, called me a danger to society, a murderer, a Nazi, a terrorist, they said they were going to put me on a watch list along with returning war veterans. I have had the mindless minions of these political hacks shout death threats to my face without ever listening to a word I say. I have been blamed for the slaughter of children. I have been insulted and slandered in the most vile ways ... simply for asking my government to obey its own laws. I have been systematically, persistently, and purposefully dehumanized by my own government and their media water carriers. I have studied genocide. One common element in all genocides is the persistent demonization and dehumanizing of one segment of the population. As this occurs, the people learn to hate the demonized group. That hatred grows until a trigger event occurs, usually a disaster of some sort, and then all those people decide to "solve their problem" and rid society of the demonized group. All the elements of a genocide are present in our society today.
Gary February 06, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Earlier: "Mr Rats, you said "I don't care if we have to suspend the constitution and confiscate all guns at this point." . and . "Better red than dead". So you are willing to throw out the Constitution and even accept Communism in an attempt to avoid disasters like this from occurring again. I admit that the price of freedom does seem rather high right now, but let's take a look at the price of oppression. Cambodian Communists killed 1/4 of their own people in fours years between 1975 and 1979, 2 million people. That would be 1,369 killed per day for a four year period. But it get worse. Soviet Union Communists killed 62 million of their own people over a 70 year period. That comes to 2,426 people killed per day... continuously for 70 straight years. Let that soak in before you move on. Communist China's Great Leap Forward ended up killing approximately 30 million people between 1957 and 1961, a staggering 20,500 people died per day for 4 years. Imagine 1,000 Sandy Hook slaughters every day, for 1,500 straight days. Not a pleasant thought. Most of these people were starved to death. Few guns were needed. THAT is the price of oppression. The greatest killing machine ever devised by man is not the gun. It is the all powerful government which sacrifices the individual for the common good in an attempt to create a socialist Utopian State. In such a State you and your family would likely be dead within 4 years. I'll take my chances with the Constitution."
Sean G. February 06, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Ruth, with all due respect you're not thinking things through. Scissors, paper, and even a locked door won't stop someone with a gun.
Jon February 06, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Wow. I am new to the Patch; I will be checking in quite frequently if this is the typical nature of the discussion, very informed (mostly) and intelligent. I also learned a humorous new term: Patch troll. I also wonder where one poster got his information on all of the past (recent) shooters being on Ritalin. I am not doubting. I am just curious.
Sodi Levin February 06, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Our family "left" the USSR when I was 13 in 1963. People in general don't like history that isn't wrapped up all pretty and with a bow. Gary you make very good points, but we also need to throw in American Eugenics, now it's called pro-choice. The bigger the Government the smaller the citizen. This however completely bypasses the brain of most liberals.
Sodi Levin February 06, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Jon while I can't produce the police and coroner reports this might be a good start. http://www.cchrint.org/school-shooters/ Welcome!
Abigail February 06, 2013 at 06:30 PM
I'll take my chances with the Constitution also. And these socialists will have to pry my firearm(s) from my cold, dead hand.

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