Credit: Flickr/ Piskami

A new school board policy in Compton will allow police officers to carry assault rifles on school campuses.

With the police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., fresh in the nation’s mind, the decision of the Compton Unified School District board to allow campus police to keep semi-automatic rifles in the trunks of their cars has sparked controversy in the region.

But Compton is just the latest school district in California where school police are authorized to use assault-style weapons.

The Los Angeles Unified School District police department issues police assault rifles on an “as needed basis,” according to a statement from the district. The San Diego Unified School District police department also has authorized the use of semi-automatic AR-15 style patrol rifles and the Fontana Unified School District police department is entering its second year of allowing officers access to assault rifles.

San Bernardino City Unified and Santa Ana Unified districts also deploy semiautomatic weapons, according to a news report, as does Baldwin Park Unified School District, a news story said.

“The officers will keep the rifles in the trunks of their cars,” said Compton Unified Police Chief William Wu.

“These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses,” said Compton Unified Police Chief William Wu in a statement. “The officers will keep the rifles in the trunks of their cars, unless they are needed.”

The school board voted unanimously in July to approve the new Urban Police Rifle Policy, but there appeared to be little notice until radio station KPCC broadcast a report about the weapons this week as Compton schools opened for the school year.

“The community is very upset,” said Paulette Simpson-Gipson, president of the NAACP Compton branch. “There are lawsuits against the school police for excessive force and this adds fuel to the fire.”

“What worries me the most is this is part of a national tendency to allow civil law enforcement agencies to have war weaponry,” said Arthur Ybarra, executive director of the Watts/Century Latino Organization, a 24-year-old community group. “I see this move as more of a risk for students, schools and the public.”

The intention is to equip police with the heavy weaponry that would be needed in the event of a school shooting attack or a terrorist assault, said Joe Grubbs, president of the California School Resource Officers’ Association.

“It’s not an appropriate tool for two kids who are fighting,” Grubbs said. “It is an appropriate tool for a terrorist attack on campus or perhaps an active shooter situation.”

In Compton, school police officers will pay for their own semi-automatic rifles, which Wu described as “high-powered, precision tools” that would be better maintained by the officers who owned them. The rifles cost about $1,500 to $2,000 each, Wu said. Officers would be screened to become eligible to carry an assault rifle while on duty and the district would pay for training and ammunition.

Wu told board members that 5 percent of mass shooters wear body armor that cannot be pierced by bullets from traditional handguns, but could be penetrated by assault weapon ammunition. And assault rifles would allow officers to shoot with accuracy from 50 to 100 yards away, rather than the 25-yard accuracy range of handguns, he said.

But Amanda Klinger, director of operations at the Educator’s School Safety Network, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that trains school administrators and police, noted that improving school safety depends more on preventing incidents than on responding to them.

The school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 lasted 90 minutes – an extreme outlier compared to most school shootings, which last from 8 to 12 minutes, and sometimes less than two minutes, she said. No matter what weapons police have in hand, it is difficult for them to respond fast enough, she said.

“We really advocate for a multidisciplinary threat assessment team,” Klinger said. “Who are the kids we need to be concerned about and how do we provide appropriate interventions?” She said threat assessment is a process of identifying facts – student drawings, writings and incidents  – from many sources, rather than vague impressions.

In Compton last month, the school board embraced the gun policy. “It’s admirable and I want to commend our officers for even having the desire to want to spend that kind of money to protect our children,” said Micah Ali, president of the school board, at the July meeting.

School Board member Mae Thomas discovered at the July 8 meeting that the district had not given parents a chance to ask about the new weapons policy. She asked Darin Brawley, superintendent of the district, to brief parents.

Community members are still interested in voicing their concerns about the weapons to the district, said Simpson-Gipson of the NAACP.

 


Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Comments Policy

The goal of the comments section on EdSource is to facilitate thoughtful conversation about content published on our website. Click here for EdSource's Comments Policy.

Expand Comments
Collapse Comments
  1. openeyedamerican 1 year ago1 year ago

    Its disheartening to see the cognitive dissonance that goes into such a decision as to have war weaponry on school campuses. Just as the US Military has never (in reality) been about "protecting our country" or "freedom", ditto with extremist idea of adding such waste of money on school campuses, darkening the souls of innocent children. USA is a war economy, a violence-for-profit political and economic model, with the religiously radical fundamental … Read More

    Its disheartening to see the cognitive dissonance that goes into such a decision as to have war weaponry on school campuses. Just as the US Military has never (in reality) been about “protecting our country” or “freedom”, ditto with extremist idea of adding such waste of money on school campuses, darkening the souls of innocent children. USA is a war economy, a violence-for-profit political and economic model, with the religiously radical fundamental extremist notion war could be some form of “duty to God & country”. We now rank around 88th in global peace rating, DUE to spending more than half the world combined on war and weapons. Do you feel safe yet? It is not the kids we need to be “concerned about with threats”. Its the American culture itself that needs reform. We need to build our economy based on clean air, clean water, clean souls. Not dirty energy, dirty wars, and dirty assault weapons on our kids school yards. Just as we’ve self-manufactured any “enemies” abroad while arming the worth to the teeth via robotics warfare capital America, ditto with putting the FEAR tactics into kids thinking everyone is an “enemy” to shoot down. No, its not a perfect world, yet anyone holding onto unsustainable lie our military is about “defense” is in deep denial or highly uneducated about what is going on in the world. Our news is all owned by big war profiteers. Time to live in the moment, practice mindfulness, wake up. F-E-A-R stand for false evidence appearing real.

  2. Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

    Andrew: We live in a free country where parents have the right to pursue different paths in the upbringing of their children. I must say that I always personally have felt a little sorry for homeschooled kids. As a middle school teacher, and over the course of 31 years. I had a number of previously homeschooled kids enter my classes for their first experience in public school. I always attributed this phenomenon to "cute puppy syndrome," … Read More

    Andrew:

    We live in a free country where parents have the right to pursue different paths in the upbringing of their children. I must say that I always personally have felt a little sorry for homeschooled kids. As a middle school teacher, and over the course of 31 years. I had a number of previously homeschooled kids enter my classes for their first experience in public school. I always attributed this phenomenon to “cute puppy syndrome,” where people take the puppy home and love it right up to the point where the dog grows up and becomes a handful. So it goes with teenagers.

    I must say the kids I received from that setting were generally very pleasant and good students, some with significant “holes” in their learning. They all seemed more than a little overwhelmed socially, but they adapted and no real harm seems to have been done, as you outline. Kids are generally, if not always specifically, resilient.

    You are kind of talking to the wrong guy about the prison/school “analogy.” My first “regular” teaching job, as I substituted and/or did construction work during the day, was teaching evening classes at San Quentin Prison. It was just a one year stint (one night a week), but enough to say I know a prison environment and a school environment and they are very different. Keeping guards with semi-automatic weapons out of schools will keep them different, which was kind of my point all along.

    You must realize your professed views on many things are not…mainstream…shall we say. I suspect your comments about ISIS threats in the schools and the need to militarize them, is kind of the flip side of the contradictory and cynical view you used to describe your perceptions of what schools are like. It also shows you haven’t actually spent much time in actual schools.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      I agree. The problem is we as a country didn't take Brown v. Topeka to be a collective responsibility to improve and equalize education for all. We took it as a law we praised in public but tried to avoid in private. Private schools are far more popular in heavily black and Latino areas, despite proclamations of the parents that the only reason for them is a vague rebellion against rigidity. … Read More

      I agree. The problem is we as a country didn’t take Brown v. Topeka to be a collective responsibility to improve and equalize education for all. We took it as a law we praised in public but tried to avoid in private. Private schools are far more popular in heavily black and Latino areas, despite proclamations of the parents that the only reason for them is a vague rebellion against rigidity. I don’t think it’s a coincidence half of whites in SF, well over half in Oakland and under 5% in Los Gatos/Saratoga, Marin, Orinda, Belmont and other not-so-diverse areas. I don’t think the wealthy in SF and Oakland and DC and all other areas with many poor kids are that much more concerned with rigidity or the fad du jour. As more Latinos and African Americans are moving to rural areas, homeschooling is getting more popular. What a coincidence. How surprising.

      From what I’ve seen home schooled kids end up afraid of the world, hence the need to spend time learning how to shoot guns “safely” despite clear stats that having a gun makes you over twice as likely to be killed as someone without one. I know, I know you’re the exception, you’re safe, that’s other people. I’m the exception too, I’m so coordinated I can drive fine when I’m drunk, really, I’m not like other people, I’m an exception. Most homeschooled kids have huge holes in their education and are not comfortable with people significantly different from themselves. I have yet to meet one with diverse friends who isn’t terrified of cities, gays, minorities, crime or some other bogeyman. Most end up marrying the first person of the opposite sex who looks at them and being fairly weird for a lifetime.

    • Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 2 years ago2 years ago

      Who knew that serious NRA members monitored educomments at Ed Source? I am amazed and fascinated, but not persuaded by Andrew's talk of "perps" and gunpower in California schools. Too much money in Homeland Security has led to this outsourcing of war materiel to the schools. Let's cut the obscene funding to Homeland Security and restore it at the National Institutes of Health. Also, you can tell Gary Ravani is/was a good … Read More

      Who knew that serious NRA members monitored educomments at Ed Source? I am amazed and fascinated, but not persuaded by Andrew’s talk of “perps” and gunpower in California schools. Too much money in Homeland Security has led to this outsourcing of war materiel to the schools. Let’s cut the obscene funding to Homeland Security and restore it at the National Institutes of Health. Also, you can tell Gary Ravani is/was a good middle school teacher by the calm and open tone of his responses.

      As for all this crazy weaponization — not really sorry, Andrew — today we learn that a nine-year-old girl being taught to fire an UZI at an Arizona gun-range accidentally shot and killed her instructor. (Add one more to the five-figure annual total of Americans dead from gun violence.) What on earth was that child going to do with that training? Go mano a mano with her school cops?

      • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

        Celebrate Diversity!

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Frances, to intelligently discuss firearms does not a “serious NRA member” make. And divining who might be a good middle school teacher based upon the calm and openmindedness of a blogger’s comment is a fabulous skill. Maybe you should contract yourself out to sit in on teacher evaluation meetings.

    • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

      Our academic model for homeschooling in the early days was the Colfax family. They had four sons, two born to them and two adopted. They adopted a relatively relaxed approach and integrated a lot of what was on hand in their rural environment into their sons' education K-12. Three sons graduated from Harvard undergrad and one from Stanford. Three went on to graduate from Harvard Medical School. Far from not having spent … Read More

      Our academic model for homeschooling in the early days was the Colfax family. They had four sons, two born to them and two adopted. They adopted a relatively relaxed approach and integrated a lot of what was on hand in their rural environment into their sons’ education K-12. Three sons graduated from Harvard undergrad and one from Stanford. Three went on to graduate from Harvard Medical School.

      Far from not having spent time in public schools myself, I spent twelve years there and wanted something better for my kids.

      If you are in conventional public education, and you are seeing homeschooled kids, you are seeing the failures of homeschooling. There are many parents who should never be homeschooling and unfortunately, some of those who are the worst fits for it are the most intent on pursuing it. Some realize their unfitness and put the kids in public school; some just keep at it.

      Everyone can compile anecdotes about the failures of certain homeschooled kids. There will be plenty, in addition to extraordinary successes. But some years ago, I was privy to a statistical analysis of standardized test scores of homeschooled children correlated with their homeschooling parents’ educational backgrounds. Those homeschooled children where one or both parents held a teaching credential scored slightly below the homeschooling average on standardized tests. I suspect that the teacher-parents struggled to make the transition from industrial scale education to individualized education, and I would not fault them for that.

      I have enormous respect for public school teachers on the whole. They have a tough and crucial role working in a very difficult setting, a job that is getting harder every month and with meager resources.

      It is true that I have a different worldview, growing up in a small town in the mountain west some decades ago. If you did a random search of the cars and trucks in the student section of the high school parking lot when I was a kid, you’d find quite a number of hunting rifles and shotguns in car trunks and behind truck seats. Nobody ever shot anyone or shot up a school. For the six years I walked to elementary school on the same street and every day I walked past a pickup truck parked out front. The pickup had a hunting rifle in plain sight in the window rack and often the side window was rolled part way down. Day and night, for six years, anyone could have reached in and taken the rifle. Nobody ever did. Not saying guns should be stored that way, but it says something about the populace and maybe we can learn from them regarding the nature of civilization.

      I’ll ask a favor, Floyd, Gary, others. Google “The 7-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto”. New York state teacher of year, he provided much of my philosophy of education. What do you think?

      • Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 2 years ago2 years ago

        I don't know how we got from discussing the overkill of providing military-style assault weapons to school cops to debating the merits of home-schooling. We are conflating unrelated matters. Andrew is a weapons enthusiast who is nostalgic for a simpler past. He home-schooled his children and taught them how to shoot. Fine, it's his constitutional right. But he weighs in here with a clear NRA agenda and approves arming school police with military assault rifles. A … Read More

        I don’t know how we got from discussing the overkill of providing military-style assault weapons to school cops to debating the merits of home-schooling. We are conflating unrelated matters.

        Andrew is a weapons enthusiast who is nostalgic for a simpler past. He home-schooled his children and taught them how to shoot. Fine, it’s his constitutional right. But he weighs in here with a clear NRA agenda and approves arming school police with military assault rifles.

        A terrible idea: militarizing school police and community police departments such as in Ferguson, Mo., leads to dangerous unintended social consequences that distort the relationship between “protectors” and the “served.” It is a Pandora’s Box.

        • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

          Wallace Stegner of Stanford, a favorite writer of mine, acknowledged his youthful roots in the rural west "on a belated, almost symbolic frontier were until recently a most common American experience." He wrote, "They lie in me like underground water; every well I put down taps them." I was 18, alone, exploring, camping and hiking in isolated and broken western backcountry when I met and made an unlikely friend, an elderly Ute Indian gentleman. … Read More

          Wallace Stegner of Stanford, a favorite writer of mine, acknowledged his youthful roots in the rural west “on a belated, almost symbolic frontier were until recently a most common American experience.” He wrote, “They lie in me like underground water; every well I put down taps them.”

          I was 18, alone, exploring, camping and hiking in isolated and broken western backcountry when I met and made an unlikely friend, an elderly Ute Indian gentleman. His camp was far from anyone and with no lines of communication, he made his tenuous livelihood from his modest flock of sheep.

          We pooled our food for a meal and I threw down my sleeping bag not far from his cook fire. He excused himself to check his sheep, on his horse, and returned and unsaddled. He pulled an old lever action 30/30 rifle from the saddle scabbard that rode under his right leg and handed it to me. I could see that the stock had been broken off at the grip, likely when a horse rolled on it in scabbard, and my friend had repaired it with wet rawhide that dried and hardened. The wood forearm was held in place with wraps of black electrical tape. He told me of his despair and worry.

          A wary but persistent predator was decimating his new lamb crop and threatening his meager financial survival. His old 30/30 rifle lacked the range and accuracy needed and he was running out of cartridges. He wondered if I might help and I knew what he meant. When I met him, I was carrying my hunting rifle, a scoped bolt action Winchester Model 70, .22-250 caliber, a .22 centerfire, in which I used with handloaded ammo to add meat to my fare on occasion, and to put deer and elk steaks in my freezer.

          He led me on a stalk around the fringes of his flock to a boulder, where I rested the .22-250. It took one shot, a range of 200 yards, two football fields, and the predation problem was over, even as the predator killed its last lamb. The accurate rifle would consistently hit a golf ball at that range if I did my part. My normally stoic friend was exultant.

          Forget labels like “militarization” and “assault”. What prevented the killing of further lambs and was precise enough to avoid hitting sheep was an accurate rifle handled by someone skilled with it. Could similar principles apply in defending school children? Firing police shotgun buckshot or semi-auto duty handgun rounds toward the threat would have posed little risk to the predator, but would likely have perforated some sheep. Do you object to someone in school law enforcement, skilled with a rifle, having ready but secure access to an accurate rifle in the event of the unthinkable? If not, we can consider specifics and get past labels. If so, there is little to talk about.

          • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

            Yes, Stegner. Great author. Read a number of things of his some years ago. Predominantly a fiction writer and, therefore, a practitioner of "dramatic license." I find it difficult to reconcile your concerns about the "prisonification" of schools, a concern I share to the extent it's going on in schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, while simultaneously advocating putting heavily armed guards in schools. A bit of cognitive dissonance there. That was quite a charming story you wrote … Read More

            Yes, Stegner. Great author. Read a number of things of his some years ago. Predominantly a fiction writer and, therefore, a practitioner of “dramatic license.”

            I find it difficult to reconcile your concerns about the “prisonification” of schools, a concern I share to the extent it’s going on in schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, while simultaneously advocating putting heavily armed guards in schools. A bit of cognitive dissonance there.

            That was quite a charming story you wrote about your experience with the Native American fellow. I would think you might want to expand on it bit and submit it for publication to “Field and Stream,” a magazine I’ve long subscribed to. You also might want to google the “Turner Thesis,” the historical perspective on the potential consequences of the “Closing of the American Frontier” based on data collected for the 1890 census. Turner came up with his thesis sometime in the mid-1890s as I recall. Relevant to your musings I’d suggest.

            That being said, I’d also suggest there is a conceptual chasm of difference between shooting a predator form a fixed position and engaging a shooter in a dynamic situation potentially complicated by hundreds of panicked children. Predators are not known to shoot back, whereas, “shooters” are quite capable of same. Even in the kind of situation you described, I’m sure your familiar with the term “buck fever” where a basically hysterical reaction causes a hunter to miss a good shot. That kind of reaction is only compounded when the lead (or steel jacketed) is flying in both directions. And, it does not matter how skilled a shot the rifleman is. Do you have any idea how often trained policemen miss their target once the shooting starts?

            So that’s the physical danger issue which is one component of my concern. The other is the psychological impacts on kids when you demonstrate that their school is enemy territory where going highly armed is the best alternative. These kids have enough in the way of challenges both physical and psychological. School should be a place of refuge without becoming an armed camp. Again, the article above proposes a thoughtful series of actions that should be taken to reduce the chance of school violence. And then, the really huge step, deciding as a society that we are going to begin dealing with conditions of poverty in the disadvantaged communities. Just think. It’s within the realm of possibility that the US could lose it’s current place of 31st of 32 top industrialized nations for child poverty rates (e.g., Finland: -5%/US: +24%). Our state could lose it’s place as having the highest poverty rates overall in the nation. I suppose you could qualify these thoughts as taking “dramatic license.”

      • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

        Yea, yea, Gatto and his libertarian "weirdisms." Been around for years. One of his assertions was that the public schools were somehow institutionally 'imprinting" an acceptance of being in a permanent underclass. Interesting to contrast those views with another "pundit," William Deresiewicz, and his new book "Excellent Sheep." Sheep complains that the public schools, with a winnowing process based on competitiveness, sends kids to the "Ivies" where they are 'institutionally imprinted" to be elitists … Read More

        Yea, yea, Gatto and his libertarian “weirdisms.” Been around for years. One of his assertions was that the public schools were somehow institutionally ‘imprinting” an acceptance of being in a permanent underclass. Interesting to contrast those views with another “pundit,” William Deresiewicz, and his new book “Excellent Sheep.” Sheep complains that the public schools, with a winnowing process based on competitiveness, sends kids to the “Ivies” where they are ‘institutionally imprinted” to be elitists who waste their education working on their resumes rather than their souls.

        They are both right in certain particulars and very wrong on the meta issues as well as their tendencies toward hyperbole.

        Home schooling is what it is. At one time I was “opposed” for the reasons I outlined. I don’t think it does any favors to kids (and I think you pay way too much attention to whatever “standardized” test scores you reference). Whatever. Over time I have decided, after experiences with the parents, that I think it’s just too much time and trouble to deal with them. The parents, not the kids. I also get “suspicious” about areas where the far right and left come together on issues: homeschooling, anti-innoculation fervor, etc. This is one of the reasons I decided to take a second look at the CCSS. The out-of-the-mainstream folks strongly object to them. There must be a pedagogic pony under that pile.

        Anyway, go forth and homeschool. Not that you ever needed my permission.

  3. Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

    Inherent accuracy under ideal conditions from a good 5.56mm rifle is such that it will shoot into a bullseye about 1/15th the size of that required to contain the shots from a typical semi-automatic duty handgun. Under field conditions, the relative accuracy of the rifle is even greater, perhaps 20 times greater than the handgun in expert hands. If a shooter, or an ISIS terrorist, must be confronted in a school setting by law … Read More

    Inherent accuracy under ideal conditions from a good 5.56mm rifle is such that it will shoot into a bullseye about 1/15th the size of that required to contain the shots from a typical semi-automatic duty handgun. Under field conditions, the relative accuracy of the rifle is even greater, perhaps 20 times greater than the handgun in expert hands.

    If a shooter, or an ISIS terrorist, must be confronted in a school setting by law enforcement under emergency circumstances, it is hard to imagine that anyone would argue against the greater accuracy of the rifle being available to the good guys as needed. Greater accuracy means more likelihood that the perp will be taken out and less probability that a student will be injured or killed by friendly fire.

    If an officer 20 yards away is confronting a perp who is holding a hostage and stating an intention to kill the hostage, would you rather the officer be armed and skilled with a rifle that can easily hit a penny at that distance? Or only a handgun that might easily miss a human size target under such field conditions.

    Why not use a non-semi-automatic 5.56 rifle, i.e. one that is manually operated and that looks less “scary?” More like something Roy Rodgers would have carried, a hunting rifle pressed into service? Because unlike semi-auto 5.56 rifles, manually operated hunting rifles to date lack the needed durability and reliability of function under adverse conditions and positions. Many malfunction, for example, if the action is worked while the weapon is held upside down or sideways, something that might be necessary under cover from fire, but not in hunting.

    It is, of course, important that only officers thoroughly qualified with such rifles have access to them. And it is important that the rifles be secured in a way that only the authorized officers can access them, never perps under any circumstances.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      Andrew: "If a shooter, or an ISIS terrorist, must be confronted in a school setting by law enforcement under emergency circumstances" Confronting an ISIS terrorist in a school setting? Really? Is your real name Rick "Andrew" Perry by chance? What kind of paranoid nonsense is this? Assault rifles in schools to be used under "ideal circumstances?" There are no "ideal circumstances" in schools for the use of assault weapons. What's next, IED proofed tanks like the police … Read More

      Andrew:

      “If a shooter, or an ISIS terrorist, must be confronted in a school setting by law enforcement under emergency circumstances”

      Confronting an ISIS terrorist in a school setting? Really? Is your real name Rick “Andrew” Perry by chance? What kind of paranoid nonsense is this?

      Assault rifles in schools to be used under “ideal circumstances?” There are no “ideal circumstances” in schools for the use of assault weapons. What’s next, IED proofed tanks like the police are using against civilians? I guess they could do service on the tanks in auto shop (if they still had an auto shop in most secondary schools).

      You are not serious I hope.

      • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

        I'm serious, Gary. I am not talking about rat-a-tat-tat. Anyone who is into rat-a-tat-tat has no place in any law enforcement work in any school setting. I am talking about precision shooting rather than indiscriminate shooting. Accurate shooting rather than inaccurate shooting, if shooting must be done. Standard police weapons have been shotguns firing wide patterns of buckshot and reliable but inaccurate semi-automatic handguns that tend to make up for … Read More

        I’m serious, Gary. I am not talking about rat-a-tat-tat. Anyone who is into rat-a-tat-tat has no place in any law enforcement work in any school setting. I am talking about precision shooting rather than indiscriminate shooting. Accurate shooting rather than inaccurate shooting, if shooting must be done.

        Standard police weapons have been shotguns firing wide patterns of buckshot and reliable but inaccurate semi-automatic handguns that tend to make up for lack of precision with lots of shots. Does anyone consider them preferable for emergency use in a school shooter situation than an accurate and reliable rifle in the hands of a trained professional committed to absolutely minimizing the number of shots fired?

        If it makes you feel better, limit the magazine capacity in the rifle to no more than five. A highly competent law enforcement rifleman should not need more than one. Had someone with that capability been present at Columbine, it would have been over before it started. And there would be unlikely to have been a number of subsequent copycat events.

      • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

        Add that any perp can order body armor (bulletproof vests, etc.) off the internet. Any such standard armor will stop any regular law enforcement shotgun buckshot or any duty handgun round. But such standard armor will not stop even the only modestly powerful 5.56 (.22 cal centerfire) rifle round, and will not stop most any other centerfire rifle round. Already some shooters have utilized this kevlar protection, though it hasn't always been … Read More

        Add that any perp can order body armor (bulletproof vests, etc.) off the internet. Any such standard armor will stop any regular law enforcement shotgun buckshot or any duty handgun round. But such standard armor will not stop even the only modestly powerful 5.56 (.22 cal centerfire) rifle round, and will not stop most any other centerfire rifle round.

        Already some shooters have utilized this kevlar protection, though it hasn’t always been widely publicized over the fear of fostering copycats.

        If there are no rifles available to the good guys in a situation, there is no effective way of stopping a perp utilizing body armor. A tank is not needed. Nor a RPG. Just an accurate and reliable centerfire rifle. Which we all hope will never be needed.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          I don’t think there’s anything paranoid about discussing the proper weapon when responding to a school shooter, whomever that might be. Have you read the news, Gary?

        • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

          I don't think you read the article. There are any number of strategies that need to be employed before bringing any weapons on school grounds. Those strategies are noted in the article. This is an obvious example of the militaristic mission creep that has penetrated our local police forces and, now school related security. Not to mention conservative paranoia about the "threats that are all around us all the time." The good guy with a gun … Read More

          I don’t think you read the article. There are any number of strategies that need to be employed before bringing any weapons on school grounds. Those strategies are noted in the article.

          This is an obvious example of the militaristic mission creep that has penetrated our local police forces and, now school related security. Not to mention conservative paranoia about the “threats that are all around us all the time.” The good guy with a gun stopping the bad guy with a gun is straight out of a Guns & Ammo editorial.

          As mentioned in the article the typical time frame of a shooting incident does not allow for an armed response, the key is prevention. One element of which is eliminating the availability of arms and paraphernalia like body armor in the civilian sphere and limiting it severely in the law enforcement sphere. We are not Baghdad.

          Suspicion of law enforcement, school management, and school “climate,” is already problematic in these communities. Let’s not aggravate the situation by waving assault weapons around where the communities’ kids attend school.

          And, as far as I recall, 5.56mm translates to .223 cal. not .22 centerfire.

          • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

            Gary, 5.56 is similar to .223 Remington, but differs in chamber specifications, higher pressure, and in projectiles. Both cartridges are, as I referenced, commonly known as ".22 centerfires" referring to the primer in the center of the case head which distinguishes them from ".22 rimfire" plinking and small game cartridges. What we all want to avoid is the sort of LAPD response that occurred in February of 2013 when the officers were looking for rouge … Read More

            Gary, 5.56 is similar to .223 Remington, but differs in chamber specifications, higher pressure, and in projectiles. Both cartridges are, as I referenced, commonly known as “.22 centerfires” referring to the primer in the center of the case head which distinguishes them from “.22 rimfire” plinking and small game cartridges.

            What we all want to avoid is the sort of LAPD response that occurred in February of 2013 when the officers were looking for rouge ex-cop Dorner and somehow mistook two women delivering newspapers in a truck for Dorner. When the officers finished shooting, there were 102 bullet holes in the truck. Presumably some of the rounds missed the truck, so I assume that even more projectiles went flying elsewhere. In the process of weathering this storm of lead, one of the women in the truck was wounded in the hand, and the other was wounded in the back. Good thing it didn’t happen in a crowded school setting, bad enough in a residential neighborhood.

            About 25 minutes after that LAPD incident, officers rammed another truck that they wrongly believed held Dorner and opened fire on it. We don’t know how many rounds they shot at that innocent man, but fortunately, par for the course, they missed him.

            Nobody is saying school officers should be “waiving around” semi-auto rifles. A few carefully selected, carefully trained school officers should have access to secured rifles that can be deployed when nothing else will stop a school shooter. School officers will have the advantage of knowing the school grounds, knowing the students, and can have special training to make one accurate rifle shot count when needed rather than supplying hails of promiscuous gunfire.

            Or you can just call the LAPD.

          • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

            Andrew; The problem is, how do you know the school officers will react to a crisis more effectively than the LAPD did? The military receives training that is quite intense and yet there are still "friendly-fire" incidents. In a situation with potentially hundreds of children milling around in a panic putting high-rate-of-fire weaponry into the mix is a very bad idea. Again, as the school safety expert attests, there is rarely an adequate amount of time in … Read More

            Andrew;

            The problem is, how do you know the school officers will react to a crisis more effectively than the LAPD did? The military receives training that is quite intense and yet there are still “friendly-fire” incidents. In a situation with potentially hundreds of children milling around in a panic putting high-rate-of-fire weaponry into the mix is a very bad idea.

            Again, as the school safety expert attests, there is rarely an adequate amount of time in a school shooting incident to bring weapons to bear. This appears to be a policy in Compton and other cities that is exacerbating danger to students and not reducing danger. There is also an obvious intimidation factor for children at these schools that is entirely inappropriate.

            This is hardly the forum for weapons tech discussions, but I had an opportunity in the early 1960s to fire one of the first AR-15s available on the west coast and at that time it was general knowledge that the ammunition was interchangeable with M-16 ammo. There may have been changes in that considerable interval. During the decade of the 1960s I had “intensive” interactions with M-16s, M-14s, M-60s, etc. Aside from a rare skeet-shooting event I haven’t had much experience with weapons since. But my experience assures me that assault style weapons, or any firearms for that matter, should have no regular place at schools. ‘Nuff said.

          • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

            Gary, I can understand your reservations about militarization of schools; I have reservations about what I'd call the "prison-ification" of schools. There are an awful lot of similarities between California's school systems and California's prison system, in practice and in philosophy and in politics. Both schools and prisons require the inmates/students to be there whether they want to or not. Inmates/students who are required to be certain places all day long. Both … Read More

            Gary, I can understand your reservations about militarization of schools; I have reservations about what I’d call the “prison-ification” of schools. There are an awful lot of similarities between California’s school systems and California’s prison system, in practice and in philosophy and in politics.

            Both schools and prisons require the inmates/students to be there whether they want to or not. Inmates/students who are required to be certain places all day long. Both are staffed with unionized politically powerful overseers within an authority structure who enforce the rules, regimentation, and ensure that masses of inmates/students move to where they are supposed to be when the bells ring. Facilities for both are usually fenced and secured and often protected by metal detectors. And are often drab. Both institutions are hard on those who are employed by them and hard on those who are incarcerated in them. Freedom and independence are valued in neither setting. Both serve to warehouse certain segments of the population for the convenience of society. Both are archaic in structure and practice. Is arming some guards really so foreign to the school system? You ask if guns belong in schools. Ideally, I ask if students belong in schools?

            We homeschooled our kids in a very rural setting in the mountain west, K-12. Our goals were for them to have freedom and independence, and to develop an unhindered love of learning in the midst of nature and beauty. This was in relatively modest financial circumstances as a result of the sacrifices needed to achieve this. Our responsibility early was to nurture a love of learning, with some direction, and as things evolved our responsibility became to get out of the way and let them learn, and to get them the resources they wanted in order to learn. We wanted them to have the freedom to explore the natural world around them, farther and farther as they gained confidence and competence.

            In the course of their educations, our kids learned gun safety, and how to safely, responsibly and competently use the firearms and ammunition that they had access to as do many kids living in remote settings in the rural west. Despite their freedom, or perhaps because of it, they have become competent, responsible, self-disciplined adults, with good jobs and multiple college and university degrees with highest honors. We regularly administered standardized testing and they always tested at the highest levels, though we never taught to any test.

            So we have different perspectives. I’d like to see all of education more along the lines of what we managed for our kids. If they had to be “incarcerated”, I’d want them well protected, but I’d never view incarceration as far less than ideal.

  4. Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 2 years ago2 years ago

    Thanks for mentioning that San Diego Unified has also okayed these weapons. It's been about three years since this gratuitous militarization of our excellent human relations-oriented school police. At the same time that change quietly occurred, Homeland Security money paid to lock down San Diego's Ed Center Administration Building -- not schools, mind you, but the place where educrats work -- with special locked doorways inside and out. Personnel now gain building access … Read More

    Thanks for mentioning that San Diego Unified has also okayed these weapons. It’s been about three years since this gratuitous militarization of our excellent human relations-oriented school police.

    At the same time that change quietly occurred, Homeland Security money paid to lock down San Diego’s Ed Center Administration Building — not schools, mind you, but the place where educrats work — with special locked doorways inside and out. Personnel now gain building access by swiping electronic badges which are worn around the neck as identification. And when the locks malfunction — which happens — helpers are summoned by cell phone to just come on down and let people in by opening the door manually. I guess it’s a simple “over-ride,” like at the Von’s checkout. When there are public meetings of the Board of Education, people just come and go without badges, un-frisked and un-x-rayed, into the building’s auditorium.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      I predict this will cause more loss of life than it prevents. Our obsession with guns has to stop.

Template last modified: