UNION COUNTY — More than three-quarters of those participating in an online poll conducted by The Union Daily Times would rather see armed guards in the schools than teachers carrying guns.
The massacre at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 12, 2012, reignited the debate over gun control and a concurrent debate over how to best secure America’s schools to prevent a recurrence of such atrocities. The steps proposed in the massacre’s aftermath range from bans on assault rifles, semi-automatic weapons and large ammunition clips to putting armed guards in every school and/or allow teachers and principals to carry guns on campus.
Shortly after the massacre, Union County Sheriff David Taylor discussed these and related issues during an interview with The Union Daily Times. Taylor said he’d received many calls from people wanting to know if he would be stationing School Resource Officers in every school in the county. He said while he favors stationing a School Resource Officer in every school, Taylor said his office does not have the funding nor the personnel to do so.
While he favors stationing School Resource Officers in every school, Taylor cautioned that it would not prevent someone from attempting another Newtown-like massacre. He does feel, however, that the presence a School Resource Officer would let someone contemplating such an attack know that they would faced armed resistance. Taylor added that while a School Resource Officer could not have prevented the attack at Newtown, he or she could possibly have reduced the number of lives lost.
Even though he favors School Resource Officers in the schools, Taylor was not keen on the idea of stationing armed guards at the schools or allowing teachers to carry guns. He said he believes this would create a “prison-like environment,” in the schools, something he doesn’t feel children like his grandson who is in kindergarten should be exposed to.
While Taylor was not in favor of armed guards being stationed at schools, an overwhelming majority of those who took part in an online poll conducted by The Union Daily Times were.
Posted on The Union Daily Times website (www.uniondailytimes.com), the poll asked,“The school shooting in Connecticut has led to a debate about how best to keep our schools safe. The options proposed include allowing teachers and staff to carry guns on campus or stationing armed guards/police at the school. Which option do you favor?”
Of the 74 people who took part in the poll, 76 percent were in favor of stationing armed guards/police at school while only 24 percent favored teachers carrying guns.
This week’s online poll addresses the gun control side of the debate, asking “The massacre in Connecticut has reignited the debate over gun control. While he does not favor gun control, Union County Sheriff David Taylor has said he does not believe persons outside law enforcement and the military should have access to assault rifles or body armor. Should possession of assault rifles and body armore be limited to law enforcement and military personnel?”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.