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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
9:17 AM Mon, Dec. 10th

Talk of the town: NRA should refocus, help fix response times

I have a very simple solution for protecting our children from mass shootings in our public schools. The National Rifle Association (NRA) should step up and provide funding for every single school in America to provide trained security guards with annual salaries, including fringe benefits and weapons to meet any challenge confronting them.

In addition for any school that wants it, metal detection equipment and fencing for the schools.

Instead of spending millions of dollars in gifts to politicians, the NRA should put their money where their mouth is and protect the Second Amendment by living up to Mr. LaPierre’s statement, who is the spokesperson for the NRA: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

In the time it takes for police to mount an attack squad to be sent to the school, the good guy could take down the bad guy or die trying. In all the past massacres, and present in Parkland, Florida, that was the real issue: response times.

In the Parkland incident, 17 students and teachers died, and the killer got off the campus before the police could get to the school. This is not the first time the response time was the simple issue, and I am not blaming any police department. It is a simple fact.

There are many other things that could be done. But if the NRA would step up to the plate with dollars for schools – instead of politicians – it could set a standard of cooperation that would allow all others to move on with other practical solutions, including the NRA, instead of finger pointing and grumbling.

For those of you who might nay say this Idea, I was a high school teacher for 32 years and know about response time. I also have a rifle and handgun in my home so that if any bad guy with a gun breaks into my house in the middle of the night they will be met by a good guy with a gun, while the police have time to get to the good guy’s house.

I very well might die trying to protect my wife. But that is OK with me and perhaps it would give the police just time enough to arrive to get the bad guy coming out the door. It is no different than the NRA providing money for every single school in America to carry out hiring security guards and properly equipping them.

It is about cutting down response time, period.

Bob Atherton is a retired high school teacher of 32 years and a 10-year resident of Prescott.