California Democrats reject NRA proposal for armed guards in schools
California Democrats on Friday forcefully rejected the National Rifle Assn.'s call for a massive deployment of armed guards to the nation's schools in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, blasting the organization for "extreme rhetoric and profitable fear mongering."
"The predicted Mayan Apocalypse apparently materialized today in the form of the NRA's vision for America," state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said in a statement. "The NRA's suggestion that we militarize our schools is not the solution, and references to other militarized institutions simply reinforce the problem our nation has with gun violence. What next? Armed guards at Starbucks and little league games? This is completely the wrong direction."In a speech Friday on the school shooting and subsequent calls for stricter restrictions on guns and ammunition, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre also faulted the proliferation of violent video games.
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) seized on those comments, saying that the NRA was silent while he and others were defending his legislation in federal court to prohibit the sale of violent video games to children. The law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
"Rather than face reality and be part of the solution to the widespread proliferation of assault weapons in America, they attempt to pass the buck," Yee said in a statement. "More guns are not the answer to protecting our children, as evident by the fact that armed guards weren't enough to stop the tragedy at Columbine High School. The NRA's response is pathetic and completely unacceptable."
At least one lawmaker said Sacramento should consider the NRA proposal.
Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen (R-Modesto) told KXTV-TV she had been working on a similar idea since last week's shooting, but that funding would be a significant hurdle in cash-strapped California.
"I think the armed-guards proposal is one that deserves serious consideration," she said.
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento