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Monday, May 20 2013 10:38 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:38:47 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 12:41 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:41:21 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 10:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:48:31 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In its first official response to the Newtown massacre, the National Rifle Association, or NRA, is calling for armed security at every school. And the idea may get support from one unlikely source in Louisville.
Kentucky 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth earlier this week called for more gun control in the wake of Newtown. He is a fervent opponent of the NRA. But he says, in this case, they may have it at least partially right. "We could deploy them to protect our kids now. We can immediately make our schools safer," said NRA CEO Wayne La Pierre.
The head of the NRA is calling on Congress to fund a program that would place armed security at every school in the country. And he is getting at least tentative support from an unlikely source. "Not every thing they said was crazy. I think we should absolutely consider security in schools," Yarmuth said.
Yarmuth, no friend of the NRA, says the federal government should examine what role it could play in increasing school security: "I think that is certainly worth talking about. But then again, you're talking about imposing a huge expense either on local governments, local school systems, or on the federal government."
Parents we caught up with at the 4th Street Live Skating Rink had mixed reactions to the idea. "Probably a good idea. You have to have somebody in there to defend those kids," said Raymond Sharp as he watched over his grandchildren.
But mom Michelle Warner was less certain: "Then you're dealing with the children having to see security guards and the fear of being there. I think it's unsettling for them, too. I don't think that's an easy solution. I don't think there is an easy solution."
In an interview earlier this week, Attorney General Jack Conway also expressed reservations about armed guards at schools. "To say at every single school in the Commonwealth of Kentucky we're going to put an armed guard outside of that. I'm not convinced that's the right way at this point," he said.
But Yarmuth says any such move must come only in conjunction with laws banning so-called assault weapons and tightening rules on gun purchases.
"This is a multi-faceted problem. We are in a violence culture in this country. We are unlike any other civilized country in the world in that respect, and it requires a comprehensive approach that is beyond just new laws."
The Jefferson Co. School District released a statement from superintendent Donna Hargens that made no direct mention of the NRA proposal.
It said, "The safety and security of students is our top priority. The JCPS regularly reviews its safety and emergency procedures. Our comprehensive safety plan includes many important facets that rely upon the expertise of our trained professionals and the unwavering commitment of our employees. There is no one device, no one solution, when it comes to protecting our students."