Residents of the East Hampton area are reacting to statements made Friday by National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre on the Sandy Hook school shooting, breaking a weeklong silence by the gun organization.
LaPierre blasted the media and entertainment industry for promoting and glorifying violence in what he said was a “dirty little truth.” He called it “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people.”
Among his ideas on how to prevent another unspeakably murderous act like the one Adam Lanza brought to Newtown, was to post armed guards in every school in America. The money, he said, could come from a variety of sources including the U.S. budget for foreign aid. His idea is to use qualified police, retired, active or reserve military personnel or other types of law enforcement agents to fill those posts.
Related: You can read a full transcript of the NRA press conference here on the Washington Post website.
East Hampton Village Police Chief Jerry Larsen said he is not opposed to having armed guards in the schools. he has three children who attend East Hampton High School. "Unfortunately none of us — our community — are immune to this type of violence. If people thought we were, hopefully they have changed their view after what has happened in Connecticut," he said.
"However, that being said I also believe that the cost should be a school cost, not (in my case), a Village cost." Two schools — East Hampton Middle School and John M. Marshall Elementary School — in addition to the East Hampton Child Day Care Learning Center are located in his jurisdiction
When we asked, on Facebook, if locals supported the idea to put armed guards in school, one Sag Harbor resident, Tom Gleeson, a former teacher and coach who made a bid for Sag Harbor School Board last year, said simply, "He is nuts," referring to LaPierre.
Brook Spencer had some ideas for alternatives, "I want kids to walk through silent metal detectors that are monitored full time in the school....ALL schools."
While some are under the impression that all schools have a police officer stationed in the school, that is not the case. Only East Hampton High School has a police officer who works there as a school resource officer.
What do you think? Should we post armed guards in our schools to protect our children from another tragedy like at Newtown?