East Hampton Locals Mixed on NRA Call For Armed Guards in Schools

Tell us what you think about the issue.

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?

MARTIN DREW December 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Veterans returning from wars are great candidates for this . Creates jobs ; fully trained to handle ANYBODY; and security the end result . It's a sign of the times we live in ; TSA @ Airports ; Armed guards at schools is obviously the solution . With huge millions of dollar budgets lts a no brainier . Safety first . Teachers should be greatful to feel secure in lieu of carrying a gun themselves . Let them teach while a trained veteran keeps the facility secure .. 100% support the concept . Martin Drew
Elaine Jones December 22, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Yes there should be an armed guard in every school in the country. There are going to be other attacks and deep down we know this.The criminals will, get the guns and the mentally ill will get the guns. Our first goal is to protect our children. The cost shouldn't matter. If there had been a guard at the school in Sandy Hook it might have turned out different.
Walter Kaprielian December 22, 2012 at 03:26 AM
To be honest, I don't know how I feel about armed guards at schools yet, but we'd better recognize the fact that as a society, we seem to worship violence in our "entertainment" and don't want to admit it. The movies want to call it "special effects" but it's explosions killing and violence, video games that are the most popular are the ones that have you shooting at someone or something. Even sports are more popular when filled with a lot more rough and tumble. We seem to forget that what adults create influences children and the movies, television, video games etc. are physically created by adults. The whole media world has to clean up it's act. Anyone who has ever seen someone killed, quickly recognizes how awful that is. Ask any combat veteran if he doesn't have bad dreams about what he's seen. Most don't talk about it and won't go to a violent movie to be re exposed to it. I know it sounds like I'm attacking freedom of expression, but we do have a teaching and moral responsibility or we'll see more of what we are all talking about. I grew up with crime doesn't pay, the good always defeated evil, and "the shadow knows". Entertainment doesn't have to be violent to be successful.
ViralGrain December 22, 2012 at 05:37 AM
What about equipping all teachers and staff with panic alarms that ring rite to the PD and pepper spray? If a nut case goes in on a homicidal suside mission a armed officer is 1) Likely a first target. 2) Can not be everywhere on the premiss at the same time. Even a minute after first shots are fired could mean multiple casualties. 3) Promotes a distraction to students and opens up all sorts of liabilities for the PD, town and school. 4) is an ongoing expense that we can not afford that is not even as effective then a team of staff and teachers armed with pepper spray and panic alarms. The potential for a bullet to go flying is not the answer. Pepper spray is a very good option along with a panic button that is unfortunately not being talked about because the nuts at the NRA who represent weapon manufactures and not citizens welfare are hogging the plat form to push their agenda instead of the well being of us. If everyone on staff were required to have a radio like this one and pepper spray on their persons at all time I believe any school would be much safer then having a armed security. http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Two-Way+Radios+and+Pagers+-+Business/Portable+Radios/Wide+Area+Communications/HT750_US-EN
Preliator December 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM
At Columbine the young men learned the schedule of the resource officers (as the guards were known) and locked them out of the building. This allowed them to go forward with their evil scheme unhindered. Virgina Tech is a huge campus and has its own police department. You also ignore that the campus was home to adults, adults who could have defended themselves if allowed. In both instances the killers did not use so called 'assault weapons'. Discuss.
MARTIN DREW December 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Valarie / Viral - both can't seen to offer a comment w/o calling people nuts or stupid ...your're better than us crazy idiots I suppose ..
Darren Gengarelly Sr. December 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM
More children die at the hands of a drunk than a rifle. What do you think about that Viral? Using your logic shouldn't all alchohol be illegal. Sensationalizing a tragedy to advance your agenda. Pathetic.
ViralGrain December 22, 2012 at 02:57 PM
We have sometimes a different approach to things, but I think over all we want to motivate some good ideas and they come fourth by hashing it out like we do. I hope that powers at be may read our discussions and implement some of the ideas we bring forth or build on them. I used to be a supporter of the NRA. Unfortunately I've noticed the NRA has been seriously corrupted by big business just as so many other political fronts have been. I don't appreciate false propaganda that is used to push an alternative motive. There is nothing sensational about bringing fourth real security measures and ideas to help protect our selves and our children. Trying to divert the focus of the subject of providing effective and appropriate security in our schools and community by trying to bring up a completely different subject then the one we are trying to address here in a ill attempt to distract and get the attention sidetracked from the subject of such grave importance is not pathetic. Its wrong. Lookatallthesheep you got the wrong party if you think for a second I'm one of those. You should be ashamed of your self by even considering to try to pull some nonsense like that under the circumstances. Very baaa baaa. A panic button and pepper spray would be a very good deterrent and just as effective if not more effective then a armed security officer, especially with the response time the PD has. Of course it has its own liability risks but I think its a safe and effective alternative.
Robert Stern December 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Not only isn't “Freedom isn’t Free", it's about to get far more expensive. Putting aside the "mental health" cost to small children who will be donning Kevlar on a daily basis and getting trained to prepare for a random, armed assault on their lives, the cost of doing the right thing -- placing TSAt level installations with armed and trained personnel in schools, theaters, malls, stores, public buildings, parking lots -- will be prohibitive. I certainly don't have answers. But, I'm pretty sure that if Congress immediately lowered its own level of security to that proposed for school children, the Representatives would come up with some ideas on how to proceed pretty darn quickly.
Robert Stern December 22, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Please forgive the typos --
marina urbach December 22, 2012 at 06:58 PM
'The whole media world has to clean up it's act.'....incorrect. ...has to clean up its act....correct. Without going into a grammatical reasoning, rule: it's can be used only when it replaces it is...


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