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SPEAK OUT: Georgia Schools Chief Backs NRA Proposal

A spokesperson for Barge likes the suggestion for armed guards at schools. Share your thoughts.

The suggestion Friday of having armed officers at schools as a deterrent to mass shootings found approval from Georgia schools Superintendent John Barge.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Having a school resource officer would certainly be ideal,” Matt Cardoza, director of communications at the Georgia Department of Education, said Friday after a conversation with Barge. “It makes the school a safer place, but the state would have to pick up a significant part of that cost. Districts aren’t really in a position to pay for more than what they’re already struggling to pay for.”

Friday, a National Rifle Association executive called for Congress to foot the bill for armed guards at every school in the country.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."

According to the AJC, the cost for such security in Georgia would come to nearly $47 million per year, if the officers earned an average annual salary of $35,000. The state has 2,289 public schools in the 2011-2012 school year, according to a report from the Georgia Department of Education.

However, in DeKalb, the school system already is struggling financially and had been put on probation for fiscal mismanagement.

Do you agree with the NRA proposal for armed security in schools? Do you feel the Georgia Legislature should appropriate the funds for security? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

GES December 25, 2012 at 03:50 PM
HA, They already are locking EVERY door, in EVERY school, in the effort to keep drugs out of the schools. There would not be much difference or take more to keep the Mentally Ill out. A school near Stone Mountain had a crazy break in with an AXE about 5 years ago, so, it is not really a gun issue but how do we deal with the Mentally Ill issue!
GES December 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I have been calling Barbara Boxer crazy for many years now. However, this is the first time she has said something that makes common sense!
Cheryl Huvard December 25, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Look in the dictionary under "slippery slope" and you will see a photo of a rent-a-cop or part -time volunteer as an armed school guard. More guns in schools is the stupidest reactionary concept I've heard yet.
Tom Osborne December 25, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Well it is interesting this issue about the mentally ill. How do define that? How many people, including teenagers are on one or more antidepressants, or medications for improving concentration etc., are they mentally I'll? Maybe we should be more concerned with those who have problems but are not being treated, or cannot afford treatment. Where are they, how many are there? How do you identify them? How do you propose to deal with the mentally ill. Do we keep "them out" even if they have committed no crimes? Do we create a state or national registry? Intersting that that proposal has been put forth, but by the same group it is quite impossible and unacceptible to do the same with those who purcase firearms and ammo. Do you know that those persons diagnosed with a mental illness are eleven more times likely to the victim of a firearm rather than the perpetrator. So let's be careful in scapegoating any one group of people. It's much more complex and deeper than that. This is what the NRA is doing, and it's way to simplistic! It's way more complex, and i do not think that you cannot actually take the "gun" part of out of the equation. Just some thoughts.
Tom Osborne December 25, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Well, my point is still taken. The George Zimmerman issue shows the difference between a professional law enforcement officer and an amature cop wannabe with no proper training. If this is acceptable, then your kids will hardly be protected, in fact they will be at greater risk!
Tom Osborne December 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Great point! Thank you for bringing it up. How many kids were killed with that ax? How many were killed with the firearm weaponry last week? That's the difference, and to a great extent in terms of carnage - it is about guns and the types that are used. Thank you for bringing up this point of comparison!
GES December 25, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Well, Tom, Guns are a right given to Americans in the Constitution, being Mentally Ill is not a right. So there is nothing wrong with a national registry of the Mentally Ill. There are very good reasons that the Government has not been allowed to have a national Gun Owner registry. First off it is the first step for a later confiscation. We could easily start to identify the Mentally Ill by first identifying who is on controlled drugs for all Mental Disorders. Yes, even kids on Riddlin. or whatever they call that stuff! We need to stop being PC, call crazy what it is! I wonder why persons diagnosed with a mental illness are eleven more times likely to be the victim of a firearm? I could take a guess, that they are off their meds and are violently trying to harm someone that is in fear for their own life. Your stats kid of prove why we need to revamp the Mental Health system and keep guns in the hands of responsible legal gun owners!
Tom Osborne December 25, 2012 at 07:06 PM
So, I would like to know how you plan to make that diagnosis of mental illness. And you are very wrong in your conclusion. By the sound of what your very inclusive criteria is, that would include probably 50 % or more of all of our adult and teenage population (many of whom are gun owners) who are citizens and do have rights. And by putting all of these people under such a broad registry, you are violating the foundation of the bill of rights and the entire essence of our American identity. Certainly there needs to be a criteria by which people are afforded the right to a firearm (for example, criminality, certain kinds of mental illnesses and institutionizations, lack of training etc.) but be careful on how you define these! And the second amendment has been interpreted in many ways. By your own argument it is not a right for everyone (since you want to restrict gun ownership for the mentally ill I presume) which when properly defined, I agree. It also not a right of every citizen to have any kind of weapon, which these assault like weapons I think should be included. Also, registration of guns and their owners, and the purchase is ammo does not represent a violation of any right. You are registering a product with a user and purchaser, we do that with automobiles, boats, planes etc. You are not by that act prohibiting ownership (although we both agree there needs to be exceptions ). That's very different than registering a person for who they are.
Eva Shaw December 25, 2012 at 07:35 PM
The problem is mental illness not gun control. Watch out citizens, the Congress is ready to legislate against your right to defend yourself. Maybe some classes on how to be a good parent would be appropriate. This issue could have been averted if the parent had used ordinary good judgement.
GES December 25, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I do not want to want to restrict gun ownership for any legal US citizen in any way. However, if you must insist with a knee jerk reaction with new Laws, start with the people where the problem lays, that would be the Mentally Ill! I do not see anyone else going around killing little kids other than Muslim terrorists (outside the US for now) and we have laws for them! Gun ownership is a right for everyone that has rights! If you say 50% of the population are Mentally Ill, well then, take their rights away so those people do not scare you and the problem is solved. Just do not touch the Rights given to Normal people by their Constitution! You said "Also, registration of guns and their owners, and the purchase is ammo does not represent a violation of any right." What part of " Shall not be infringed" do you not understand! And yes I believe the Gun Control Acts of 1968 and 1937 was actually an infringement on the Rights of the American people! Normal law abiding gun owners have been paying a price for these crazy people for many many years. I would rather these people be purged for the ownership roles that to affect one normal persons right to the 2A! If Crazy people get a stigmata from this, so what! Gun Owners are tired and will not cave to all this PC BS!
GES December 25, 2012 at 07:51 PM
It is nice to hear the voice of reason Eva. This kid should have been in some type of Mental institution, but those around him were in denial and the little children payed the price for that denial!
Lucy Mauterer December 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM
The diagnosis of mental illness is a very complex and sometimes subjective activity. Many folks have been misdiagnosed and over medicated. Many meds carry with them very unfortunate withdrawal symtoms, which can occur even when one dose is skipped. The most common withdrawal symptoms for depression type drugs are hostility and thoughts of suicide. In some cases of violence, it is not the mental illness that triggered the action but the drug that the patient was taking.
GES December 26, 2012 at 04:38 AM
You are very right Lucy. However are you really going to ban guns from normal law abiding citizens that have rights under our Constitution because some Wacko missed their Meds? I think not! That is why I say, if, and only if, you want to punish people for what happened at Sandy Hook Punish the Mentally Ill, because they are the Root to this problem!
Annabeth Balance December 26, 2012 at 03:37 PM
It's ridiculous beyond words.
Tom Doolittle December 26, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Actually, to follow the principles of the NRA position, teachers and administrators should be armed, not have the schools militarized. NRA (and I suppose Barge's) position in this case is hypocritical and tortured.
Crash December 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I too support Barge's position. Let the teachers who have concealed carry permits, carry a weapon.
Tom Osborne December 27, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Yes and what do we know about this parent. She kept these assult type weapons in her home. She was out for a weekend and her son got a hold of these weapons. The rest is history. As is much more common than not the weapons in her home were used on her by someone of her household. Unfortunately they were also used to slaughter 20 children and six other adults. If she did not have these guns, these children, her son and she would be alive. Her son had not been diagnoses with any mental illness, this has been retrospectively hypothesized. No such weapons no such carnage. Did this poor parents "second amendment rights" trump the human right of children to go to school and not get slaughtered like they were in some kind of war? I think not! And that is the issue! Thank you for so nicely making my point.
Tom Osborne December 27, 2012 at 01:53 AM
The people who have been punished were the victims. You cannot punish other people who also have rights and have committed no crimes. Again, I would like to hear how you define mentally ill and what your solution is. So here is a question for all you gun rights people. Is there any kind of restriction, on any kind of weapon available to the public that you are willing to consider. Other than scapegoating the mentally ill, however you try to define it, are there any laws or registration that you are willing to consider to develop a fair and comprehensive solution to these problems even if all other components are also looked into. Do you even think there is a problem? Just curious.
GES December 27, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Tom you are insane as that CT Fruit Loop, you have no point. Are you , or is someone close to you Mentally ill? Adam was a Fruit Loop in High School as noted by some of his former administrators and he was a Fruit Loop when he committed this crime! His brother even said his brother had a Mental Disorder. Do you know any sane individuals that would do such a thing? No! What more do you need? Yes, his mother should have had her guns in a safe, she was in denial with her son which should be a crime, but it is not! Her son should have be locked in a Mental institution. It is a fact that this kid was criminally insane! Do you deny that? You say, "No such weapons no such carnage" Not true, that criminally insane kid could have done the same carnage with a pump shotgun! If you don't believe me the same thing was done to children in 1919 with a pump 12 gauge that insane person killed around 26 or so before killing himself! Any yes, the parents second amendment rights do trump the kids, as it is a Constitutional right. What is not a Constitutional right is for a Mentally Ill person to walk around free around sane people! A criminally insane POS committed this crime not guns! A gun is a tool and will not do anything but what the person holding it wants it to do! Tom, why do you want to deny this kids responsibility for the carnage of the dead children?
GES December 27, 2012 at 02:45 AM
No tom, I do not support or recommend and more restrictions or laws against guns and Gun Owners! There are Laws on the books that cover all of this. You are obviously scapegoating guns instead of the mentally ill, but the mentally ill are the ones committing these crimes. I do not think there is a problem on the gun end of all this. However, it does look like are Country has a Mental Health problem!
Tom Osborne December 27, 2012 at 02:56 PM
So GES, you are a doctor now? So doctor what is your diagnosis. And to my point, this young man obviously had a problem and yet was able to get a hold a hold of such weapons .yet he was not diagnoses with any kind of mental illnes. So how are you going to find all the undisguised people that may be capable of going out of control? The people being treated are not nearly as likely to commit such an act. so how do you that? getting all up set and hurling insults at me does not solve any thing. That is unfortunate!
Tom Osborne December 29, 2012 at 01:10 PM
My last comment, and I do appreciate the dialog and ability for me and others to express their ideas on this most important topic. After re-reading these exchanges it is clear that most people favor not letting certain undesirable groups have guns, or at least these more assault like weapons, i e,..... Those with diagnoses mental illnesses, criminals, terrorists eyc. Instead only " normal" law abiding citizens should have this second amendment right. So there must be an effort to identify these types of people and legislation that prevents their purchasing using and owning these weapons, and those laws need to be enforced. That is gun control by its definition. So, I am glad we are all in agreement. Now we just need to figure out how to make it happen.
GES December 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Tom, There is already legislation & Laws on the books that prevent the Mentally Ill from purchasing using and owning any firearm! It is all ready against the Law for the Mentally Ill to purchase a firearm from any seller FFL holder or private citizen! If you have bought any firearm in the last 20 years you would have noticed the Questions on the ATF Form 4473 that disqualifies the purchase if the applicant is Mentally ill! http://www.atf.gov/forms/firearms/ The problem is there is not a National Registry or data base that holds the names of the Mentally ill, so when a background check is preformed their names gets flagged and a denial happens then and there. Maybe schools need to help the Government ID these Fruit Loops before they snap.
Tom Osborne December 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM
That is great, and a good place to start. But there are obviously many loop holes by which all kinds of people are getting access to firearms they should not be able to have. So if there is- a flaw in the system, then we need to try and fix it. No I have never purchased a firearm, although I have done some shooting at several clubs. I can see the sport in it. I am not advocating eliminating guns for properly trained citizens. But there are some weapons that private citizens should not have access to and some people should not have any kind of firearm. I do have extensive experience relative to firearms, and that is 30+ years of having to try to put back together people who have been injured by these weapons. Just about any kind of firearm you can think of I have seen, and the problem is getting no better except for the mass lethality of these incidents. All factors need to be explored, and the type and number of guns out there needs to be addressed. It may be time to change from the "right" of owning a firearm to the "priviledge" of owning one, with the demonstration of being of sound character, healthy mind, lack of criminal back ground, proper on going training and registration of all firearms with no exceptions. And these laws need to be loop hole free and ridgedly enforced! I know that is difficult, but important things never come easily. So, for me this discussion has run its course and quite divergent opinions expressed. Thank you for this dialog.
GES December 30, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Now your True Anti-run agenda comes out Tom. You only want to take a Constitutional right away of Law abiding citizens! I own some AK's and some AR's and it is not a privilege, it is, and always will be a God given right! Go sell your Anti-run agenda somewhere else! If you must fix something fix the Mentally Ill problem we have today, that is what is broken, and needs to be fixed, but do not try to sell it as about guns, as that is not the problem!
GES December 30, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington insisted that the second amendment be included in the bill of rights and their fear for the republic was not from outside the United States but from the inside and a illegal government forcing citizens to disarm.
GES December 30, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Have you ever looked at any statistic regarding defensive use of firearms. I guess not assuming that your source of info is probably limited to Yahoo, CNN, MSNBC, SNL, John Stewart, and Stephen Colbert that contain suicide data. Suicide data Has to be culled as they want to kill themselves anyway! Let them! Anyway, all of the true data that I've looked at suggests that firearms are used in a defensive role far more often than in a criminal role, up to 10 times the frequency. Given that, the benefit far outweighs the costs. Further, there are about 20 million people buried in Siberia (and more in China, Cambodia, Auchwitz, and Bergen-Belsen) that would tell you the cost of a disarmed populace is pretty steep.
Tom Osborne December 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Well, to answer your question yes, extensively in fact. I included some of pertinent USA data in the early part of the chapter I wrote relative to treating firearm injuries in a major trauma surgical textbook. First written twenty years ago and re - researched and updated ten years ago. I am familiar with the world literature, and it is not from, CNN, MSNBC or the NRA. My first post has an excellent summary of current literature on this topic and it consistent with my earlier research. There are 174 cited references if you want to read them. But the work summarized by the University of Penn School of Public Health, Firearm Injury Center is excellent. I suggest every person interested in this topic read it.
GES December 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Tom, the U of P study seems to be flawed and makes a leap to conclusions. They are trying to say gun deaths are averaging 33,000 per year through 1997, Whereas the 2011 deaths given by the CDC is 11,000. I do trust the CDC Study. Are you trying to say there are 22,000 people a year killing their-self's with a firearm? Or have firearms deaths fallen that much in 2011? If so, I can live with those numbers. If some fruit Loop wants to kill himself/herself they are going to do it, where it be a firearm, knife, pills or a high building. Do not fool yourself by saying if they had no access to a handgun they would have been safe! Maybe if they had a better doctor or better friends and a better support system they would be alive, but do not blame a gun! I would go so far as to say that an individual has the right to die! See I want to give people rights not take them away as you seem to do! I have seen thousands of people die first hand during a 1994 Cholera epidemic in Goma during the middle of a the Rwandan Genocide during Civil War in Zaire. As a member of the US Army we could only watch in horror. If you would have been there you would thank God for our 2A and understand that sometimes a fast death is a gift from God! Gun in the wrong hands of governments kill good people. When this happens only good guys with guns have any chance of life!
Tom Osborne December 30, 2012 at 02:57 AM
GES - Great, I am glad you are reading the U of Pen meta analysis. Just read thru it, keep an open mind then draw your own conclusions. You might want to look up some the references. You can twist statistics in many ways so check the design of the studies. But from my experience what they show is not biased and purely academic. . You and I come from different experiences. I cannot even imagine the horror of what you saw in Africa. But we are not Africa. You would be amazed if you saw the horror of whar i have seen in the cities of Baltimore and Atlanta. I do not think the 11,000 firearm fatalities from assult or legal intervention per year in the US is acceptable, nor the other 22,000 deaths from firearms nor the 78,000+ non fatal injuries. Those statistics are real and current. Yes, and they are unbelievable. So, if it means depriving some people the right to firearms or ceatain types of firearms so be it. We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this. That is our American right.

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