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Schools must act now to protect our children

Five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, one of the largest civil rights organizations in the world called for putting armed security in every school, to no avail.

Before printing another “gun-free school zone” sign, or engaging in meaningful, knowledgeable, intelligent gun control debate, local school boards should act now to provide a level of security deemed adequate to their particular situation – that of protecting our most vulnerable members. Priorities are out of whack when we protect our banks, airports, power plants and courthouses with armed security yet leave our children defenseless against some deranged monster already plotting to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk – our schools.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but local school boards should act now to protect our children. The president has zeroed out school emergency grants in last year’s budget and scrapped “Secure Our Schools” policing grants in next year’s budget. Politicians have no business denying us the moral right to protect our children.

Congress should act to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school, and do it now. In addition to police officers, there are millions of qualified retired police and military, active reserves, certified firefighters, security pros, rescue personnel and patriotic, qualified citizens available to meet with local school officials and police to devise a plan to protect our children. These people can be deployed now instead of waiting for Big Brother to act.

There will be time for funding, talk and debate later. Now is the time for decisive action. The best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Thomas W. Lucas

Tonawanda