The NRA has tasked former congressman and former Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson with developing its proposal to put more armed guards in schools – an idea opposed by many parents in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza, armed with an assault-style rifle with large magazines, handguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, killed 20 first-graders and six women who worked at the school before taking his own life.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Hutchinson likened armed school guards to plain-clothes air marshals on passenger airliners, or to such guards in uniform at some shopping malls or movie theaters.
“People resisted having weapons on airplanes, but I oversaw the federal air marshals,” Hutchinson said. “It's a deterrent. No one sees that weapon, but they are protected on that airplane, and it's a huge positive impact on safety."
"We have one-third of our schools now, of the 23,000 schools, that have armed guards,” he said. “Should the other two-thirds have armed guards? I certainly think it's an option they should consider. It's not a novel approach, it's a safety approach."
Andrei Nikitchyuk couldn’t disagree more strongly. Mr. Nikitchyuk is a former Russian military officer trained to handle an AK-47 assault rifle. He immigrated to the United States 22 years ago, and today he’s the father of a Sandy Hook third-grader who hid in a classroom during Adam Lanza’s murderous rampage.
"Do you really want to have a shootout like in O.K. Corral in our schools?" he told CBS News. "Where will you find the money in the budget for the additional policemen? Where will you find money in the budget for bullet-proof windows and doors? Do we want a prison system in place of our schools? They will be locked in, right, just like that, and everyone will be afraid of everyone. Why are we doing that?”