The Obama administration surprised everyone Friday by apparently taking the National Rifle Association’s advice to provide armed guards at schools.
The Department of Justice announced it will provide nearly $45 million in grants from its Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS office, to pay for 356 new school resource officers, according to a press release.
“In the wake of past tragedies, it’s clear that we need to be willing to take all possible steps to ensure that our kids are safe when they go to school,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in the press release. “These critical investments represent the Justice Department’s latest effort to strengthen key law enforcement capabilities, and to provide communities with the resources they need to protect our young people. Especially in a time of increased challenges and limited budgets, our top priority must always be the safety and well-being of our children.”
Immediately after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., politicians from President Obama on down called for stringent gun control.
A week after the shooting, which resulted in 26 deaths, most of them children, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre commented on the horror.
“It’s now time for us to assume responsibly for our schools,” he said. “The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be permanently involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection.”
LaPierre then delivered the zinger everyone remembers: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
LaPierre took his share of licks for that comment.
“The most revolting, tone-deaf statement I’ve ever seen,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said after hearing of the comment following a Newtown funeral, according to the Daily Mail.
“A shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of LaPierre’s statement, the Mail reported.
“Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe,” Bloomberg said. “Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics.”
That was then; this is now.
“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country address their most critical public safety issues,” said Joshua Ederheimer, acting director of the COPS Office, according to the DOJ press release. “Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to apply new sworn personnel to issues related to violent crime, property crime and school safety.”
Last I heard, no one has bothered to apologize to LaPierre.
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