LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The National Rifle Association reflects on the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., but it was their call to Congress to put armed law enforcement agents in every American school getting the most attention.
A former Arkansas Congressman is spearheading the effort to bring guns into to schools to protect children, which the NRA says is a more effective security measure. Parents are already sounding off on this hot issue, so THV 11 News visited a middle school to find out what you think.
Walking the halls and keeping students safe is the name of the game for Officer Allen. He's a security guard at Fuller Middle School in Little Rock, and while security guards and resource officers are typical in many Arkansas schools, the National Rifle Association is pushing Congress to up security in the buildings meant for education.
Former Air Force member and father Phillip Dalyrmple likes the NRA's push to put trained people, retired police officers and military personal in schools with guns.
Former Arkansas Congressman Asa Hutchinson is heading up the National School Shield Response Program.
"It may stop it because people may realize 'Hey there may be one or more people at a location with a gun that could stop me,' or if it does happen they could stop the attack much quicker than the cops can and save a lot of lives," explains Dalrymple.
"The weapon part of it is a little scary because sometimes people react before they think," said parent Tonia Roberts. Roberts likes the idea of increasing security at her child's school, but she's not on board with the addition of guns.
Hutchinson said the element of armed guards will only be added if parents and schools allow it.
While putting guns in schools to serve as security is definitely getting the most attention, that's not the entire effort behind the National School Shield Response Program. The N.R.A. wants to implement a model security plan and a comprehensive strategy for school security guards to use complete with technology.