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Monday, Dec 17 2012 11:00 PM

NRA must take lead in making schools safer

By The Bakersfield Californian

I am a member of the National Rifle Association. My father before me was a life member. I believe in the Second Amendment, as intended by the framers, to provide for individual Americans to keep and bear arms for self-protection and for the collective protection of the people against all foes, foreign and domestic. An unarmed, law-abiding citizenry cannot defend itself; this is not acceptable.

It is time, though, for the NRA to show some leadership and begin the dialogue toward remaining aligned with the Second Amendment while becoming a voice for what is realistic. We civilians do not need 13-shot semi-automatic pistols or 30-shot clips for our military-style assault rifles. There is no argument for them -- none.

What the NRA could do is promote training for teachers that could be selected by school districts to be armed. Think about it: A few teachers, trained and armed as peace officers against threats of any origin, such as a lone gunman, a person on campus wielding a knife or a baseball bat, or a person with a vehicle on the playground bent on running over kids playing kickball. If you are one of those folks who believes guns are the only way that a person bent on violence can inflict death to the innocent, think again -- or better yet, do some research yourself.

The NRA could lend some of its clout among federal and state legislators to make classrooms safe. It could provide professional guidance in retrofitting schools with safe rooms by installing Kevlar curtains that could be drawn over windows and lockdown systems that could be set into action from any classroom or building upon the first sign of danger. Most schools are built with heavy doors that could be retrofitted with electronic locks/bolt, preventing or stalling access to classrooms. Once the bad guy enters the building, he is then locked down himself, hopefully in a space that has no possible victims. It could be done!

And we the people could become informed parents and go into our kids' rooms today and remove all of the "games" that glorify the use of guns and violence and replace them with games that lean toward learning of a culture that looks for another way to behave and that might build someone up versus killing someone to make points.

NRA, lead the way!

Joe Deford

Bakersfield

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