Guns in school debate has Kentucky twist - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Guns in school debate has Kentucky twist

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Rep. Thomas Massie Rep. Thomas Massie
Dr. Laura McNeal Dr. Laura McNeal
Officer holding a taser Officer holding a taser

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The debate over putting armed security in schools or arming some staff members continues with a Kentucky congressman getting attention for one of his proposals.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY 4th) recently proposed repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act. Shortly after 26 students and staff were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Massie proposed his bill. He told WAVE 3, "putting up signs that this is a gun free zone doesn't protect anybody. What it does is creates an environment where criminals and deranged individuals know they are going to be safe."

Massie pointed to the fact that the shooter in Newtown didn't stop firing until police arrived 11 minutes later. Then he killed himself. But school safety expert Dr. Laura McNeal of the University of Louisville says her research into armed security shows it makes kids uneasy and creates anxiety.

McNeal also pointed out that there was an armed guard at the school shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. She admits new gun control laws might be mostly cosmetic and suspects that prevention could come through assessment.

"Had there been a real assessment team there, some of the neighbors who described the Newtown shooter as disturbed, troubling, could've made a referral to do a threat assessment," said McNeal. "So those are examples of non gun solutions to today's problems."

Massie also told WAVE 3 for our special report that he would like administrators to have the option to get training to carry a weapon. He also believes that even having top staff equipped with tasers could sometimes stop shooters. McNeal said after a school massacre people tend to rush to judgment, but she said it's important to remember one national statistic.

"Less than two percent of youth homicides occurred in schools since 1993," said McNeal.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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