On Friday, a school district in North Carolina announced its plans to prevent possible mass shootings, by arming every school in the district with AR-15s.
Axios reports that the Madison County school system plans to have the AR-15s locked away in special gun safes in every school within the county. The move reflects the widespread opinion that, when it comes to gun violence in schools, the best deterrence is to arm the schools so that a shooter is likely to face more resistance than in an unarmed school.
County Sheriff Buddy Harwood said that, by having the firearms located directly in the school, the response time against a possible mass shooter will be greatly reduced, especially compared to simply calling 911 and waiting for law enforcement to arrive.
“I do not want to have to run back out to the car to grab an AR, because that’s time lost,” said Sheriff Harwood. “Hopefully, we’ll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be.”
The topic of school safety against gun violence has become more prominent in recent months, following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. In addition to the suspect once again being a deranged individual whose multiple warning signs went ignored by the authorities, criticism was also leveled at the response of the Uvalde Police Department, who waited outside the school for hours, hesitated to go in, and did not actively engage the shooter; the suspect was finally killed by a Border Patrol agent, who was on the scene due to the town’s proximity to the southern border.
There are currently 29 states with laws in place that allow school employees, besides police or security officers, to carry firearms in school. In Ohio, teachers are permitted to be armed on-campus after 24 hours of training. In Florida, over 1,300 school employees across 45 districts are serving as armed security. And in Texas, 402 school districts have enrolled in a program that allows school employees to be armed on-campus.