Originally published in the August 2018 Official Journals of the National Rifle Association
With summer now in full swing, the last thing kids are thinking about is going back to school. But it ought to be the first thing parents are thinking about, especially when it comes to school security.
Honestly, it is a bizarre fact that, in this country, our jewelry stores and airports and banks are more protected and, apparently, more important than our children.
Think about it. Our NFL games, our NBA games, our office buildings, our politicians and our movie stars are all protected better than our children at school.
There are 132,800 public and private kindergartens through high schools in the United States. According to survey information, 65 percent of those schools have recorded one or more incidents of violent crime.
Yes, it’s summer. But every parent, teacher, administrator, law enforcement officer, local politician and community leader needs to think—right now—about protecting our children when they return to the classroom.
Nothing can be more important than protecting our innocent children while they are at school.
That is why the NRA launched its NRA School Shield program in 2012. Its singular mission is to protect our children in their learning environment.
Any American school that needs immediate professional consultation and help with organizing and defining their own security solutions should call the NRA National School Shield program—we will provide immediate assistance absolutely free of charge. That is more than anybody at the Democratic National Committee, The Washington Post or The New York Times has ever offered.
NRA members believe in the right to keep and bear arms. We will never waver from our fight to defend our constitutional freedom and we will never waver from our fight to defend the safety of our children at school.
Evil walks among us. That is our reality, and God help us if we don’t take steps to protect our children from it.
The NRA’s National School Shield seeks to engage communities and empower local leaders to make our schools more secure and our children safer.
Our resources, free of charge and funded through grants generously donated by NRA members and supporters, help local schools in major ways.
National School Shield provides a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of each specific school that requests our help. This includes a school climate evaluation, physical security, communications systems, overall preparedness and more.
We also facilitate critical partnerships between school officials, law enforcement and local leadership to recognize strengths and vulnerabilities, and to help institute the very best practices to protect our children.
As so many schools report inadequate funding as the top reason for not enhancing security, The NRA Foundation is stepping up and raising vital funds to help schools all over this country increase security measures, harden their schools and better keep our kids safe.
The national news media don’t report it and the anti-freedom crowd will never admit it, but no one cares more about the safety of our children at school than the 6 million women and men of the National Rifle Association of America.
Our children must be protected at least as much as we protect our banks and sports stadiums and Hollywood celebrities. That is why NRA members are outraged that, in this country, we surround our money and celebrities and wealthy elites with so much armed security, while at the same time we drop our kids off at “Gun-Free Zone” schools without so much as a prayer for their safety.
In every community—right now, in the heart of summer vacation—school districts, PTAs, teachers, unions, local law enforcement and parents must come together to discuss and implement the very best strategy to harden their schools. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, and NRA’s National School Shield is here to help every individual district design their own safety strategy. And, if appropriate, that should include effective, trained, armed security to meet head on the evil our children could one day face.
To anyone who says armed security can never be part of the solution, let’s take armed security from the White House, from Congress, from our banks and office buildings and sports stadiums. If those great institutions deserve our best protection, don’t our own children deserve at least that much safety? Of course they do.
That is why NRA members support the Second Amendment, our great freedom that not only preserves our individual rights but also extends to freedom of our children to go to school and learn and grow in a safe environment.
When we stand and fight for our freedom, we stand and fight for all Americans, whether they agree with us or not, because our fight is for American freedom for all. That absolutely includes the freedom and safety of our schoolchildren.
That is why, in the hearts of every one of the nearly 6 million members of the National Rifle Association, we are truly America’s Safest Place.