The National Rifle Association’s National School Shield Program

By Dave Dolbee published on in News, Safety and Training

The Properly Trained—Armed—Good Guy

Today, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA broke its silence and laid out a common sense plan to ensure the safety of our schools in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.

LaPierre began by acknowledging that there isn’t a national, one-size-fits-all solution to protect our children and called on Congress to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school—and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.
National Rifle Association NRA logo

Excerpts from the NRA’s Press Conference

We need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work—and by that I mean armed security.

Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities—and draw upon every resource available—to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.

Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as America’s preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.

Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation’s defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we’ll do it for our schools today.

The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, the very best experts in their fields will develop this multi-faceted program.

Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires.

That’s a plan of action that can, and will, make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the safety of our children—starting right now.

Key Elements

I envision this initiative will have two key elements: First, it would be based on a model security plan—a comprehensive strategy for school security based on the latest, most up-to-date technical information from the foremost experts in their fields.

This model security plan will serve as a template—a set of best practices, principles and guidelines that every school in America can tweak, if needed, and tailor to its own set of circumstances.

Every school and community is different, but this model security plan will allow every school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits its own unique situation, whether it’s a large urban school, a small rural school or anything in between.

Armed, trained, qualified school security personnel will be one element of the plan, but by no means the only element. If a school decides for whatever reason it doesn’t want or need armed security personnel that of course is a decision to be made by parents at the local level.

The second point I want to make is that this will be a program that doesn’t depend on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. Instead, it’ll make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities.

In my [Asa Hutchinson] home state of Arkansas, my son was a volunteer with a local group called “Watchdog Dads,” who volunteer their time at schools to patrol playgrounds and provide a measure of added security.

Whether they’re retired police, retired military or rescue personnel, I think there are people in every community in this country, who would be happy to serve, if only someone asked them and gave them the training and certification to do so.

The National Rifle Association is the natural, obvious choice to sponsor this program. Its gun safety, marksmanship and hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. Over the past 25 years, its Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program has taught over 26 million kids that real guns aren’t toys and, today, child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded.

School safety is a complex issue with no simple, single solution. But I believe trained, qualified, armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of deterrence as well as the last line of defense.

You can download a complete copy of the transcript here.

We would like to hear the comments and thoughts of the Cheaper Than Dirt Community on keeping our schools safe from future tragedies.

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Comments (16)

  • Nathan


    I completely agree with the NRA on this. People are afraid of putting armed guards in schools to protect our kids, yet don’t bat an eye at having an armed guard protect their money. People also tend to forget about the terrorists that took over the school in Belsan, Russia that was taken over by terrorists in 2004. It resulted in over 300 people dying. If anyone thinks that can’t and won’t happen here, you are niave. Now will a couple of guards stop a well planned attack like that from happening? No. But they will add an additional level of complexity to the undertaking, and could possibly buy enough time for emergency response personnel to get on seen and help out.
    Glassell – While having an untrained (and trained) armed individual in a school does have the potential to kill innocent kids with stray bullets, it will be far more likely that that individual will distract the shooter long enough for other people to get to safety. Take Aurora for instance, if one person in that theater had a gun and could shoot back at that shooter, he would have shifted focus from the innocent people to the threat. This would have bought other people time to get out and increased the chances of survival for everyone (except the shooter) involved.


  • Robin


    Glassel- How did the NRA put guns in the hands of bad guys? Did you even read through the NRA plan? There’s much more to it than armed guards. I have school aged kids, and I want them to be safe.

    It’s about training and changing the mindset. Why don’t bad guys go to the police station and shoot it up? Because they know they would be stopped by someone with a gun.

    There are trained personnel there, why not offer the same safety to our children?

    C. Willis- School is a place of learning, but let’s not also make it an easy place for those bent on killing walk in and commit murder unopposed.


  • Glassell R


    Way to go! Let’s put guns in every room possible. I am most anxious for us to use firearms with drums, like the Aurora theatre shootings, in my local kindergarten. When the next mass-murderer enters, then TWO people can be shooting stray bullets & killing kids! Boy, what a great idea.

    Columbine High School had an armed deputy for months before the shootings there 13 years ago, including the day of the massacre.

    Did something happen in 13 years to make that work?

    Of course, the NRA is simply the pimp to the people that make guns. You do realize this is not about lives, but guns sales, right?

    Innocent children were killed in quicker & more violent means because of the NRA’s successful drive to put the guns in bad guys’ hands. Perhaps next, we could legalize nukes for “sensible” folks.


  • C. Willis


    Wayne is out of his mind!!! We are NOT in Iraq, Afghanistan, Beirut, Syria or some other 3rd world country where we have to arm our teachers in school. What have we come to in this country, arming ‘teachers’? School is a place of learning not war! We send our military to ‘other’ countries so they can work that type of crap out. Not in my America!!! I swear people are reverting back to the days of the old west where everyone had a gun on there hip.This is NOT the answer by any means.Yes, mental health issues need to be addressed in this country along with the ‘tool’ being used to committ these heinous acts.


  • Doug


    After 9-11 we got the TSA, right? So we just create another federal bureaucracy to protect our kids! There… I feel safer already…


  • Fredric-Frank Myers


    Wayne is one a #(1) major asshole, and I’m an x-teacher/life member of NRA and also a retired deputy sheriff; inaddition, an expert army riflemam and Navy disabled vet…


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