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Oregon State Rep. Proposes Arming Teachers To Prevent Shootings

STATE REP. DENNIS RICHARDSON, (R-OREGON): Well, it's been 13 years since the tragedy in Columbine, almost 6 years since Virginia Tech, and now we all mourn the massacre that occurred in Connecticut last Friday. We cannot continue to be passive when the only person who's armed in a school shooting situation is the shooter himself, the psychopath.

What I'm suggesting is that we have campus responders, two or three volunteers, that are on the staff, whether administrators or teachers or staff members, hopefully maybe prior military, prior law enforcement, but people who are trained who will be armed. And when the first shot is fired on the next campus, they can respond and meet lethal force with lethal force.

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RICHARDSON: Well, by having -- by taking safety measures. First, you make sure that those who are your campus responders are trained. Secondly, you make sure that the weapons are not easily accessible. I mean, there are metal containers that require a code before they can be opened. So we can secure the weapon. But what we can't do is just allow us to continue to take a passive approach. The assault weapon that was used in Connecticut is already banned in Connecticut. The teachers already were trained in lockdown. That's a passive response. We owe it to our children and our educators to ensure that we have the ability to respond in every school with lethal force in an event of such a shooting in the future.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: You know, there's a public health specialist at Harvard who's written a book on gun violence, and he says children ages 5 to 14 in this country, 13 times likely -- as likely to be murdered with guns than children in other industrialized countries. But most of these deaths, these killings, take place in neighborhoods, in homes. It's not in the schools. So are you really directing your solution, your proposed solution, to the right place?

RICHARDSON: Well, this isn't about a gun ban. There's over 250 million guns already in circulation in the USA. That bell has already been rung. We're focusing on what happens occasionally in our schools and what can be done to protect our children and their educators in the event that this happens again, which is inevitable. We cannot continue to have the only armed person on the premises of the school be the mass killer. And we can't afford to put police in every campus. There's a one-in-a-million chance this is going to happen, but if we have volunteers who are trained and prepared to respond with lethal force, then we can lessen the number of casualties that will occur in the future. (CNN Newsroom, December 17, 2012)

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