NRA's plan for armed guards in every school would cost Colorado $181 million per year

School executive assn. calls it reckless reaction

DENVER - The National Rifle Association on Friday spoke for the first time since last week's Sandy Hook massacre.

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said Congress needs to place armed security guards in every school nationwide by January.

"What if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?" LaPierre asked during at the N.R.A. press conference. "Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared?"

The Colorado Association of School Executives told 7NEWS the N.R.A proposal will not work for all schools.

"My immediate thought was what a reckless reaction to a terrible, terrible tragedy and we should be more thoughtful about any kind of systematic response for school violence." said Bruce Caughey with CASE. "I think it's reckless in that it doesn't take into account the differences in school environments at all. It doesn't take into account the resource question. It doesn't take into account what really matters in terms of a normalizing place for kids to attend school."

7NEWS checked with school districts and found one armed school resource officer costs Denver Public schools !100,000 annually, including benefits.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, there are 1,813 public schools statewide. Taking those numbers into account, it would cost the state more than $181 million dollar a year to staff every school with armed guards.

Caughey said those costs aren't realistic considering Colorado has cut $1 billion from the school system in the last four years.

"We have larger class size, fewer teachers. The learning that has to happen in schools is harder to accomplish because of budget restraints, and we are more than $2,000 per pupil below the national average in this state," Caughey said. "I think we need to be very careful before we want to reallocate the resources to having additional staff and training at every school that would include armed guards."

Meanwhile, the state association of the NRA told 7NEWS that our schools are targets without gun protection.

Colorado State Shooting Association President Tony Fabian said every school should have a trained, armed guard.

"What better place to do it, than a place you know no one will be able to stop you until it's too late," Fabian said referring to the fact state schools are currently gun-free zones.