There are those who fear the recent uptick in mass shootings is just the beginning of what could be a very violent period, as hate groups attempt to use the internet and social media to recruit malcontents and the mentally ill to wage war on American citizens. Our schools and places of worship make desirable targets.

CBS News reports that demand among parents has surged for bulletproof backpacks, which it says have become a "back to school staple." The nation's classrooms remain largely unprotected against armed intruders.

Some school districts have allowed teachers and other school personnel to arm themselves as a frontline defense against a school shooter. Most reject arming teachers as unsafe and say guns in school creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to educating young minds. I disagree.

Let's take the recent mass shooting at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California. Police on the scene were able to disable the gunman in less than one minute, but not before three people had been killed and thirteen others were wounded. Imagine how much carnage can be inflicted if it takes police three minutes or more to respond to an active shooter who is firing unchallenged.

Most of our schools are designated gun-free zones. That is why they are preferred targets. That needs to change. A potential shooter needs to know that if he enters a school building he will be met with armed resistance. Unless armed guards are on patrol in and around our school buildings, our teachers need to be given an option to carry.

Our kids and school employees are sitting ducks. They deserve better. They deserve maximum protection from harm. Sending your kids off to school with a bulletproof backpack is sending them off with false hope. It is delusional.

Demand full protection for our students or be prepared to bury more of them.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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