OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Local Control of School Protection
The answer to protecting schools is not going to be found at the federal level.
All of the media is focusing on the federal government to prevent future school shootings. There is a role for the federal government, but it isn't going to do anything to protect a school in the time available.
The answer to stopping a madman from attacking a school is the local police and school officials. New Bedford and Fairhaven, had their schools protected long before this attack in Florida. They didn't wait for the federal government to protect them. The school officials and the police department in those communities worked together to craft a protection plan and then implemented the plan.
We are learning more every day about the lack of a security plan at the school in Florida and how that led to the deaths of 17 children and the destruction of innocence for a whole community.
Demanding gun control of a specific brand and style of a lawful rifle is not the answer. But if it was it would still take too long to protect local schools.
Every school building is different in structure, level of maintenance and schedule of use. It will be impossible for a security expert in Washington, D.C. or even a state capital to have enough information to protect a local school. Even federal funding, which comes with rules and regulations, may prohibit the implementation of a unique security plan designed by local officials.
The answer is found at the local level. Many of the police officers in our towns attended the buildings they will be protecting. The principal of the school knows what door the kids use to slip outside for a cigarette. The maintenance department knows what locks need to be upgraded. This specific information is needed to protect a school and there is no way the federal government can act as effectively as the local community.
Editor's Note: Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.