To the editor:
I wish to comment on the law signed by Governor Cuomo on July 31 that prohibits the arming of school district staff.
The legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo on July 31 prohibits school district personnel from carrying weapons on school grounds. The law exempts law enforcement officers, security guards and school resource officers. This law took effect immediately upon being signed.
This law is very seriously flawed as it removes the most effective way to countering a mass shooting in our schools. Common sense dictates that immediate direct confrontation of the shooter by a trained armed person present in the classroom can best thwart the incident from developing as planned and to minimize casualties if any. The armed person here is also engaging in an act of self defense.
Time here plays a critical role in allowing the shooter to advance his plan. Reliance on those law enforcement officers exempted from the law prohibitions means that a direct confrontation by them of the shooter cannot occur until after they receive notification of the ongoing incident, travel to the scene, wait for backup if so required and may become a casualty themselves.
Even if the time delays mentioned above are only one minute, consider that the shooter using a semi-automatic pistol (with spare magazines) can fire up to 50 aimed shots in that time.
This law must be repealed now. The list of school staff, faculty and students murdered in their schools cannot be allowed to grow any longer.