The Compton chapter of the NAACP is demanding that the Compton Unified School District rescind a new policy allowing campus police officers to carry AR-15 rifles while patrolling school grounds.
Compton’s school board approved the new policy last month, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Campus cops who carry the semi-automatic weapons must receive special training first. Also, “carry” is a very strong word. School district officials have indicated the officers will actually keep the aggressive-looking rifles in the trunks of their patrol cars until some event arises in which the guns are needed.
Nevertheless, the NAACP strongly opposes the policy.
“Compton schools are not located in Beirut, Gaza, or Kabul. They are located in the heart of a hardworking, proud community in Los Angeles County,” local NAACP president Paulette Simpson-Gipson told the Times. “We won’t be satisfied until this decision is abrogated.”
School district officials have been tight-lipped about the new policy but school district police chief William Wu has released a statement.
“Compton School Police will be the FIRST RESPONDERS should there be an active shooter on campus. It is necessary that those who are entrusted with the safety of our students on campus have the necessary weaponry to defend the students and themselves,” Wu said.
“Our objective is quite simple — we want to save lives,” the chief also said. “These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses.”
In addition to the NAACP, a number of other local organizations have already criticized the new policy. Parents and students have also expressed their concerns.
Los Angeles-based website CityWatch has criticized the new policy by declaring that no school in a primarily black or Hispanic area has experienced a mass school shooting
CityWatch does not define the term “mass shooting.”
In June, independent journalist Charles Johnson singlehandedly eviscerated a graphic map circulated on social media by a pro-gun control group which purported to show that 74 school shootings that have taken place in the U.S. since Dec. 2012. (RELATED: School Shooting Claims Debunked)
The group behind the charade was Everytown for Gun Safety, a pro-gun control group founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
By using the Sandy Hook massacre as a frame of reference, the Everytown map left the impression that the shootings included on it were at least somewhat similar in scope to Sandy Hook. This was inaccurate. One shooting on the map was one related to drug-dealing. Another was related to a dice game. Others included a public suicide, shootings related to gang activity, a dispute over a Nintendo Wii video game console and a lovers’ spat involving a high school principal.
CNN, which featured the map in news segments, was forced to revise its erroneous claims publicly. (RELATED: CNN Slashes School Shooting Stats Claim By 80 Percent)
Compton is not the first public school district in Southern California to authorize school police officers to utilize AR-15 rifles. Five other school districts in the region including the Los Angeles Unified School District already allow the use of such weapons, notes The Atlantic.