A county sheriff in North Carolina has taken a unique step to beef up security and protect kids in his local schools, but it is a move that is infuriating liberals.
Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood recently unveiled his plan to put gun safes containing AR-15 rifles in schools so school resource officers can respond faster to a school shooter, rather than standing by and waiting for local police to respond to the scene.
The sheriff’s jurisdiction, which is just north of Asheville and borders Tennessee, boasts six schools, including three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one advanced early-college high school.
Harwood told the local media that his plan was formulated in response to the massive failures of law enforcement in responding to the Uvalde school shooting in Texas.
“Those officers were in that building for so long, and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many kids,” Sheriff Harwood said, according to the Asheville Citizen Times. “I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in the event that happens.”
Harwood added that his office has been coordinating with the district’s school resource officers and training them in use of the weapons and how to respond to a mass shooting incident.
“We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safe in all of our schools in the county,” Harwood explained. “We’ve also got breaching tools to go into those safes. We’ve got extra magazines with ammo in those safes.”
Harwood also explained that the breaching tools were included based on the situation that occurred in Texas.
“The reason we put the breaching tools in the safes is that in the event we have someone barricaded in a door, we won’t have to wait on the fire department to get there,” Harwood exclaimed. “We’ll have those tools to be able to breach that door if needed. I do not want to have to run back out to the car to grab an AR, because that’s time lost. Hopefully we’ll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be.”
The sheriff added that he is not happy that such measures are deemed necessary.
“I hate that we’ve come to a place in our nation where I’ve got to put a safe in our schools, and lock that safe up for my deputies to be able to acquire an AR-15. But, we can shut it off and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know,” Harwood explained. “I want the parents of Madison County to know we’re going to take every measure necessary to ensure our kids are safe in this school system. If my parents, as a whole, want me to stand at that door with that AR strapped around that officer’s neck, then I’m going to do whatever my parents want as a whole to keep our kids safe.”
Harwood’s plan was met with approval by Madison School Superintendent Will Hoffman as well as the local school board.
Liberals in the area, though, are dismissive of the sheriff’s safety measure.
Indeed, UNC Chapel Hill professor Dr. Dorothy Espelage thought it was the height of folly, not to mention dangerous, to put AR-15s in schools.
Calling the policy a “hardening of the schools,” Espelage claimed that studies of school safety show that guns in school don’t offer much protection.
“What’s going to happen is we’re going to have accidents with these guns,” Espelage said, according to WLOS ABC 13 News. “Just the presence of [a school resource officer] increases violence in the schools. There’s more arrests of kids. Why is it that they have to have these AR-15s? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Like Espelage, Democrats see guns as the problem, instead of the social issues that are spawning these mass shooters.
But studies have shown that mental health is a root cause of mass shootings; not guns, not racism, not “white people.”
A recent study of 180 mass shooters conducted by Jillian Peterson, an associate professor of criminology at Hamline University, and James Densley, a professor of criminal justice at Metro State University, found that the commonalities among mass shooters are early childhood trauma, isolation and self-hate culminating in a desperate attempt at suicide-by-cop, according to a report on the research published by Politico.
The researchers noted that gun control plans the Democrats float will have little effect on mass shootings because the problem is not just guns, but the mental health of the shooters.
Peterson laid out the most common profile of mass shooters.
“There’s this really consistent pathway,” Peterson told Politico. “Early childhood trauma seems to be the foundation, whether violence in the home, sexual assault, parental suicides, extreme bullying. Then you see the build toward hopelessness, despair, isolation, self-loathing, oftentimes rejection from peers.”
Peterson then noted that suicide often becomes part of the quotient, adding, “That turns into a really identifiable crisis point where they’re acting differently. Sometimes they have previous suicide attempts.”
“What’s different from traditional suicide is that the self-hate turns against a group,” Peterson concluded. “They start asking themselves, ‘Whose fault is this?’ Is it a racial group or women or a religious group, or is it my classmates? The hate turns outward. There’s also this quest for fame and notoriety.”
What is clear is that just banning guns, and constantly focusing on the availability of guns is a political campaign, not a safety measure. Indeed, just last week a man attacked a kindergarten class and killed three and injured six using a knife in China, where firearms are banned.
Mass killings are not a gun issue. And policies enhancing security in schools can only help deter, not contribute to the danger.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.