A southern California school district has purchased a small arsenal of assault rifles it plans on storing in locked safes for police to use in the event of a future school shooting.
CBS Los Angeles reports that the Fontana Unified School District Police Department has purchased 14 AR-15 assault rifles which are being stored in locked safes on the campuses of FUSD schools.
The move has received the support of Fontana's mayor and police chief.
"It's unfortunate that we have to have that, but its the best message we can send to anybody that thinks to harm our children," Police Chief Rodney Jones told CBS. "The message we're sending is... not here, not now, we're prepared for you, we will neutralize that threat, and you will most likely be killed."
"Everyone wants children safe," Mayor Acquanetta Warren told CBS. "At this time, we as a community, we have to come together and find other ways. But in the interim, our police officers need to be equipped."
FUSD school board member Sophia Green, who claims officials never mentioned that the guns had been purchased even though three school safety meetings have recently been held, voiced her disapproval of the measure.
"If a person who has the intention of coming on campus to kill... knows we have the AR-15s... they might come with something even bigger or better. They will come prepared," she told CBS.
Child development specialist Anna Conklin told CBS that the district shuttered a school counseling program two years ago, and said the use of district funds on increased firepower ignored the need of addressing prevention, early intervention, and students’ mental health.
"Children aren't born with a gun in their hand and vengeance in their mind. They aren't necessarily going to grow into being a killer," she said. "We, as a society, need to address why children are growing up to commit these acts as teens and adults. I don't see how adding more weapons on a campus is addressing that."
There have literally been hundreds of school shootings in the United States over the past 15 years. In the wake of the latest major incident, the massacre of 27 people including 20 young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last month, the National Rifle Association, the nation's leading firearms lobby, recommended posting armed guards in every school in the United States. FUSD is now taking that advice even further than NRA leaders could have expected.
There are 45 schools in the FUSD: 2 pre-schools, 29 elementary schools, 7 junior high schools, 5 high schools, and 2 alternative schools.