GREAT MILLS, MD. — The heroic actions taken by a quick-thinking school official credited with stopping a school shooter on Tuesday proves the need to arm school officials, says one school policing advocate.
“It should send a clear message to any would-be attacker that if you are going to bring that level of violence to one of our schools, where there is a proper trained [School Resource Officer] in place, be prepared to be met with force,” Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, told Fox News on Wednesday.
Canady’s comments follow an incident on Tuesday during which Blaine Gaskill, a St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office deputy at Maryland’s Great Mills High School, took down a suspect who had opened fire in the school, injuring at least two victims.
“We would like to see guns in schools in the hands of the right person. We’re calling for an SRO — at least one — in every school in the country,” said Canady.
In recent years rocked by a series of deadly school shootings, Gaskill’s actions represent only the second occurrence in which an armed school official was available to take down an active shooter.
The first incident, which happened in March 2001, occurred when Rich Agundez Jr., an officer assigned to Granite Hills High School outside of San Diego, fired five shots at a school shooter, disengaging him until police officials arrived.
According to reports, Agundez went on to receive the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in honor for his actions.
“This is a situation yesterday where it’s pretty clear the SRO did exactly what he was supposed to do,” Canady told Fox.
Tuesday’s shooting has sparked new credence toward President Donald Trump’s call to arm teachers in America’s schools. The president said he was leaning heavily toward that option after a February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida resulted in the deaths of 17 students.
The National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest and most powerful pro-Second Amendment group, says it too supports arming America’s teachers and school officials.
“When it comes to the safety of our politicians, celebrities & sports stars, the answer is clear—armed security, the NRA tweeted. “It’s the only security solution that is proven to work, which is why #NRA has called repeatedly for trained armed security in every American school.”