HERO COP: Armed officer credited with saving ‘countless’ lives after man opens fire at Illinois high school

Dixon, Ill. — Dixon police school resource officer Mark Dallas is being credited with stopping a student armed with a gun at Dixon High School this morning.

A 19-year-old male who had recently been expelled from the school was shot and wounded by Dallas at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning after the man appeared at the school and opened fire.

The suspect, identified as Matt Milby, is now in police custody.

“I could not be more proud of the police officer and the way he responded to the situation,” Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell said at a news conference following the incident. “With shots ringing out through the hallways of the school, he charged towards the suspect and confronted him head-on.”

“Because of his heroic actions countless lives were saved. We are forever indebted to him for his service and his bravery,” Howell added.

All Dixon Public Schools were initially placed on lockdown, but only the high school remained locked down late Wednesday morning.

No other injuries were reported.

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PROTECTING OUR KIDS: Trump unveils plan to ‘harden’ schools against mass shootings

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration on Sunday announced plans to help states pay to train teachers in the use of firearms in response to a series of deadly shootings in U.S. schools.

The plan does not yet incorporate the president’s earlier pledge to raise the age limit for purchasing certain firearms from 18 to 21 but does include the option to allow trained teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons on campus as a means of protecting students from armed intruders.

“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could end the attack very quickly,” Trump said last month during a bipartisan meeting on gun control.

To help jumpstart the effort, Trump has directed the Justice Department to aid states in partnering with local law enforcement to provide “rigorous firearms training to specifically qualified volunteer school personnel,” said Andrew Bremberg, director of the president’s Domestic Policy Council.

Reiterating its call to improve background check systems and for states to pass temporary, court-issued Risk Protection Orders that would allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from individuals who pose risks to themselves and others and temporarily prevent them from buying firearms, the White House described the effort as a promise kept by the president to help keep America’s children safe and to help “harden” schools from violence. The move comes in response to a February 14 mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida in which 17 victims were killed and dozens more were injured.

“Today we are announcing meaningful actions, steps that can be taken right away to help protect students,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who will chair a commission to oversee the project.

“Far too often, the focus” after such shootings “has been only on the most contentious fights, the things that have divided people and sent them into their entrenched corners,” said DeVos during a call with reporters on Sunday evening.

During the call, DeVos also announced the White House’s urging for Congress to pass a second bill that would create a federal grant program to help train students, teachers, and school officials on how to identify early warning signs of potential violence and focus on early intervention.

While Republican lawmakers were quick to praise the president’s efforts, Democrats condemned the plan, saying the changes simply weren’t enough to ensure safety in America’s schools.

Calling the plan “weak on security” Sen. Bob Casey, (D)-Pa., referred to the proposal as “an insult to the victims of gun violence.”

“When it comes to keeping our families safe, it’s clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are all talk and no action,” Casey said in a released statement.

The House is expected to vote on the STOP School Violence Act sometime next week.

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‘IT WILL ONLY MAKE SCHOOLS SAFER’: Cruz backs teachers’ rights to arm themselves in classroom

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Thursday said teachers who choose to do so should be free to arm themselves in the classroom.

“I think it makes perfect sense that if teachers want to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, that it will only make schools safer,” Cruz said while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

“I don’t think you should make teachers do that, but if a teacher is comfortable and wants to be prepared to defend himself or herself, that’s a good thing,” he added.

The former Republican candidate for president’s comments come a week after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida resulted in the deaths of 17 and the injury of dozens more.

President Donald Trump on Thursday also called for similar measures, adding that protecting our schools through the use of armed teachers and former military members may be a solution to the ongoing violence.

“…Giving ‘concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience- only the best,” the president tweeted. “…Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”

Cruz said the most effective way to combat gun violence is for law enforcement officials to target violent criminals and not law-abiding gun owners.

“The left’s answer is always, always always strip the Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens,” he said. “You want to see crime take off? Disarm the law-abiding citizens.”

Since the February 14 shooting, Democrats have called for stricter gun control laws and a ban on AR-15s.

NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre, however, said cracks in law enforcement was to blame for last week’s shooting, not Second Amendment protected gun owners.

“What they want are more restrictions on the law-abiding,” LaPierre said while speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. “Think about that — their solution is to make you, all of you, less free.”

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