September 25, 2022

  • A North Carolina school system has given six of its schools AR-15 rifles to protect against mass shooters.
  • The guns were added after a horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children dead.
  • “I want my kids to be as prepared as they can be,” said Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood.

A North Carolina school system has given AR-15 rifles to every school in an effort to protect children from mass shooters, according to a report from the Asheville Citizen-Times.

“We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safe in all of our schools in the county,” Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood told the Citizen-Times. “We also have hacking tools to get into those safes. We have extra magazines of ammunition in those safes.”

Six elementary, middle and high schools received a rifle, ammunition and a safe, Harwood said.

The guns were added to schools after the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May. Police said the gunman killed 19 children and two adults in the shooting.

“These officers were in this building for so long and this suspect was able to infiltrate this building and injure and kill so many children,” Harwood said. “I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in case that happens.”

“The reason we put the breaching tools in the safes is so that if we have someone barricaded in a door, we won’t have to wait for the fire department to get there,” Harwood added. “We’ll have these tools so we can break down that door if we have to. I don’t want to run back to the car to get an AR, because that time is wasted. I hope we never need it, but I want my kids to be as prepared as they can.”

So far in 2022, there have been 27 school shootings, according to Education Week tracer. In 2021 there were 34 school shootings. And this year, the number of school shootings is rising rapidly and could easily surpass last year’s number.

After the Uvalde shooting, four companies that make bulletproof gear told Insider they’ve seen more customers seeking out and buying bulletproof backpacks since a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Texas.

The manufacturers, however, noted that the presence of some of the bulletproof tools may scare parents.

Harwood told the Citizen-Times he believes guns and ammunition are necessary to protect students in the event of a shooting.

“I hate that we’ve gotten to a place in our country where I have to put a safe in our schools and lock it for my deputies to be able to get an AR-15. But, we can” Don’t shut it down and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know,” he said. “I want the parents of Madison County to know that we will take every measure necessary to make sure our children are safe in this school system. If my parents, as a whole, want me to stand in that door with that AR tied around the officer’s neck, then I will do whatever my parents as a whole want to do to keep our children safe.”

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