North Carolina’s Madison County School District has put an AR-15 in a safe in every school in the county so the guns can be accessed for classroom defense in case of attack.
Mass shootings are an ongoing problem in the U.S., including at schools — a shooting earlier this year at a school in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two teachers dead.
USA Today reported that Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood pushed for the AR-15s following the attack, pointing out that he did not want evil people to be able to enter the school and hole up in a classroom with officers powerless to act.
Harwood said, “Hopefully we’ll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be.”
There are six schools in Madison County, and each school will have emergency safes as part of their proposal for increased security.
Here’s what Harwood told the ‘Asheville Citizen Times’:
“We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safe in all of our schools in the county. We’ve also got breaching tools to go into those safes. We’ve got extra magazines with ammo in those safes.”
“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 said. “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.”
Harwood admitted that storing semi-automatic rifles in schools is not ideal, but said it’s necessary given the recent school shootings around the country.
“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,” Harwood said.
The Daily Wire noted:
The county’s decision stems from police failures during the May 24 Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where a lone gunman murdered 19 children and two adults. Law enforcement officers waited in the hallway outside the classroom for over an hour after the shooter began killing elementary-aged children at Robb Elementary. One of the first excuses given by police for their hesitation after arriving on scene was that they were ill-equipped to engage the shooter and needed backup.
“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,” Harwood said of the Uvalde massacre. “I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in the event that happens.”
If this strategy in Madison County works, it could be the way forward for many counties in the United States.