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Marino’s legislation would solve much of school tragedy puzzle

Legislation introduced by Rep. Tom Marino, a Cogan Station Republican who represents much of our region, would, if enacted, be a positive step toward better protecting local students from school shootings and terrorism.

Marino’s bill would reauthorize the COPS in Schools program to provide funding to hire school resource officers for primary and secondary schools.

The funding would go toward hiring military veterans and retired police officers to provide security for schools.

As we stated in this space a week ago, school security should be federally funded, given the common needs and priorities nationwide of all school districts. And we agree with Marino that military veterans and retired policemen, through their training and experience, have the necessary skills needed to provide security at schools today.

They also are trained to make the split-second decisions needed to counter violent attacks. Such abilities may have averted the recent Parkland, Fla., tragedy.

The plan makes even more sense when considering the tens of thousands of veterans who are unemployed throughout the nation. So, this is an opportunity to better protect our children while giving job opportunities to vets that fit their innate skill set.

This is legislation that deserves Congressional approval.

And while they are at it, Congress can approve metal detectors in schools, another aspect of the security that Marino favors.

Marino also echoed our belief that school teachers should not be armed.

While the focus of last weekend’s national rally seemed narrowly focused on gun restrictions, outright deletion of the Second Amendment, and pitbull attacks on the NRA and gun owners, this legislation represents positive action Congress can take to meet the overriding demand of our youth for better school security and safety.

This legislation does not address the need to coordinate information on mental health problems with monitoring of particular individuals and stepped-up background checks, but it is a correct step toward solving much of the crisis.

We don’t need to rewrite the Constitution. We need to answer the crisis by solving the root problem of school security.

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