Police State Nudging Ahead: White House may consider funding for police in schools after Newtown

Philip Rucker
Washington Post
Jan 11, 2013

The Obama administration is considering funding many more police officers in public schools to secure campuses, a leading Democratic senator said, part of a broad gun violence agenda that is likely to include a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips and universal background checks.

The school safety initiative, one of several under consideration, would make federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment, although it is not nearly as far-ranging as the National Rifle Association’s proposal for armed guards in every U.S. school.

The idea is gaining currency among some Democratic lawmakers, who see it as a potential area of common ground with Republicans who otherwise oppose stricter restrictions on firearms. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal Democrat from California, said she presented the plan to Vice President Biden and that he was “very, very interested” and may include it in the policy recommendations he makes to President Obama.

“If a school district wants to have a community policing presence, I think it’s very important they have it,” Boxer said in an interview Thursday. “If they want uniformed officers, they can do it. If they want plainclothed officers, they can do it.”

But hope of finding an accord over gun laws dimmed considerably Thursday after the NRA lashed out publicly against what it called the administration’s “agenda to attack the Second Amendment” after meeting with Biden and senior White House officials.

Biden plans to present recommendations from the administration’s working group on gun violence to Obama on Tuesday. The vice president said Thursday that he sees an emerging consensus around “universal background checks” for all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. Obama, meanwhile, has said he also supports a ban on assault weapons.

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