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Tom Horne, Arizona Attorney General, Advances School Safety Proposal: Arm Principals

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Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne released a plan Wednesday to deal with school safety in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, in which he suggests arming a principal or one designated official to keep a firearm to prevent school shootings.

Horne, a Republican, proposes free voluntary training as part of a program in which "the designated individual (no more than one per school) would then be authorized to keep a firearm locked in a secure place, and would have adequate communication to be alerted to an emergency in any part of the school."

But it's not an ideal solution, says Horne, who would prefer having an armed police officer at every school -- a plan that the National Rifle Association proposed Friday. "It may not be possible to afford a Police Officer in every school. In that case, the next best solution is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location. This proposal is analogous to arming pilots on planes," said Horne in a prepared statement.

The proposal is described as a "golden mean between two extremes."

"One extreme is to allow all teachers to bring guns to school, which could create more dangers than it prevents. The other extreme is to do nothing, which everyone will regret if a preventable incident like Newtown would occur in the future," reads the document.

Columbine High School in Colorado had an armed guard on duty in 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 15, including themselves, and wounded 23. Deputy Neil Gardner fired at Harris but did not stop him.

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