ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10 - It’s a controversial topic across the country, gun violence, especially at schools. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. continues to bring the issue of gun control into the forefront.
But, a NY state lawmaker has found an answer to at least help make schools safer for our children.
Saturday, Senator Jim Tedisco (R – Glenville) proposed a law that would help fund armed school resource officers among other resources for school districts through a license plate program.
A draft has been created regarding what the “Guardians for Schools” New York State license plate would look like.
The proceeds from buying one of these plates would go towards a fund that would help pay for armed school resources: mental health counseling, active shooter training, security cameras, metal detectors and other resources that could improve school safety.
It wouldn’t require every school to have an armed officer, but leave the decision up to each district and Senator Tedisco said more needs to be done, this is just a start.
However, the proposed program is not getting all positive reaction.
“We can’t have this carnage taking place where people can walk into schools and just randomly shoot people,” Tedisco said.
The Republican state senator is frustrated by the gun violence taking place across the county and nothing being done to stop it.
“I think we’re all sick and tired of debate and discussion,” Tedisco said.
So, his proposed law could provide the funding for a comprehensive program that could benefit NYS school district in the event of an active shooter scenario.
“It would be a dedicated source of funding to create safer schools in New York State,” Tedisco said. “I know this isn’t the holistic answer we want but we shouldn’t do the good because we can’t do the perfect and the great.”
He admits this wouldn’t solve the gun problem per se, but he says it would be a start.
Democratic NYS Assemblywoman, Patricia Fahy, disagrees by calling this a diversion and a way to avoid passing a stronger package of bills.
“We see what has happened before, that we get some agreement on some smaller issues and we never get to the big issues,” Fahy said.
She’s not against having armed resources officers, but says they’re not an efficient solution. Her rationale refers to the officer who did not go inside during the recent shooting in Florida.
“They’re often not there full time. It’s one person and these are often massive schools,” Fahy said.
Fahy feels the same way about selling license plates.
“We do I think a couple of hundred of those so it’s not as if we’re going to raise millions and millions from something like that,” Fahy said.
Instead, she says if they’re serious about preventing gun violence. They need to focus on measures that will make a difference in a more immediate fashion.
“Let’s not get our eyes off the prize, and let’s get at what is most effective,” Fahy said.
Tedisco believes that action is needed and a debate only slows progress toward these measures.
“If we just continue to debate and we take no action I think a lot of people are going to be disturbed and disappointed about that,” Tedisco said.
The bill is still in its early stages and needs to be drafted. Right now the NYS charges about $60 to $91 for vanity plates.
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