HUTCHINSON: The second point I want to make is that this will be a program that does not depend on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. Instead, it will make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities.
In my home state of Arkansas, my son was a volunteer with a local group called Watchdog Dads (ph) who volunteer their time at schools, who patrol playgrounds and provide a measure of added security. President Clinton initiated a program called Cops In School, but the federal response is not sufficient for today’s task.
Whether they’re retired police, retired military, or rescue personnel, I think there are people in every community in this country who would be happy to serve if only someone asked them and gave them the training and certifications to do so.
The National Rifle Association is the natural obvious choice to sponsor this program. Their gun safety, marksmanship, and hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. Over the past 25 years, their Eddy Eagle (ph) gun safe program has taught over 26 million kids that real guns aren’t toys, and today child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded.