By Will Mannion
Bill De Blasio, the Mayor of New York, has followed through with his promise that schools in New York City would become gun free zones. This means that police officers inside the school are no longer allowed to be equipped with a firearm. This was done in an effort to make schools safer, a campaign De Blasio fought for before any of the recent mass shootings occurred.
De Blasio had written to state officials that it would cost the city 1.2 billion dollars annually to have armed officers. According to the Maven, Blasio looks to replace the armed officers with unarmed school safety agents, but how are they supposed to stop a school shooter? It is also questionable how De Blasio can easily afford to have unarmed officers at the premises but cannot afford to have armed officers. The Maven also states that the cost of one officer at a school is £705,000 – according to Blasio. Is this a case of a Dianne Abbot level maths error or was De Blasio lying to advance an agenda?
De Blasio, in his letter to the senators, insisted the 2,300 public and private school buildings are safe with 5,000 unarmed school safety agents and 200 uniform task officers assigned to patrol inside and outside. He also noted that the Department of Education has spent $100 million to install video cameras and other safety devices.
“New York schools are the safest they’ve ever been with school crime at an all-time low. This is a direct result of the close partnership between the 5,300 members of the School Safety Division, precinct commanders and school leadership,” he said.
A possible scenario this may come in handy may be within the schools that have scanners at the front entrance, this means that the shooter would be far less likely to bring in a gun and would have to use a gun held by one of the officers. Although this scenario is very unlikely, it has now been cancelled out completely due to this gun free law. However this does mean that a shooter will have to start shooting at the entrance before reaching the scanners, this would also be very unlikely.
However, this law does have a lot of faults. A school shooter does not follow the law, gun free laws would not stop them from having the ability to smuggle a weapon onto school grounds. In a gun free zone, there is no opposing force that can match the school shooter – unlike a school that has armed officers or staff. The argument for gun free zones is based on school shooters and the fact on how dangerous guns are if they fall into the wrong hands. The same argument is used to ban the second amendment. What this argument fails to capture is the difference between a legal and illegal weapon and how illegal weapons cannot be banned by the stroke of a pen – illegal weapons are as hard to control as A class drugs.