WASHINGTON — A task force working for the National Rifle Association recommended Tuesday that at least one armed guard be stationed on every campus in America as part of a three-month review on how to make schools safer in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
But Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas and former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said his group of high-profile law enforcement experts did not examine — and has no opinion on — the gun control legislation the Senate will consider next week.
He said that any proposal would be inadequate if it did not include specific school safety proposals.
"You can address assault weapons and it doesn't stop someone bringing in a .45-caliber firearm into school," Hutchinson said. "So if you're going to protect children, you're going to have to do something about school safety."
Hired by the NRA as a consultant, Hutchinson unveiled the group's 225-page report at a packed news conference at the National Press Club in downtown Washington. More than a dozen NRA-hired armed guards, some in uniform, were positioned around the room and hallways.
The School Shield Task Force made eight recommendations. They include training programs for school resource officers, online school security assessments, improved federal education and funding, and additional coordination between schools and law enforcement.
"I really hope that when they're seeking common ground, this will be the common ground," Hutchinson said.