Rifles at Kansas school draw support, criticism from parents
By Jennifer Cruz
Eight Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifles were purchased for the Shawnee Mission School District’s seven different schools. (Photo: The Kansas City Star)
The purchase of rifles for a Kansas school district nearly two years ago has recently received a great deal of attention following an article published by local media last week.
Many parents weren’t even aware of the rifle purchases before the article was published and while some fully support the school’s decision to make the purchases, other parents are appalled at the idea of guns in the schools.
Shawnee Mission School District Director of Safety and Security John Douglass spoke with The Kansas City Star about the district’s decision to purchase eight Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifles for the seven different schools in the district.
“I swore to myself I would never fail to do everything that I possibly could to protect kids when I took this job,” said Douglass, who also noted the recent rise in mass shootings.
Douglass, who is the former chief of the Overland Police Department, explained that while the school resource officers already carry handguns, their range is limited.
“To expect that I could stop somebody with a pistol from here to there,” Douglass said as he pointed down