Gun control at heart of school safety discussion

At the heart of Wednesday night's school safety discussion was the concern over guns getting into schools. Photo: Autria Godfrey/WJLA

A moment of silence started Wednesday night’s school safety discussion among Montgomery County parents and officials. At the heart of the talks was the concern over guns getting into schools, and in the hearts of parents, those 20 children slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month.

“I don’t know if I’m more worried about it or less worried about it. I just see it can happen,” says Stephanie Diaz, who has two elementary-aged kids.

She says while President Obama’s proposals are a start, a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines does not calm her concerns.

“There are so many guns out there. It’s kind of like closing the barn after the cows have already escaped,” she says.

But county officials say the biggest boost to schools came in the executive order the president signed, promising more money for more police on campus.

“Order was to provide the SRO funding to schools across the country, so that’s very welcome,” says Chief Mark Magaw.

Chief says in neighboring Prince George’s County, the universal background checks would work wonders in keeping guns out of the wrong hands. While gun reform legislation is now in the lap of Congress, Chief Magaw, who was at the White House for Wednesday’s announcement, says the president has the law enforcement community on board.