Opinion

Pro-con: Should Shawnee Mission School District officers have semi-automatic rifles?

John Douglass: Why Shawnee Mission Schools police have access to assault rifles

The Shawnee Mission Schools director of safety and security explains the 2015 purchase of semi automatic rifles for school police.
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The Shawnee Mission Schools director of safety and security explains the 2015 purchase of semi automatic rifles for school police.

Is the Shawnee Mission School District justified in issuing eight semi-automatic rifles to its district resource officers? Some members of the community — including parents of district students — are questioning the logic and wisdom of the decision.

Two members of The Kansas City Star’s editorial board weigh in with their thoughts on the situation:

Mary Sanchez points out that commissioned police officers are the ones entrusted with the weapons. They’re exactly who should be armed if violence should break out.

Not so fast, writes Melinda Henneberger. The chance that such a small number of firearms would prove useful in such a rare incident as a school shooting is virtually nil.

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