A task force for the National Rifle Association is recommending training and arming designated members of school staffs. The NRA has floated the idea before but established a task force to study the issue further. Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, chairman of the NRA task force, said the proposal seeks to prevent school shootings. The Arkansas Republican, a former director of the DEA, also called for increased mental health screening.
The NRA has been scrambling to respond to growing public and political pressure since the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Mark Mattioli, whose son James was killed in the Sandy Hook melee, appeared at a news conference with Hutchinson. He applauded the call for increased mental health screening and said politics should be set aside in the national debate over guns. Mattioli argued that the focus should be on "real solutions" that will make schools safer.