Steven Seagal joins school guard posse: Do we need more action heroes in schools?
The idea clearly plays to the nation's enchantment with taking action to thwart evil, but it's a philosophy that many Americans worry could be dangerous in a school setting.
Forty gung-ho Americans are working out with actor-turned-Louisiana sheriff’s deputy Steven Seagal in Forest Hills, Ariz., part of a broader effort to build a national “posse” of armed volunteer school guards to protect America’s children in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.Skip to next paragraph
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The decision by Mr. Seagal to join Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “volunteer posse” in response to Newtown could be a critical moment in bolstering the NRA’s response to the shooting: to create a flexible training blueprint that school districts can utilize to tap primarily retired police or military personnel to protect schools.
But while Americans are clearly enchanted with gun-toting protagonists who take direct action to thwart evil, critics say the effort casts a cartoonish pall over a complex issue that can’t be solved by action heroics.
While many Americans have panned the volunteer armed guards idea, 64 percent of Americans support the general idea of armed guards in schools, according to the Pew Research Center.
Mr. Arpaio has not wasted time putting his plan into action. Volunteer posse members already patrol 59 schools in the county. He’s trying to get 1,000 more volunteers involved so he can expand the program. Tapping Seagal as well as former “Hulk” actor Lou Ferrigno is one way.
"I believe we should put police officers in school, in uniform, armed," Arpaio said when activating the volunteer posse in early January. "But so far all the politicians do is talk, talk, talk, and so we're out there doing something."