Last week, a student who brought a loaded 9 mm gun to a Sandy Springs charter school.
Last month, a gunman entered the front office of the DeKalb County elementary school with an AK-47 style assault rifle and exchanged gunfire with police.
The next day, a Woodstock man brought a BB gun that resembled a semi-automatic handgun and three knives to Cherokee Charter Academy.
In January, a 14-year-old student was shot by a fellow student at Price Middle School in southeast Atlanta. The next month in Midtown, a Grady High School student accidentally shot herself in the thigh on school grounds.
Guns and schools, it seems the two are connected in local news stories more and more. So, imagine a long hallway at a school. A armed individual is at one end of the hall, a school resource officer (SRO) equipped with a pistol is at the other end. What are the odds the SRO can stop the threat with his sidearm?
"The standard issue weapon that we carry is a Glock 22 -- it's a 40-calibre handgun -- it's small, it's compact and it's not effective at long ranges," Gainesville Police Lt. Jay Parrish told Access North Georgia. "In some of these [school] hallways, we have 100-plus foot hallways -- a handgun's just not effective in that area."
Not only is distance a factor, but officer training comes into play as well. A study of NYPD gunfights between 1998 and 2006 showed officers had an average hit rate of 18 percent -- four out of five rounds missed the intended target.
According to Parrish, rifles would allow officers to more carefully pinpoint a target.
For these reasons, the Gainesville City School Board is considering placing rifles inside city schools. Each school would have one rifle locked in a safe in the SRO's office, Access North Georgia reports. Currently SROs have rifles in their vehicles, but going to their patrol vehicle and retrieving a weapon during an active shooter incident is not practical, Parrish explained.
Do you think your child would be safer if the SRO at his or her school had easy access to a rifle? Let us know in the comments.