The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.
I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school -- and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.
Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work -- and by that I mean armed security.
Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities -- and draw upon every resource available -- to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.
Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as America's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.
Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation's defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we'll do it for our schools today.
The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields.
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires. His experience as a U.S. Attorney, Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program up and running from the first day forward.
If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained -- armed -- good guy.
Under Asa's leadership, our team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to every school in America free of charge.
That's a plan of action that can, and will, make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the safety of our children -- starting right now.
There'll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time, this is the day for decisive action.
We can't wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. We can't lose precious time debating legislation that won't work. We mustn't allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. We must act now.
For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that's tested and proven to work.
And now, to tell you more about the program, I'd like to introduce the head of the effort, former U.S. congressman, former U.S. attorney for the western district of Arkansas, and former administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Honorable Congressman Asa Hutchinson.