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School officials say high-powered rifles could prevent a massacre

Santa Ana school police Sgt. Kevin Philips locks his rifle in a gun rack mounted in a police vehicle in Santa Ana, Calif., Jan. 24, 2013. The semiautomatic rifles look like they belong in a war zone instead of a suburban public school, but officials in this Los Angeles-area city say the high-powered weapons now in the hands of school police could prevent a massacre.
Santa Ana school police Sgt. Kevin Philips locks his rifle in a gun rack mounted in a police vehicle in Santa Ana, Calif., Jan. 24, 2013. The semiautomatic rifles look like they belong in a war zone instead of a suburban public school, but officials in this Los Angeles-area city say the high-powered weapons now in the hands of school police could prevent a massacre.Jae C. Hong / AP

By Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press

The semiautomatic rifles look like they belong in a war zone instead of a suburban public school, but officials in this Los Angeles-area city say the high-powered weapons now in the hands of school police could prevent a massacre.

"They're not walking around telling kids, 'Hurry up and get to class' with a gun around their neck," Fontana school police Chief Billy Green said. "Parents need to know that if there was a shooter on their child's campus that was equipped with body armor or a rifle, we would be limited in our ability to stop that threat to their children." 

"If the wrong person gets ahold of the gun, then we have another shooter going around with a gun. What happens then?" said James Henriquez, a 16-year-old sophomore who just enrolled at Fontana High School this week after moving from Texas.  Full story

Santa Ana school police Sgt. Kevin Philips checks out a rifle from the police armory in Santa Ana, Calif., Jan. 24. The officers split their time between 44 schools in the district and keep the rifles in a safe at their assigned school or secured in their patrol car each day before checking the weapon back in to the school police headquarters each night.
Santa Ana school police Sgt. Kevin Philips checks out a rifle from the police armory in Santa Ana, Calif., Jan. 24. The officers split their time between 44 schools in the district and keep the rifles in a safe at their assigned school or secured in their patrol car each day before checking the weapon back in to the school police headquarters each night.Jae C. Hong / AP
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