St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says it is time to talk about arming civilian school personnel following Friday’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, comparing it to arming airline pilots after September 11, 2001.
“I see it no differently,” he said. “Pilots have been armed now for many many years, we’ve not had another hijacking and the issue is, for the bad guy, he doesn’t know which airplane he’s getting on, if the pilot is armed or not.”
Fitch said the killing will not be stopped by legislation or laws. “If there’s somebody that’s really hellbent on doing something like this, they’re not going to care what the law is.”
“We touched on this issue with heroin problem with schools. When we first were talking about the heroin problem in St. Louis, many of the school officials ran and they just hid out, they said ‘nope, we don’t have a heroin problem in our schools,’” Fitch said.
“They started to find out some of the students were involved in this and some of the students were dying of heroin overdoses. It forced them to have this discussion and to take action, inviting us into their schools to talk about the heroin problem in St. Louis.”
Concerning the possibility of gun control, Fitch said “it’s just not going to happen,” and called for an increased focus on mental health instead.
“One of the first thing governments tend to cut back on in tight times are mental health services,” he said. “We know this individual has a mental health history in Connecticut, we’ve seen that in all the school shootings, and additional resources would be helpful.
But, last resort, somebody’s got to take action and they got to do it quickly.”