Compton School Police on acquisition of AR-15s: ‘We want to save lives’

Guns save lives. This isn’t only the admission of gun-rights advocates, but it’s also that of Compton School Police Chief William Wu whose department recently acquired a haul of AR-15s for “specially-trained” patrol officers.

“Our objective is quite simple — we want to save lives,” Wu said, in a statement explaining the decision to obtain the rifles. “These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses.”

“The goal — as always — is ensuring safety and, as a department and as a school district, we are committed to achieving that goal,” Wu continued.

As it relates to school districts that have officers who have AR-15s in the trunks of their patrol cars in Southern California, Compton is actually late to the party. Los Angeles School Police as well as school officers in Santa Ana, Baldwin Park and Fontana have had semi-automatic weapons on hand for some time.

“We hope we never have to use them, but it’s one of those tools in place in case we do,” Scott Mesa, the police chief for the Fontana Unified School District, which has had ARs on hand for at least a year, told “It’s in the event of an emergency. It’s a tool of police work.”

Yet, while the law enforcement community stands behind the decision to increase its respective firepower, critics suggest that stricter gun-control measures would be more effective at stopping those that wish to perpetrate violence against school children and teens.

“There is no other free nation in the world that would even consider this,” said Ladd Everitt, from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “Why? Because they have tough gun laws on the books that make it impossible for clearly deranged individuals like James Holmes and Jared Loughner to legally (or easily) acquire firearms — and astronomically lower rates of gun death as a result.”

However, in the face of objections from the gun-control crowd, it seems that simple logic wins out:better to have em and not need em, than to need em and not have em.

From the debate in Fontana last year:

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • meeester December 12, 2016, 10:13 am

    Given a choice; I would send my child to the school that made a prominent public statement that some of the staff was armed trained regularly, perhaps even competed. How nice would it be to get notice that the school was closed on a quarterly basis for a day of drills perhaps using Airsoft type guns on campus.

  • Don P. August 18, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Well, having been born in Compton, lived in Fontana, (and was a police officer for Pomona. CA P.D)….all I can say is, “What’s the fuss all about?” They aren’t having the officers carry the rifles around campus (at least in Fontana) so who cares that they have some rifles stored? That one lady, who was worried that the bad guys will come to the campus with bigger and more powerful weapons, should wake up to the fact that bad guys who shoot unarmed kids are cowards who wouldn’t dream of going to a school where they might get shot themselves. Every mass shooting I know of happened in ‘gun free zones’, which is the most ridiculous thing you could call yourself if you truly want to stay safe!! Only a fool goes to a well-prepared location to commit his crimes when there are hundreds of unprepared ones advertising their ‘come and get me! I have no means to defend myself.’ mentality.
    Giving it more thought…maybe making such a big deal out of having the rifles is a really good tactic, since that way the bad guys will automatically skip your schools because they know that they are prepared! Just like having a security system protecting your home makes most burglars go for your unprotected neighbors. Which should give your neighbors a clue that they, too, should get a security system installed! There really are people who rob and steal in this world.
    Still, it makes me glad I moved to Arizona where I can feel comforted seeing normal people going about their business with guns on their hips, and to know that there are probably at least twice that many carrying concealed. It’s a comfort, for sure.
    I recommend that everyone who can get a concealed carry permit do so, as defending yourself and your family is YOUR responsibility, not the cops. The only true ‘first responder’ is the person being victimized by a bad guy. Hopefully, they have the training and means to actually respond! Check out for great info.

  • Al Joy August 17, 2015, 9:21 pm

    Not to influence anyones decision or bias their judgement but wasn’t the original statement ” automatic assault rifles” but after the image is planted securely in our minds, the fact is presented these are not military weapons, and are not full auto, but are civilian weapons that look scary but are no more efficient than weapons introduced 75 years ago.
    The scary part is the weapons used 75 years ago won the last war the U.S. won. Maybe it is overkill having them available to
    people that might be in position to actually defend the school kids.

  • paul May 11, 2015, 12:19 pm

    Of course, don’t you know that the public should NOT have firearms and the police have special rights from god to carry and use them? I thought everyone knew that. Just like good guys get shot and “it is only a flesh wound”, but bad guys die in agony.

    Just hide your head in the sand and the po leese will save you, if you are a good guy.

  • R. Graham May 8, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Oh. So when the police acquire AR-15s they are Simi Automatic Weapons. When another person acquires one it is an assault weapon.

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