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Dec. 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

NRA chief: School idea not off the wall

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The president of the National Rifle Association said Sunday posting a police officer in every school wasn't so far-fetched and has been in practice for years.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, David Keene said about 23,000 U.S. schools already had armed security guards patrolling the halls and the concept was endorsed by President Clinton after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.

"What we were saying is that really the question that parents across this country are asking is how do we protect our kids?" Keene said.

Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman who is taking the lead in the NRA's controversial school proposal said having a police officer or some other armed guard on duty in each and every school should be voluntary and up to local school districts.

"If you have a choice of sending your child to a school that has that type of protection versus not, I think most people in America would say, let's go to what would be the school that invests in that type of safety and security," Hutchinson said on ABC's "This Week."

The NRA leadership, which was out in force for the weekly Sunday television news shows, called its proposal to increase armed security at U.S. schools the best short-term solution to the threat of unbalance killers storming a relatively unprotected school building.

"If it's crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think the American people think it's crazy not to do it. It's the one thing that would keep people safe and the NRA is going try to do that."


Gun may have jammed during school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Authorities investigating the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School say Adam Lanza's gun may have jammed, giving six students time to flee the scene.

Police are examining the Bushmaster rifle Lanza used to shoot 20 children, four teachers, the school principal, a school psychologist at the Connecticut school, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Saturday.

Before the shooting at Sandy Hook, Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza. He also fatally shot himself in the head as police arrived at the school.

Officials said based on reports from students who managed to escape from the first-grade classroom of teacher Victoria Soto, where Soto, special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy and six of Soto's 6- and 7-year-old students were fatally shot, investigators believe Lanza either mishandled or dropped a magazine and unfired bullets fell to the floor, or that the mechanism that fed bullets into the rifle jammed, causing Lanza to remove the magazine and clear the weapon. Either scenario would have given the students who fled the classroom enough time to do so.

Police are still trying to determine how many shots Lanza fired.

Authorities said they expect to wrap up the investigation at Sandy Hook within the next few days.


Romney's son: Dad reluctant candidate

BOSTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's eldest son Tagg said his father "wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life."

The Boston Globe reported Sunday that Tagg Romney wanted to focus on a list of 12 people his father had helped in having a professional documentary made that would have shown his father's humanitarian side, but Stuart Stevens, Romney's strategist, wanted instead to focus on showing how President Barack Obama's economic policies were not working.

"He had no desire to ... run. If he could have found someone else to take his place ... he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them. He has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn't love the attention," said Tagg Romney, who the Boston Globe said worked with his mother to convince Mitt Romney to run for president.

National GOP officials said they intend to "reverse engineer" the Romney campaign to see what went wrong.

They said it was the Romney team's failure, until too late, to try to convince voters of Romney's leadership abilities and personal qualities, which allowed the Obama campaign to successfully paint Romney as uncaring about average people.

The Globe said Romney's campaign made political, strategic and financial errors that essentially assured Obama's victory.


Prince Harry has killed Taliban fighters

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince Harry has killed Taliban fighters, British military sources told London's Daily Telegraph.

The second-in-line to the British crown is serving a four-month tour of duty and has been in the Army Air Corps in Afghanistan since September as navigator and gunner in an Apache attack helicopter, the Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

Prince Harry is believed to have killed his first Taliban soldier -- but not a Taliban "commander" -- a few weeks after arrival, when he flew to rescue a patrol that had been attacked, the Telegraph reported.

He is based at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province and helps to provide covering fire for ground combat troops and transport helicopters and medical evacuation missions, the newspaper said.

He was removed from deployment with the Household Cavalry in 2008 when news broke he was in ground forces in Afghanistan.

The prince retrained as an Apache co-pilot and in February qualified as a "top gun," which would allow him to perform a combat role without endangering others if the Taliban tried to target him, senior military commanders said.

Senior military commanders felt the role would allow him to continue in a combat role without endangering the lives of others if the Taliban chose to try and target the prince.

Two U.S. Marines, however, were killed a week after Prince Harry's arrival in an attack on Bastion. The attack purportedly was an act of vengeance for an U.S.-made anti-Islam movie, the Telegraph said.

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