On a given day, well over half of the people in this country with a diagnosable mental health problem dont get treatment, Fitzpatrick said. And a lot of that has to do with the stigma surrounding mental illness. So we dont want to create gun laws that block people from taking that first step to get evaluated and treated.
Some people worry that Obamas proposal to fund more police officers for schools could result in more student arrests for nonviolent offenses.
Should the White House pursue this approach of placing more police in schools, there must be specific restrictions on how resources are allocated to ensure there are not unintended consequences for the youth we are really trying to protect, said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization.
The National Rifle Association, which has fought almost all gun-control measures, said Obamas plans put too much emphasis on targeting gun owners and not enough on protecting children in schools.
Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation, the gun rights group said in a statement. Only honest law-abiding gun owners will be affected (by the proposals) and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.
The NRA has called for placing armed officers in every school and supports firearms training for teachers.
But a recent survey by the National Education Association found that 68 percent of its members oppose arming educators. The organization does, however, support having armed officers in a school, if local school officials decide to do so.
Anderson of the NEA said the organization will begin a massive lobbying effort that will include phone calls to lawmakers and outreach to parents as well. In February, hundreds of members will come to Washington to meet with members of Congress to discuss student safety.
Educators are as much of a family as firefighters and police officers, she said. And when we lose an educator to gun violence, it impacts the entire family. And those are stories we dont want members of Congress to ignore. And we wont let them forget that our members died trying to save their students.