Stricter gun laws or arm teachers with guns: Fil parents weigh in

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Dec 19 2012 11:21 AM | Updated as of Dec 19 2012 07:25 PM

SAN BRUNO, California – Four days after the deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six school staff members dead, the nation’s attention is now on gun control.

Knowing that this could happen in his own California neighborhood is too much to take for 10-year old Joaquin Conclara.

He said, “I feel sad for the people who lost their children. I just feel horrible about it.”

Joaquin and his younger brothers go to Rollingwood Elementary School, where security has been tightened, even before the Connecticut shootings.

Leigh Schwartz, principal of both Rollingwood and Crestmoor Elementary Schools said, “We’re going to have every visitor stopped and get tagged in the office. We want to know who’s on campus. We’re also locking all outside doors.”

A recent CBS News Poll said that since the deadly Connecticut tragedy, support for stricter gun control laws is at its highest in 10 years, with 57 percent of Americans now saying gun control laws should be stricter.

California senator Diane Feinstein, a longtime supporter of stricter gun laws, said more lawmakers are supporting her gun bill, which contains a ban on assault weapons.

“Is this America? I don’t think so. I think these incidents are going to continue until we do something to change the supply mode of these weapons out in our society,” she said.

On the other side of the debate, Oregon State Representative Dennie Richardson said school personnel should be trained to use guns in classrooms in times of crisis.

He said, “What I am suggesting is that we have campus responders, people who are trained and who will be armed and when the first shot is fired on the next campus, they can respond and meet lethal force with lethal force.”

This Filipina, mother to Rollingwood third grader Carl Ortiz, said she’s not in favor of it.

Carlyn Ortiz stressed, “I don’t even have guns at home. So I don’t think it’s a good idea for teachers to be armed. Their job is to teach our kids.”