Thursday Jan 03, 201302:08 AM GMT
US town puts armed officers in schools
A police officer greets a returning student as he is walked into Hawley School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 18, 2012.
A police officer greets a returning student as he is walked into Hawley School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 18, 2012.
A town in the US state of New Jersey has stationed armed police officers at its schools to stop gun massacres.

School officials in the Marlboro -- a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey -- said on Wednesday that armed guards were posted at all schools in the township to prevent another shooting like the one in Newtown, Connecticut late last year, AFP reported.

"The safety and security of our students, staff, and buildings are of utmost importance," the Marlboro education authority said in a statement.

"To that end, and in response to the Newton, Connecticut tragedy, starting Wednesday, January 2, every Marlboro school will have an armed, uniformed Marlboro Township police officer," the statement added.

National Rifle Association, the country’s largest gun rights lobby, has also proposed putting “armed police officers in every single school in this nation” in response to the shooting rampage at the Connecticut school.

There have been several deadly shootings across the United States over the past few weeks, putting the issue of lax gun control laws back in the spotlight.

On December 14, a 20-year-old man, identified as Adam Lanza, killed twenty children and six adults before pointing the gun at himself at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut.

In a shooting incident a week later, four people, including the shooter, were killed in the state of Pennsylvania. A number of police officers were also injured during the exchange of fire.

In another incident on December 28, 2012, a gunman shot and injured three police officers at the Gloucester Township Police Department in New Jersey. The gunman, who was reportedly a prisoner at the Gloucester Township station, was shot and killed by the officers.

Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the US.

The US averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control.

The year 2012 has been a record-setting year for gun sales in the US.

About 4.5 million firearms are sold annually in the United States at a cost of 2 to 3 billion dollars.

Over 100,000 US citizens have signed an online petition to the White House, dubbed “We the People,” asking US President Barack Obama’s administration for a renewed national debate on gun control.

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