Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, an avid police supporter, says he believes school shootings can be stopped by putting more police inside the schools, not by banning guns.
“The government should give law enforcement more money. Give more money, you recruit more people, and the guys that are not ready to go on the streets, you put them in front of the schools. You put ’em in front of the schools, you put ’em behind the schools, you put ’em inside the schools, and we need to pass information. … I would like to see police officers in schools, inner cities, private schools,” O’Neal said Wednesday on WABC Radio’s “Curtis and Cosby” show, according to ESPN.
O’Neal lives in Florida, where a Feb. 14 Parkland high school shooting claimed 17 lives.
“You know it was a very, very sad incident. Close to my heart. I actually live in Fort Lauderdale. I actually knew the Sheriff, called him and told him he did a wonderful job,” O’Neal said, regarding the school shooting.
In May, O’Neal publicized his plans to run for Sheriff in Georgia in 2020. He was sworn in as a Sheriff’s Deputy in 2016.
O’Neal doesn’t support a ban on semiautomatic weapons.
“There’s a lot of those weapons already on the streets. So it’s not like, if you say, ‘OK, these weapons are banned,’ people are gonna go, ‘Oh man, let me turn it in.’ That’s definitely not going to happen,” O’Neal said.
“‘Cause once you ban ’em, now they’re going to become a collector’s item and you’re going to have people underground, and they were $2,000. … I’ll give you $9,000 for that gun. So, you know, we just need to keep our eyes open,” O’Neal added.
Students across the country walked out of their schools on Wednesday to honor those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and protest gun violence.
O’Neal showed support for these students.
“I wish I could join ’em, but you know, hopefully it sends a message to the powers that be. Cause we have to stop this. … I would like to see tougher background checks. If you can’t protect our children in school, where are they safe,” O’Neal asked.