Shaq: Don’t ban guns, put more cops in schools
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NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal said Wednesday that the U.S. should place more police officers in schools to protect against school shootings rather than tightening gun laws.

In an interview on WABC Radio first reported by ESPN, the basketball hall of famer expressed his support for police officers and said that law enforcement should be given increased funding following the Parkland, Fla., shooting last month where 17 students and faculty were killed at a high school.

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"The government should give law enforcement more money," O'Neal says. "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," he adds. "I would like to see police officers in schools, inner cities, private schools."

O'Neal has plans to run for sheriff in Georgia in 2020. A long-time advocate for law enforcement, he has been named an honorary reserve officer by police departments around the country after completing an unofficial police academy program in 2016, according to ESPN.

In the interview, O'Neal added that he doesn't believe a ban on semi-automatic weapons will reduce the number of those guns already on the streets.

"There's a lot of those weapons already on the streets," O'Neal said. "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."

The basketball star did express support, however, for student walkouts organized Wednesday by survivors of the Parkland, Fla., shooting. Thousands of students walked out of classes and marched on Capitol Hill in support of gun law changes one month after the deadly shooting.

O'Neal said he supports stricter background checks, one reform floated since the shooting.

"I wish I could join 'em, but you know, hopefully it sends a message to the powers that be," he said. "'Cause we have to stop this."