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Shaquille O’Neal expresses opinion on how to prevent school shootings

Shaquille O’Neal, who has long had an interest in and profound respect for law enforcement, believes more police is the answer in addressing the epidemic of mass shootings in U.S. schools.

In essence, the NBA legend believes that approach — as opposed to further restrictions or even bans on guns — will inititate more change and stem the outbreak of school shooting.

“The government should give law enforcement more money,” O’Neal said during an appearance this week  on WABC Radio’s “Curtis and Cosby” show, as transcribed by ESPN. “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’s affinity for law enforcement is not just lip service, either. He has been named an honorary deputy in Georgia and previously served as a reserve police officer in numerous cities. In fact, O’Neal even hinted last year at possibly running for sheriff in 2020, although exactly where is unclear.

O’Neal currently resides in Florida, so the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — in which 17 students and staff lost their lives — hit close to home.

“You know it was a very, very sad incident,” O’Neal said. “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.”

Despite differences in opinion on how to solve the mass shooting crisis plaguing America, O’Neal does stand in solidarity to the young people who have sparked a movement against gun violence in the wake of the latest school shooting. Countless walkouts are planned Wednesday at schools throughout the country.

“I wish I could join ’em, but you know, hopefully it sends a message to the powers that be,” O’Neal said. “‘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?”