Several of those who are now critical of the NRA’s plan expressed their support for Clinton’s program and benefited from it. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district was one of the first to receive funding through the program: $3.25 million for 26 new police officers, to be exact. As a whole, California, also home of Dianne Feinstein, received $5.6 million in grants from the COPS in Schools program in 1999 alone.

Touting the grants set to be distributed to several New York state school districts in 2004, Senator Chuck Schumer acknowledged that “we live in a different world now than we did 20, 30, or even three years ago” and said that the new realities are forcing parents to think constantly about the safety of their children. “Getting more police officers on school grounds will go a long way toward making sure our kids stay out of harm’s way,” he said. Schumer assailed the Bush administration’s 2005 budget for doing away with the COPS in Schools program and, in doing so, attested to its efficacy. “Thanks to COPS, people feel safer with their children on the streets today,” he said in a press release in May 2004. “But now the Administration has proposed ending the program and taking away funding to hire thousands of police officers just when they are needed most. Why the Administration would want to rip a hole in that sense of security by slashing COPS funding is beyond me.”

Even one of the leading gun-control advocates in Congress, New York congresswoman and anti-gun activist Carolyn McCarthy, had kind words for the COPS in Schools program.