The controversy over whether or not teachers should be allowed to arm themselves to stop mass school shootings won’t be settled anytime soon. But for one Florida sheriff – a primary figure after the Parkland school shooting in February – the idea is a lot more appealing than it used to be.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is the chairman of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission and now says he will recommend that Florida law is changed so that well-trained teachers with legal firearms will be allowed to carry on campus.
This is interesting because Gualtieri has said that prior to the Parkland shooting he had long believed that only law enforcement and security personnel should have access to guns on school campuses.
But something has been “gnawing” at him since the tragedy that made him change his mind.
ICYMI: He wants state law to be changed so teachers who undergo background checks and extensive training will be allowed to have guns on campus as a last line of defense. https://t.co/NUgZgtRTAd
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) November 25, 2018
Shooter Nikolas Cruz reloaded his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle multiple times on that horrific day, yet not a single teacher or anyone else at the scene was armed. If they had been, they could have used those pauses to potentially take down Cruz. We know the only person armed during the shooting, a Broward Country Sheriff’s deputy, did not try to help and stayed outside.
The Associated Press reports:
“We know from the history of these things that the majority are stopped by school personnel,” Gualtieri said, pointing to shootings where the gunman was tackled or disarmed by a teacher or campus employee. “People need to keep an open mind to it as the reality is that if someone else in that school had a gun it could have saved kids’ lives.”
Gualtieri says that he sees armed teachers as a last line of defense. Most gun owners would say this is only common sense.
The PTA and teachers’ unions are opposed to the idea. So are the overwhelming majority of liberals. However, more protest marches in Washington and political correctness won’t stop the next school shooter.
But a good guy – or good teacher – with a gun could possibly prevent the next potential tragedy.