Stoneman Douglas Commission In Favor Of Teachers To Carry

Should teachers carry? Here's a quick excerpt from the Sun Sentinel and my take on it.

Excerpt: Armed teachers, stronger security and better law enforcement are needed to head off another school shooting like the one in Parkland, according to a panel reviewing the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

The 407-page report, which is not final, found that deputies didn’t rush into the school to stop the carnage, and school staff committed numerous security breaches, including leaving doors unlocked and not calling a “Code Red” alarm quickly enough. 

The panel also voted to include a controversial proposal allowing classroom teachers to carry guns in schools if they go through a selection process that would include background checks and training. Such a change would require the state Legislature’s approval. 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, said that program needs to be expanded to allow teachers to carry guns. 

“In the ideal world, we shouldn’t need anyone on campus with a gun, but that’s not the world we live in today,” he said. “One’s not enough. Two’s not enough. We need multiple people in order to protect the children.”

Bottom Line: There were 407 pages to the report, but the conversation has been dominated by the near-unanimous recommendation for qualified and capable educators being allowed to carry. It’s been many months since I addressed this topic and it remains one that’s dominated by emotion rather than pragmatism. 

As I illustrated earlier this year, 18 states allow educators to conceal carry on campus and 20% of Florida’s teachers surveyed said they would like the ability to do so.

I also pointed out the reason you likely didn’t know that 18 states allow educators to conceal carry is due to how highly effective it’s been. Many schools in those states aren’t soft targets and they've never had issues. In most of those states, it has always been legal. Which also leads to another point that I’ve researched and shared with you previously. The average concealed carry permit holder is 50% more likely to not commit a crime according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. Imagine what that figure looks like when you are specifically discussing only educators?  

Those who choose to argue the emotional side of this offer with no facts and little more than raw emotion aim at playing on the fears of others. Do you fear police officers? Don’t we want them on campus to protect our schools? Of course, right we made it law. Why wouldn’t we want highly qualified and responsible educators to have the ability to offer support to those law enforcement professionals if needed? Again, it happens in many states flawlessly every day and has for the entire history of those states. 

Playing on emotional fear rather than facts and pragmatism isn’t the most responsible approach to any situation. Especially when it’s the safety of our children we’re talking about. It’s also instructive that law enforcement officials like Grady Judd feel it’s important for security and to provide support to those tasked with securing our schools.

Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images

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