Why is this Bill Good for Floridians?
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas murders rocked the state of Florida, as well as the entire nation. 17 people were killed during the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But what seemed like the latest mass shooting in America was really a coverup job by officials who failed to act while students were being massacred.
Earlier this year, a state panel investigating the tragedy issued a 458-page report that detailed how the killer (which we will not name) was able to shoot so many victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. The committee found numerous security deficiencies and inadequate training on the part of Broward sheriff’s deputies, some of whom took cover outside the building instead of promptly charging inside to confront the shooter.
In the report, the committee blamed security deficiencies and inadequate training on the part of Broward sheriff’s deputies, some of whom took cover outside the building instead of promptly charging inside to confront the shooter, as officers from neighboring Coral Springs did. Other failures were reported, including outdated, malfunctioning radios, which prevented rescuers from responding more quickly and possibly saving lives, the report said.
Initially, recently-removed Sheriff Scott Israel had high praise for his agency. with President Donald Trump lauding their efforts. When reports surfaced that the school’s assigned sheriff’s deputy, Scot Peterson, stood outside the building and failed to confront the shooter, that all changed.
The findings led to Gov. Ron DeSantis removing Israel back in January -- which was the governor's third day in office. He immediately replaced Israel with Gregory Tony, becoming the first black sheriff in Broward County history.
"Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership," DeSantis said in a statement back in January.
"He failed to protect Floridians and visitors during the tragic Fort Lauderdale International Airport shooting in 2017. He failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb.14, 2018. These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty,"
DeSantis' decision to replace Israel was met with applause for many seeking justice for Broward's inability to defend those that fateful day. Andrew Pollack, father of Meadow Pollack, who was murdered on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, summed up the suspension perfectly during a press conference in Broward County.
"We've been waiting 9 months for this day," Pollack said emphatically when Israel was removed.
Pollack's comment earlier this year is exactly why yesterday's House vote was a landmark victory for conservatives and Floridians wanting to make sure something like this never happens again.
The way the Broward County Sheriff's Department handled the Parkland shooting is proof that many in law enforcement roles are undertrained, and sometimes, unreliable in a life-and-death situation. Israel and other deputies' helplessness during the shootings were eye-opening for many Floridians -- especially for people who have always been told that the police will protect you.
While changes are sure to help the Broward Sheriff's Department, it's safe to say policemen and first responders arrive at emergencies at different times. Response times differ from city to city based on factors like city population, police funding, and available resources in a given region. When it comes to Priority 1 calls -- the highest-priority emergencies that usually include life-threatening emergencies or dangerous active crimes -- the difference between a five-minute and 10-minute response time can make all the difference.
This why arming teachers is not only pragmatic, it's a deterrent that can prevent future shootings from occurring.
Of course, the controversial changes to "guardian program" has Republicans and Democrats divided. Those on the political Left fear that more guns in schools could lead to more shootings and accidents. Those on the right believe arming teachers could help prevent future school shootings and killings.
The problem with the Left's critique of arming teachers is transparent. Liberals believe more guns equal more deaths. Unfortunately, statistics prove that this is not the case. According to studies, America does not even rank in the top ten in countries with the highest firearms death rate. When you take into account that the U.S. has more guns than any other country, that says a lot about the gun culture in our nation, and the responsibility gun owners have in America.
Many Democrats want you to believe that this law will open the flood gates, allowing every teacher to wield a gun. In reality, the law does not require a teacher to participate in the program. If they want to, teachers will have to be adequately trained, undergoing 144 hours of firearm training. Furthermore, teachers who want to carry will have to undergo a psychological exam -- a talking point for many on the Left who want to make it harder to own a gun.
The passage marks a victory for gun-rights advocates, who were on the defensive a year ago when Parkland students inspired nationwide protests in favor of gun control.
Before the House passed it, school employees in 40 of Florida’s 67 counties enrolled in or planned to take the 144-hour course, according to a spokesman for House Speaker José Oliva.
If that isn't proof that teachers want to defend themselves, I don't know what is.