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    Commission Investigating Parkland School Shooting Recommends Arming Teachers

    Commission Investigating Parkland School Shooting Recommends Arming Teachers

    The proposal would have to be approved by the state legislature

    The 15-member commission who investigated the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School released a report Wednesday.

    Unanimously approved, the 446-page report contained several recommendations, among which was arming teachers who volunteer to undergo training to carry a weapon.

    The report was also critical of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office whose many missteps before, during, and after the shooting have been thoroughly documented.

    From West Palm Beach local news:

    The commission investigating the Florida high school massacre has turned in its recommendation that teachers who volunteer and undergo training be allowed to carry guns.

    The 15-member Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved the 446-page report containing that proposal and other recommendations.

    It’s now in the hands of Gov. Rick Scott, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis and the Legislature.

    The report details what is believed to have happened before, during, and after the Feb. 14 shooting attack that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.

    The Legislature would have to approve the proposal to allow teachers to carry guns. It’s opposed by the teachers union and the PTA.

    The report is highly critical of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which recently changed its policy in the wake of the shooting.

    The MSD Commission previously said the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s active shooter policy contributed to the massacre.

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    randian | January 3, 2019 at 12:47 am

    What they should do is eliminate schools as a prohibited place for concealed carry. Then anybody with a carry license, including teachers if they wish, could carry there. The legislature won’t do it though, even though it’s nominally Republican dominated. Florida has some weird prohibited places, like vocational schools, almost all athletic events, and school buildings even if not on a campus where students attend.


       
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      Mac45 in reply to randian. | January 3, 2019 at 11:55 am

      The level of training required to obtain a Florida CWFL is a short classroom course on gun safety and use of force laws and the firing of a single round. While I applaud that being far closer to the language of the 2nd Amendment as the state could come, while regulating public carry of firearms and other weapons, it does not represent any real training at all. A LEO, Florida, goes through approximately 40 hours of hands-on firearms training, initially, and usually at least 8 hours of training and qualification a year. Al this after undergoing a 6-10 hour psychological examination for fitness.

      One constantly argued fact about carry in places prohibited under FSS 790.115 is that the statute allows for a person to be “authorized” to carry a weapon in such areas if it is in support of any school sanctioned activities. Providing security at such functions would seem to be a school sanctioned activity and, therefor, a qualified administrator may authorize the carry of firearms by select people.

    Let me address the notion of having armed teachers, and others inside a school. There are three parts of this which have to be considered.

    The first is the safety of the students. A school is a sensitive environment. It has a large number of young, to very young, innocents. All of whom have to be protected from harm. Bullets are not guided missiles. Once fired, they travel in essentially a straight line until they hit something. Also, the untrained students can, an often do, fail to remain out of the line of fire. They stand up, move around, run, etc. And, most interior walls, including in schools, will not stop pistol bullets. Finally, there is the method by which the teacher would carry the firearm. Carrying a pistol, on the body, presents challenges, especially if carried for long periods of time. And, any method of carry has to eliminate, not just reduce, the chances of a student gaining possess or access to the weapon and discharging it. This leads us to the second factor in this debate.

    The second factor is training. To eliminate many of the potential problems associated with general carry in a school, the carrier has to be highly trained and disciplined. This requires a high degree of initial training and regular practice and retraining. It has to be done to certain standards, for liability issues, and for the safe use of the firearm in a volatile, crowded, sensitive environment. Stopping the active shooter is not going to be acceptable if the defender also wounds or kills little Johnny or Jill. Shoot-don’t shoot scenario training will be required. Effective firearm use in a crowded venue has to be extensively practiced. , carry in a school will be a carry much use almost never situation, routine gun handling discipline has to be intense. Teachers have to guard against leaving the weapon where children can gain access to it. No leaving it on the back of the toilet, in an unlocked desk drawer or in a purse or bag. All persons carrying a firearm in a school will require the same level of training, including parents and visitors. Then, as people can suffer from psychological problems, psychological screening becomes a must, for weapon carriers.

    The third factor is cost. As we are talking about deadly weapons and children here, liability for injury is immense. A single negligent act can end up costing the school system millions of dollars in judgements. Just the cost of liability insurance is going to be staggering. To reduce this cost, training has to be rigorous. This requires a large expenditure of funds, as well. And, the more armed people who are in the school, the higher these costs become.

    While having armed teachers in the classrooms sounds like a good idea, it does not address the big problem, access. In order for a classroom teacher to engage an active shooter, that shooter has to be inside the facility and, probably, already shooting people. This means that even of the shooter is stopped relatively quickly, innocents are still going to be injured and possibly killed.

    It is much more efficient to strictly control access to the facility, using armed personnel, and have a small, highly trained, armed response team on site. This is also much cheaper.


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