Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is leading an investigation into the February 14, 2018, Parkland high school shooting and insists teachers must be armed to stop attacks.
This is a change in his position as he long contended that only law enforcement should be armed in schools.
The Associated Press reports that Gualtieri is heading up the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission and he indicates that things he has learned in the investigation have caused him to change his position in favor of arming teachers.
He notes that the gunman who killed 17 on February 14 was able to stop shooting and reload five times during his attack. The times he stopped provided a window of time for an armed teacher to take him out, but teachers were not allowed to carry guns. Gualtieri says that scenario “gnaws” at him.
He noted, “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.”
Sheriff investigating the Parkland massacre says teachers SHOULD be armed so they can stop school shooters https://t.co/dySSsV5oKv
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) November 21, 2018
Defenseless teachers were simply gunned down with their students in Parkland. And the Florida Education Association (FEA), a teachers union, wants to maintain the status quo by keeping teachers unarmed. FEA spokeswoman Joni Branch said, “Teachers should not be acting as armed security guards. The majority of our members don’t want to be armed – they know it would be impractical and dangerous.”
Branch did not explain why teachers would be dangerous with guns as there are no instances of an armed teacher harming a student (or students) in any of the states where armed teachers are allowed.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.