The issue of gun control and our Second Amendment rights in the wake of mass school shootings will be debated by both gun control activists and gun rights proponents for decades to come.
However, regardless of the eventual outcome regarding that debate, the danger to our children and our educators is imminent.
Somewhere lurks a deranged loner, a loser looking for perhaps their 5-minutes of fame — the only thing that may prevent another tragic mass shooting at a school may be a “good guy with a gun.”
That obvious common sense and logical approach in protecting his students and staff is what compelled Florida’s Manatee School for the Arts principal, Bill Jones, to hire two armed combat vets stationed within his school, as a deterrent against a would-be shooter.
The New York Times reported that the vets will each carry a 9mm Glock handgun and also a Kel-Tec RDB 17, semiautomatic rifle, similar in firepower to an AR-15.
Jones noted that the semiautomatic rifle is “just a much more effective weapon than the handgun is.” He also noted that he likes having the two different kinds of weapons because he does not want an attacker to face the guards on equal footing. Rather, he the combat vets to have “an overwhelming advantage.”
The second armed combat vet will come onboard by the end of February, wearing body armor and tasked with patrolling the school grounds.
The new law allowing “trained” armed guards on school property was enacted by Florida lawmakers after the tragic massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on February 14th, 2018, in which 15-students and 2-adults were tragically gunned down by a violent psychopath.
The law named after the Parkland school requires schools in Florida to have at least one “Safe-school officer.” According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department, only Manatee School for the Arts in Manatee County has thus far decided on employing armed guards.
The school hired one armed guard several months ago with 15 years of infantry experience. And a second armed guard who’s also a combat veteran has just finished his training and will be begin being deployed at the school by the end of the month
The new law requires armed guards to be trained by the Sheriff’s Department (whether experienced with firearms or not), and complete at least 132 hours of firearm safety and proficiency training.
Dr. Jones said the school hired combat veterans because he wanted guards who wouldn’t hesitate to go after an active shooter.
“I don’t want this to be the first time they’ve had someone shooting at them,” he said.
However, even the presence of an armed guard as demonstrated by the Parkland massacre doesn’t necessarily stop the carnage, if the armed guard (in this case a cowardly police officer), refuses to engage a shooter.
Dr. Jones has given considerable thought to the issue of a mass shooter invading his school. He surmises that if his school should suddenly come under attack, the shooter most likely would be carrying a high powered rifle and wearing some type of body armor and purposely looking to inflict mass causalities on a scale perhaps surpassing the carnage at Parkland.
The school principle contends that the Palmetto Police Department would immediately respond to the attack, however having a trained armed guard “on scene” returning equal firepower, would at the very least slow down the shooter, and force him to engage, eating up precious seconds that would allow reinforcements to arrive at the school, before the shooter could fulfill his deadly mission.
“When seconds count, (Palmetto police) are only a few minutes away,” Jones said ironically, emphasizing the need for an instant response.
There’s little doubt that those on the left disapprove of Dr. Jones decision to protect his school, ironically these are the same gun control activists who believe that posting a sign announcing a “gun free zone” would somehow dissuade a mass shooter from entering a school where no one is shooting back.