Florida arming teachers is back on the table – Here's what to consider
Excerpt: Nearly one year ago, lawmakers stood on the floor of the Florida Legislature and wept while they debated how they should respond to the Parkland massacre. In the House, the debate lasted eight hours.The question over who should be armed in schools proved the most divisive issue. It caused friction between then-Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders, splintered Democrats and stoked painful conversations about race as black lawmakers feared that students of color could be targeted.After the proposal to allow teachers to carry guns sparked a backlash, lawmakers chose to arm some school personnel but not classroom instructors.This year, lawmakers have revived the idea of arming teachers — and it is gaining support. A bill expanding the existing “Guardian” program,Senate Bill 7030, passed through a key committee Tuesday, which means it could be one of the first bills the entire Florida Senate will consider once the legislative session begins March 5.
Bottom Line: Another session, another bill being advanced, more news stories lacking context and complete information to consider. Whatever your thoughts on topic may be here’s a quick refresher from information I’ve shared with you a few times over the past year.
18 states allow educators to conceal carry on campus
20% of Florida’s teachers surveyed said they would like the ability to do so
As 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 haven’t had issues – ever. In most of those states it’s 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 specifically discussing only educators? Those who choose to argue the emotional side of this offer no facts and little more than raw emotion aimed 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.