A new law expanding Florida’s school “Guardian” program is now in effect, and that means that in school districts around the state, students may now be under the protection of an armed teacher in the classroom. Previously, the Guardian program was only open to non-teaching staff members, but after the Parkland shootings, lawmakers and Governor Ron DeSantis approved an expansion of the program, which vets and trains volunteers to serve as a first line of defense in case of an active assailant attack.
We may never have an exact number of how many teachers will carry weapons because they’re supposed to remain anonymous for their safety. School districts are allowed to opt out of arming teachers, and two of the state’s largest school districts including Miami-Dade and Orlando have elected to do so, but a handful of smaller school districts are all in.
Students in Bay County Schools – located along the Florida Panhandle – may be walking into a classroom Tuesday morning where the teacher is carrying a concealed handgun.
“Everybody wants to know ‘How do we prevent it?’ How can we stop it. We don’t look at it as we want more guns, we look at it as we want more protection,” said Bay County Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
As CBS News notes, Superintendent Bill Husfelt was actually shot at back in 2010 at a school board meeting in Bay County. Far from turning him into a supporter of gun free zones, Husfelt says it gave him a firsthand perspective on the helplessness that comes from not being able to protect yourself or others.
“You know experiencing that myself put a different spin on it and a different understanding about what goes on in those situations,” Husfelt said. “You know, until you’re standing in front of someone with a gun pointed at you you don’t realize how helpless you really are.”
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. we discuss Florida’s new law as well as rebutting the typical arguments against armed teachers. We also highlight a terrific series of articles from the Charlotte Observer documenting the lack of prosecution for gun-related crimes, and how that lack of enforcement of existing laws is leading to more violence and murder on the streets of Charlotte and other communities in North Carolina. Plus, we’ve got an armed citizen story from Arkansas, and a life-saving state trooper in Indiana who was in the right place at the right time to help a five-year old boy suffering from a medical emergency.
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