It’s not surprising that the Gun Owners of America have a statement on the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. After all, that same tragedy will be used to justify measures that will go against GOA’s purpose, meaning they’ll be opposing them. In the process, however, they bring up valid points that can’t be stated enough.

Gun Owners of America Statement on Florida Shooting 

Springfield, VA – Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA) Erich Pratt stated the following after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida:

“This tragedy breaks everyone’s heart at Gun Owners of America, and we send our sincere thoughts and prayers to everyone effected. It is disturbing to see a coward attack students who are so treasured by friends and loved ones.

“However, it is disgusting to see media pundits and politicians calling for gun control as the knee-jerk reaction to this tragedy.

“The fact is this tragedy happened in a gun free zone, where sadly over 98 percent of the public mass shootings occur.

“Furthermore, anti-gun liberals tell us that these types of shootings don’t occur in other countries.  But that’s a lie.  The U.S. is not even in the top ten when one compares international death rates resulting from mass shootings.

“Some lawmakers may seek to implement more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, such as the misnamed ‘NICS Fix’ legislation. However, no form of gun control will help prevent these tragedies.

“Instead, GOA calls on Congress to immediately pass the “Safe Students Act,” legislation introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act, which enable evil doers by leaving teachers, school administrators, and parents unable to protect students. In fact, 81 percent of police officers support arming teachers to stop school shootings.

“Lastly, GOA calls on state legislatures, including Florida lawmakers, to pass Constitutional Carry legislation to remove the unnecessary legal barriers to carry a firearm.”

The vast majority of these horrific crimes occur in gun free zones, in general. While I understand why people are uncomfortable with guns in certain places, that discomfort isn’t supported by reality. Firearms are all around people. Day in, day out. They’re everywhere. Yet we don’t live in the Wild West. There aren’t shootouts on every corner and blood doesn’t paint the streets red.

The reality is that our schools aren’t being protected by the little signs that claim guns aren’t allowed. How did that status help those kids in Parkland, Florida? What about at Virginia Tech or Columbine High School?

There’s a pattern here, a pattern that needs to be addressed, and that includes lifting the gun free zone status from our schools. Let licensed concealed carry permit holders have their guns. While it’s not a silver bullet to end all such tragedies, it will save lives. That I can assure you.

At the very least, every school should have several armed school resource officers who are trained to meet these kinds of threats. The truth is, the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. So, let’s make sure there are good guys with guns on hand.

Why is that so difficult?