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In the aftermath of Parkland, the Florida legislature made some questionable decisions. Perhaps the worst was its vote to raise the legal age limit on the purchase of long guns within the state. I understand the thinking or, more specifically, what passed for thinking in that aftermath. After all, the shooter was just 18, old enough to have bought the rifle he used and that scared a lot of people.
The Florida legislature’s move was a mistake. One that did absolutely no good for anyone, especially the legal adults who were then unable to purchase a firearm for self-defense.
Now, the legislature has approved a measure that will help save lives — a lot of them.
More Florida classroom teachers could carry guns in school under a bill passed Wednesday by state lawmakers. It’s the latest response to last year’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school.
The Republican-led House voted 65-47 on Wednesday to send the bill to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it. The measure expands an existing school “guardian” program to allow any teacher to volunteer to carry a weapon if their local school district approves.
“It allows the good guys to stop the bad. The bad guys will never know when the good guys are there to shoot back,” said Republican Rep. Chuck Brannan of Lake City, a retired law enforcement officer. “The guardian is the last line of defense. He or she will be there when a police officer is not.”
Teachers who want to carry guns in districts that choose to join the program would have to undergo police-style training, psychiatric evaluation and drug screening. Under a law passed last year immediately after the Parkland shooting, only teachers who also have another role, such as sports coach, are eligible to carry weapons on campus.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats are claiming that this will lead to blood in the halls of Florida’s classrooms. The fact that it hasn’t in any other place where this is already legal, often with far less hassle for the gun-owning teacher, is irrelevant to these people.
I don’t expect teachers to be the altruistic angels that the Left portrays them to be. Some most definitely are, but some are also people who wanted jobs where they could get the summer off. It’s a profession made up of people, not saints.
One thing that people want, however, is to live.
I don’t expect teachers to sacrifice their lives for students. Some are and would be willing to do just that, but others will be out to protect their hides. And that’s fine too because, in the process of putting down a shooter to save themselves, they’ll save numerous lives.
I, for one, am OK with that.
What we won’t see are the dire predictions of fear-mongering anti-gunners coming true. I can say that with confidence because, as I’ve said before, Florida isn’t the first state to allow armed teachers into classrooms. It’s worked out in other places, and it’ll work out in Florida.
Much to the consternation of the state’s anti-gunners, to be sure.