Parkland Panel Blames Sheriff's Office, Argues Teachers Need Guns

Parkland Panel Blames Sheriff's Office, Argues Teachers Need Guns

Coming up on almost a year since the horrific event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there are a lot of people still looking for answers. For the parents of those lost, I can’t imagine any answers will fill the void, but they’re not the only ones asking questions. Not by a long shot.d

A panel charged with looking into Parkland has been asking questions too, and the answers they reached aren’t likely to endear them to the anti-gun crowd.

Armed teachers, stronger security and better law enforcement are needed to head off another school shooting like the one in Parkland, according to a panel reviewing the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The state commission investigating the shooting that killed 17 people on Feb. 14 released a draft report Wednesday listing a series of failures by Broward County agencies and recommendations for avoiding a similar tragedy in the future.

The 407-page report, which is not final, found that deputies didn’t rush into the school to stop the carnage, and school staff committed numerous security breaches, including leaving doors unlocked and not calling a “Code Red” alarm quickly enough.

The panel also voted to include a controversial proposal allowing classroom teachers to carry guns in schools if they go through a selection process that would include background checks and training. Such a change would require the state Legislature’s approval.

Unsurprisingly, there are alternative lines of thinking.

The idea has already sparked concerns from Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Teachers want to teach, not be armed for combat in their classrooms,” he said. “Law enforcement cannot push their responsibilities to make our communities safer on to civilians that should be focused on educating their students.”

Commission member Max Schachter, whose son was killed in the shooting, cast the sole dissenting vote. He said he’s heard from teachers who are opposed to the policy, and he said the commission should consider alternatives, such as hallway smoke cannons that would make it difficult for the killer to see.

Smoke cannons in the hallways? Really?

Oh, I’d have loved to have had access to those in high school. Imagine the pranks the kids will pull.

No, seriously, that will happen. You know what won’t happen? Saving any lives.

Much of the time, in a crowded hallway, the shooters can pop off shots at random. With people packed in tightly, they’re bound to hit people. Oh, it might help after the first little while, when there aren’t so many people filling the hallway, but guess who else won’t be able to see? The kids who are trying to get away from the homicidal maniac stalking the school.

But an armed teacher? That’s something that has to be accounted for.

What Rep. Deutch is failing to note, what his party routinely fails to note, is that no one is demanding that all teachers be armed. Law enforcement isn’t demanding teachers carry guns, either. All anyone is saying is that it’s ridiculous that a teacher doesn’t have the option to be armed and they should have that choice.

You know, be pro-choice? I’m sure Mr. Deutch has heard that phrase before. Let’s call it a hunch.

People like me want teachers to be able to choose to be armed and if they don’t want to carry a firearm, no big deal. Not everyone needs to carry a gun. Not everyone should carry a gun. I get that.

But imagine how Parkland might have played out if just one teacher had been armed. We’d probably be discussing a very different scenario.

As for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the commission made no specific recommendations besides saying the school needed better law enforcement. However, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has called for Sheriff Scott Israel’s removal from office during his campaign, and it’s the governor’s call to do so. That means there’s a good chance Israel’s days are numbered.