In the 458-page report by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission arming teachers was put forth as one of the solutions to stop school shootings.
The report contains dozens of recommendations. Some would require action by the governor and Legislature, such as the proposals to allow some teachers to carry guns and increase spending on school security. It also calls for laws to be changed to allow school districts to raise taxes for security improvements and to require rather than simply permit mental health providers to notify law enforcement if a patient threatens anyone with harm. Many of the proposals were inspired by errors and weak spots that came to light after the Feb. 14 massacre of 17 people.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the commission, said many recommendations could have been implemented a long time ago had school safety been treated with the importance it deserved, particularly by school districts.
“There needs to be a sense of urgency,” he said. “And people need to understand that there’s an expectation and a rightful expectation on the part of parents: When you send your kids to school in the morning, there’s an expectation they’re going to come home alive in the afternoon and there are very basic things.
“There’s a money issue, I grant you that. And there’s challenges with money, but there’s a whole bunch of things that don’t cost anything and the Legislature, if these districts won’t do it, should mandate that they implement these things and that they implement them immediately.”
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri further talked about why arming teachers is a good idea.
Gualtieri spoke forcefully in favor of the commission’s proposal to arm teachers, noting that the shooter had paused five times to reload — providing opportunities to stop him.
“So what are we saying to people — we’re not going to allow you to defend yourself, we’re not going to allow you to defend the kids — why? Because of some ideology that we don’t like guns? Anyone who thinks they’re going to get rid of guns is crazy,” he said. “It isn’t going to happen. We’ve got to do something differently and people should be able to protect themselves.”
This lines up with exactly what President Trump said after the shooting.
President Trump called for the arming of certain teachers who were vetted and wanted to carry firearms.