The tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has been relentlessly exploited by gun control advocates who refuse to acknowledge that none of the new laws they’ve proposed would have made any difference, but it might have been prevented if the laws already in place had been followed, or if anyone in charge had done their jobs properly. According to the gun control lobby, if you question their ineffective and even counter-productive proposals, it means you want children to die. In reality, it just means that you think their ideas will do nothing but disarm law-abiding citizens and make it easier for criminals to harm innocent people.
Well, it just became a little harder for the anti-gun lobby to slander its opponents, thanks to the release of an initial report by a state Public Safety Commission investigating the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. After an exhaustive investigation, the commission placed the blame not on the NRA or legal gun owners, but on the local school system and police.
The commission found that schools view security as a “pain in their neck,” and the shooter easily got in because the gate was left unlocked. Once deputies arrived, they waited outside or went back to get ballistic vests instead of immediately going toward the gunshots and confronting the shooter. They also had communications problems stemming from an absence of command and control and an ineffective radio system.
Worst of all was the failure of the school and local policing authorities to respond to the obvious growing threat and prevent the shooting. The killer had 69 documented incidents of threatening people, engaging in violence and other troubling behaviors between the ages of 3 and 19. As one commissioner put it, “This was the most preventable school shooting that I’ve ever seen data on. This kid was screaming for help by publishing his intentions.” Yet nothing was done to keep him away from guns or the school, even though laws were already in place to provide for it.
What does the commission recommend to prevent future school shootings? They want performance reviews for the seven deputies, “hard corners” in each classroom to shield students from bullets, and a response plan in each school, including letting any official launch a “Code Red” alarm. And here’s something you won’t see in many of the stories on this: the panel voted to allow classroom teachers to carry guns if they go through a selection process with background checks and training. That would require the state Legislature’s approval.
So in short: what they recommend as effective is stronger security, better law enforcement and armed teachers. What they did not recommend as useful: more gun control laws.
This is only the initial report, so it will be interesting to see the final version, to find out whether political pressure will convince them to include new gun control laws when a thorough examination of the evidence did not.