Sheriff Reviewing Parkland Now Supports Arming Teachers, AP Says — The Florida sheriff leading the state commission investigating the Parkland massacre in February said he now supports giving trained, volunteer teachers access to guns to stop attackers, the Associated Press reported this week.

From the Associated Press on Nov. 21, as published on the website of The State newspaper:

Sheriff Supports Armed Teachers to Stop School Shooters

The sheriff leading the state commission investigating Florida’s high school massacre says he now believes trained, volunteer teachers should have access to guns so they can stop shooters who get past other safeguards.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, said he will ask the panel to recommend state law be changed so teachers who undergo background checks and extensive training will be allowed to have guns on campus as a last line of defense. It’s a proposal that both the state teachers union and PTA oppose.

Gualtieri told The Associated Press this week he long believed only law enforcement personnel should carry guns at school, but his position “morphed” after studying other shootings and watching security video of the Feb. 14 Stoneman Douglas attack, which left 14 students and three staff members dead.

He said it “gnaws” at him that suspect [N.C.] stopped firing five times to reload his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, but no teacher or other school employee could use those pauses to shoot [N.C.]. …

“People need to keep an open mind to it as the reality is that if someone else in that school had a gun it could have saved kids’ lives.”

Read the article at The State.

From the Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 23:

“The schools across Florida need a change in their culture,” Gualtieri said. “Yes, those teachers are great people doing great work and they need to be able to teach, but you can’t teach dead kids. Safety has to come first.”

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