The sheriff of the Florida community where suspect Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at a mass shooting last week announced Wednesday that “from this point forward,” his deputies who patrol local schools will all be armed.
“Our deputies who are qualified and trained will be carrying rifles on school grounds from this point forward,” said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel during a news briefing.
“Only deputies who are trained and qualified will carry those rifles. But we need to defeat any threat that comes onto campus,” he added.
According to Fox News, the plan specifically calls for arming every sheriff’s deputy with a rifle, including a possible AR-15, so as to “defeat any threat that comes to campus.” However, Israel noted that until his office obtains gun locks and lockers, these weapons will be locked away in the deputies’ patrol cars.
The weapon used by Cruz to gun down 17 at Stoneman Douglas High School was itself an AR-17. Moreover, a resource officer equipped with an unspecific gun was present during the shooting, though it remains “unclear what role the officer played in trying to thwart the shooter,” according to Fox.
“We’re going to make America safe,” Israel continued. “My approach to this whole thing is never again, never again, and every decision I make in this investigation is going to be geared towards making sure that I’ve done everything I possibly can to try and make sure these incidents never happen again.”
Listen to his full statement below:
Interestingly, this plan aligns with the belief of many conservatives that the solution to mass shootings lies not with implementing more gun control, but rather with arming more law-abiding citizens, including deputies and teachers.
President Donald Trump echoed this sentiment during a meeting Wednesday afternoon with survivors of last week’s mass shooting, though his plan called for arming teachers as well.
“You can’t have 100 security guards in Stoneman Douglas (High School),” he argued, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“It’s certainly a point that we will discuss — concealed carry for teachers and for people of that type of talent. Let’s say we had 20 percent of your teaching force, because that’s pretty much the number. If these cowards knew” that teachers were armed, he added, “I don’t think they would go into the school to start with. I think it could very well solve the problem.”
In a meeting later that evening between the president and parents/teachers from Stoneman Douglas and other schools, one Washington, D.C., teacher likewise proposed adding “checkpoints” in schools, with metal detectors and bag checks.”
Ideas like these are both sensible overall but also respectful of the Second Amendment, which has been criticized fiercely as of late because of the belief among liberals that ridding America of certain guns would somehow put an end to all school shootings.
And apparently, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and President Donald Trump understand this principle loud and clear.
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