Florida Madness: Commission Recommends Parkland Teachers Carry Weapons

A Florida state a state commission investigating the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last February that killed 17 people recommended that teachers arm themselves.
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Image via Reuters. 

Image via Reuters. 

You can always, always count on the state of Florida to do the wrong thing. From throwing the election to George W. Bush in 2000, to banning government officials from mentioning climate change, the sunshine state has a track record of catastrophic decision making that puts every other part of the country to shame. 

Stop shootings by having more guns

This week, a state a state commission investigating the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last February that killed 17 people recommended that teachers arm themselves. 

As Axios reported, the commission "unanimously approved recommendations on Wednesday that include a controversial proposal for some teachers to be trained and allowed to carry guns in school."

The commission also made calls to, "improve school security, install bulletproof glass on all school windows and establish more stringent safety precautions in classrooms. It also addresses certain deficiencies and errors by security personnel, including the Broward Country Sheriff's Office, that came to light after the massacre."

Fiction based policy

While some of the recommendations make sense, the notion that arming teachers with lethal weapons will make students safer goes against all available evidence. David Hemenway, professor of health policy and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC), called the idea when first proposed by Donald Trump "crazy"

"If you look across all the 26 industrialized democracies, none of these other countries have our gun problems about homicides, about school shootings, about killings of police," said Hemenway. "And why is that? It’s not because they don’t have mental health problems. It’s not because they have much nicer people. It’s because they don’t give unlimited access to the most deadly of the deadly weapons."

The correlation is clear: more guns equals more gun deaths, not less. Arming teachers then, would be a huge mistake. There is also no clear evidence that when people are armed, they can respond properly to a mass shooting.  As Vox reports

Multiple simulations have demonstrated that most people, if placed in an active shooter situation while armed, will not be able to stop the situation, and may in fact do little more than get themselves killed in the process.

It's one thing to have a trained SWAT team taking on an active shooter, but another to have your high school math teacher pulling out a glock and take out the bad guy spraying machine gun fire into children. 

As Axios reported, both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association have unsurprisingly rejected the proposal. 

A sane commission would look at getting to the root of the problem and make recommendations based on evidence. And evidence shows that the only way to stop gun violence is to greatly reduce the number of guns available to the general public. But then of course, this is Florida, and Florida is ridiculous. 

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