The government failed to protect students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, yet government officials respond to the heinous attack by digging in their heels against any suggestion that teachers be armed to defend themselves.
Consider the information available to us at this point:
- The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBCSO) received 911 calls about Nikolas Cruz in November 2017. The calls referenced violence and erratic behavior. CNN reports that in one of the calls with the host family, with whom Cruz was living after the death of his mother, told PBCSO they feared Cruz was going to turn a gun on the family. The family member told deputies that Cruz was “buying “tons of ammo” and had allegedly put “put [a] gun to others heads in the past.” No charges were filed, no arrest made.
- On January 5, 2018, the FBI received a tip describing “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” The FBI did not act on the tip.
- On February 14 Cruz attacked students and unarmed teachers in Stoneman Douglas High. A report from CNN claims four Broward County sheriff’s deputies were at the school as the attack was taking place but not one of them entered the school. On February 22 Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told ABC 13 that video showed deputy Scott Peterson by building 12 on campus, yet Peterson never went inside to confront Cruz. The CNN report quotes Coral Springs sources that claim there were actually four Broward County deputies on scene who did not enter the building.
When Cruz attacked the school he faced no armed resistance because the teachers were not allowed to carry. President Trump noted that the lack of armed teachers is a weakness too great to ignore and, on February 21, called for “20 percent” of our nation’s public school teachers to be armed for school safety. The next day he reiterated his call, noting that first responders are “5 to 8 minutes” away when a school shooting occurs, but teachers are on scene to shoot sickos “immediately.”
And how did government officials respond to the call for teachers to be armed to defend themselves? The Hill reported that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called Trump’s push for armed teachers “abhorrent.” He intimated that arming teachers for self-defense was “an anathema.”
Blumenthal was not without like-minded Republicans who rejected calls to arm teachers as well. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) voiced his opposition to armed teachers on February 21 and Gov. Rick Scott (R) voiced his opposition to armed teachers on February 23.
Ironically, when Scott voiced his opposition, he said, “I think you need to have individuals that are trained, well-trained. My focus is let law enforcement do the keeping us safe and let teachers focus on teaching.”
Government officials like Gov. Scott ignore the fact that “well-trained” law enforcement personnel failed us during the February 14 attack. Local law enforcement, the FBI, and even the federal gun-free school law failed us. And when we seek to arm teachers to prevent another scenario where an armed attacker finds a school full of sitting ducks, Sens. like Blumenthal and Rubio are quick to tell us teachers ought not be armed for school safety.
Government failed to protect us and they do not want us to protect ourselves.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.