Republican state legislators in Florida are proposing a statewide marshal program to train and arm school personnel to defend students and staffers, said Richard Corcoran, the Speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives, in a Monday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with co-hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Corcoran, a Republican from Florida’s Pasco County, explained that this Florida school safety legislation will be “the strongest, most robust,” and “first of its kind” in the nation to come “crashing against the gates of the insanity of gun-free zones.”
“We call it the marshal program,” said Corcoran. “These individuals would be sworn law enforcement. They’d have 132 hours of training — more training relating to guns, relating to active shooters, relating to defensive tactics than sworn law enforcement officers. And they can also be certified teachers in the classroom, and then they’re now marshals, and now we can have as many marshals as who want to volunteer, and they would get bonuses for that participation. We’d have them in every single school throughout our entire state.”
Corcoran noted the President Trump’s support of such a school safety plan.
“President Trump’s been very vocal about having an exact same description of the system that we’re talking about with sworn law enforcement officers,” said Corcoran. “Once you do that, as the president says, those cowards aren’t coming in. Even if they do somehow get through, they’re going to get executed real fast when they get to stare down a marshal that’s armed and can defend those children.”
On Monday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott expressed support for “hardening” security in response to an inquiry about arming teachers to defend schools:
I believe you ought to make sure you have law enforcement. I think, we — what I’m going to do in Florida, is I have a $500 million focus. I’m going to work my — with my legislature. We’re going to make sure there’s significant law enforcement in all the schools, so law enforcement is going to protect these schools, along with hardening, rather than having teachers. I want the teachers to teach.
Corcoran estimated the cost of a statewide marshal program for schools to be about $75 million, describing Florida as fiscally sound in its ability to pay for such a plan:
We’ve been so fiscally sound over the last years. In fact, we’re ranked number one of all the states in the union. The closest large state to us is Texas, which is 23. The only states up there in the top five with us are small states that discovered oil underneath them. … We did it the old-fashioned way. We cut over $10 billion in taxes. We cut five thousand regulations. We put four billion in reserves. Now, because of that, when we have this situation, we’re able to go into those reserves, take $200 million of that money… over $75 million of that $400-500 million will be the marshal program that we’re putting in place, and the bonuses and the training necessary for them to get that law enforcement certification and still be able to be in the classroom.
“Make no mistake, we’ll get it done,” said Corcoran of passing legislation for the aforementioned marshal program in a Monday interview with CNN. “Come hell or high water, we’ll get it done. That’s a promise. … We’re going to fix it.”
We are rolling out a first-in-the-nation plan to arm teachers, so those who want to defend themselves, can. But first, Sheriff Scott Israel must go, that’s why I’ve asked Governor Scott to suspend him immediately. #ResignSheriffIsrael https://t.co/PP8sasTS53
— Richard Corcoran (@richardcorcoran) February 26, 2018
Former U.S. Air Marshal Chad Robichaux, who trained pilots armed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, recommended a marshal-style program for teachers and school staffers last week on Breitbart News Tonight, telling Mansour and Pollak that “gun-free zones” are magnets for those who wish to murder others en masse.
“If you make someplace a ‘gun-free zone,’ that is automatically a target for people that want to do evil and start killing people” said Robichaux. “You’re basically announcing that we are not armed and taking away any element of surprise that a place might have if the shooter goes in.”
Knowledge of armed personnel on school campuses would dissuade prospective mass shooters from targeting said schools, said Robichaux: “Even if someone is willing to die for their cause, no one wants to be shot back at.”
Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.