Last Friday, nine members of Congress toured Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of a tragic school shooting that left 17 people dead. The shooting sparked the March for Our Lives movement and put gun control center stage in US politics in 2018.
The tour was expected to have a "profound impact" on the members of Congress who currently serve on the House School Safety and Security Caucus.
House members were led through the school on the same path that the shooter took during the shooting. The demonstration is part of a civil suit against Scot Peterson, the Broward County deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Peterson was acquitted this year of numerous criminal charges, including criminal charges for failing to act during the shooting. Peterson was caught on camera drawing his gun outside the school but never entered to confront the shooter -- instead making radio calls for the next 40 minutes.
Peterson claims that he could not hear all the shots made by the shooter and could not pinpoint their location because of gunfire echoes. He claims that had he known the shooters' location -- he would have charged in.
Because of this claim, ballistic experts are reenacting the shooting in the school, using cameras and recording technology to measure the sound from Peterson's position.
Corporate media outlets that covered the event painted a dire picture of American schools, but the reality is that not all schools are equal on the issue of safety.
When teachers and staff can defend themselves, lives can be saved, and the threat of attack from a shooter is severely mitigated. According to reports from the recent Nashville shooting at the Covenant School, the shooter chose her target based on the security situation.
If teachers in the schools weren’t prohibited from carrying guns to protect children, there wouldn’t have been any carnage to begin with.— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) March 21, 2023
That’s not our analysis. That’s the actual record: No school that allows armed teachers during school hours has experienced a mass shooting. https://t.co/3v6yy4Me3j
With 94% of all mass shootings occurring in gun-free zones, people on campuses that prohibit firearms are in a defenseless situation with a much higher probability of being targeted by someone with the intent on doing harm.
The absence of firearms does not make a campus, or any location, safer. On the contrary, restricting individuals from carrying only makes them a target for violent acts. Not only could armed adults protect students, but they could also protect themselves. It's immoral to make teachers check their right to self-defense at the entrance of their educational institution.
That's why GOA supports Representative Andy Ogles' (R-TN) Teachers Empowered Against Classroom Harm Act, or TEACH Act, to expand teachers' Second Amendment rights and protect students from school shooters.
ICYMI @RepOgles introduced the TEACH Act!👏— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) May 2, 2023
This bill would empower teachers and staff to get training and be armed to help protect our children in schools across the country.
No school that has armed teachers has EVER experienced a shooting, much less a mass public shooting. pic.twitter.com/ZG6cnuLW7n
This act would provide funding for teachers and school staff to participate in optional defensive armed training programs by redirecting over $27 million currently sitting in a slush fund at the Secretary of Education.
The law would remove a prohibition on using federal funds for school safety and repeal a section of the US Code that encourages states and local jurisdictions to adopt restrictive and counter-productive anti-gun policies.
America needs pro-gun policies to protect teachers' and parents' rights to concealed carry for self-defense and to protect the lives of students.
The most important thing Congress can do is encourage states and localities to implement those policies. School faculty and parents must be able to exercise their constitutionally protected right to defend their lives and the lives of their children.
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