(This Op-Ed, by yours truly, appears in today’s issue of Florida Today newspaper, 4/30/2018)
I’m a supporter of Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. We are lucky to have such a capable and dedicated law enforcement leader in our midst. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he proposes.
I oppose the arming of staff within our public classrooms. It’s a bad idea. There are other solutions. If educators are armed statewide, it would increase the incidents of deadly encounters particularly with violence-prone students in volatile venues. Increasing the presence of firearms, en masse, inside school walls increases risks and could cause more problems than it solves.
This is not only my opinion and that of many others. A recent Gallup Poll showed:
- 73 percent of teachers oppose teachers and staff carrying guns in schools
- 58 percent feel that carrying guns would make schools less safe
- Only 18 percent claim they would be willing to carry guns in schools.
In Brevard, classroom teacher could not be armed because their union-negotiated contract doesn’t allow them to carry firearms.
My opinion is based on experience as a 30-year law enforcement veteran in Miami-Dade, as well as an involved citizen, father, and grandfather …