A panel appointed by the state of Florida to study the Parkland school shooting, tasked with determining the best way to prevent future shootings in the US and to reduce the number of victims, released its final report, arriving at a sensational conclusion. The government panel was unanimously in favor of arming trained and selected teachers at schools as a means to deter or stop potential future assailants. Members of the Florida state panel came to the conclusion that inadequate responses by school personnel and local police were the reasons that the number of casualties was so high.
The idea led to a furious reaction on social media, with many people opposing arming teachers.
…We all know it boils down to money. It's cheaper to arm willing teachers than to hire off duty police officers or to put into place your own security staff. I prefer the concept of paid rotating off duty police officers.— Terry Shackelford (@Shack417) January 5, 2019
It's embarrassing that the unanimous recommendation is to arm teachers. Forget higher salaries, forget education overhaul. Put another gun in a high stress environment.— Adam Hunter (@Titus_MCMXC) January 3, 2019
Some suggested that bringing more guns to schools couldn't be the solution to the problem.
Actually, more people die from accidental shootings than from terrorist activities. Not sure introducing guns in schools is a great idea. We will never be 100% safe but why add risk?— VoltNow (@VoltNow) January 3, 2019
Many twitterians expressed fear that modern US schools are slowly turning into prisons.
How about turning schools into prisons. Blows my mind that the answer to gun violence is more guns, armed guards, walls, teachers trained to kill. Enough with this crazy cult.— Matt Rector (@FMRector) January 5, 2019
Locked perimeter fences, armed teachers. Are they talking about a prison or a school?— Ray Männikkö (@YooperKulkuri) January 5, 2019
One user noted that the panel hadn't even considered the possibility of introducing laws that would control or reduce the amount of guns in circulation in the US.
There has been a National and State safety commission out of Parkland. Both did great investigatory work, but, both refused to look at the role of guns in this incidence of gun violence and yet both are recommending more guns without any evidence it is a good idea. Why?— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) January 5, 2019
Many netizens suggested that the report was written to benefit the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Bet you that panel is full of NRA members— Nathan Rahhal (@AsgardSG1) January 3, 2019
Sponsored by the NRA— gamer4life acehardy13 on xbox ps4 (@sggall12) January 3, 2019
At the same time, the proposed measure had strong supporters.
Everyone should read minute by minute account of #Parkland shooting released 12/28/18. So disturbing how almost every adult failed the kids & their families. Sadly, we know deep down 1000% our son's district's not AT ALL prepared for mass shooting or anything crisis related 😣— Chris Jones (@chrisbjsmom) January 3, 2019
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSION —After #Parkland shooting, recommendations to allow teachers to be armed. This is common sense in how to stop bad people from killing kids. No gun signs and wishful thinking won't #ksleg #ksed https://t.co/End7nYCoox pic.twitter.com/sc8rYHaCeq— Nathan (@Ho8Go8L1N) January 3, 2019
Some noted that the measure wouldn't arm teachers forcibly, but would provide them with the opportunity.
Its a dishonest argument. No one is for forcing teachers to be armed. All anyone is suggesting is that teachers CAN get training and be licensed to carry a gun to protect their students. The other option is spending hundreds of millions to increase security around schools.— Syncrinity (@Synchrinity) January 3, 2019
Nikolas Cruz entered the Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and started shooting students and school staff indiscriminately. The shooting claimed the lives of 17 people and left 16 more wounded. After his rifle jammed, Cruz left the school but was later apprehended by police.
The shooting reignited public debate about the necessity of stricter regulation of firearms in the US, with advocates of gun control often accusing politicians, including the US president, of being "bought" by the NRA and protecting their interests. The US was rocked by numerous mass shootings throughout 2018.
An active shooter was recently also reported at the Mississippi University for Women on 4 January 2019. At least one person was injured in the attack, but the campus was put on lockdown for several hours.