Instead of bloviating about the supposed need for draconian gun control regulations, officials at one Florida school have taken a proactive approach toward gun violence by hiring two combat veterans to patrol the property.
Armed with a Kel-Tec “Bullpup” rifle, former U.S. Army infantryman Harold Verdecia completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and now walks nine miles a day patrolling the Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto.
Learn more about him below:
The choice in firearm — a rifle that liberals ignorant of guns would call an “assault rifle” — was made by MSA Principal Bill Jones for a very specific reason, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Jones told the Herald-Trib that if there were an active shooter to open fire, he’d likely be wearing strong body armor, i.e., the type of body armor practically immune to weak, slow-moving handgun bullets.
“I wouldn’t hire anybody who hadn’t been shot at and fired back,” Jones said. “I need someone who has been in that situation,” he added.
It’s probably fair to assume that Jone’s fighting fire with fire message makes far more sense than trying to fight fire by instituting laws that essentially ban fire. Hint: Just like fire, guns will never disappear, no matter how many regulations the government enacts.
Jones’ philosophy contrasts sharply with those of political figures, law enforcement officials and gun control activists who believe the solution to gun violence lies in regulating the Second Amendment to the point that legally acquiring a firearm becomes a lengthy, if not impossible, chore.
Second Amendment activists have pushed back on this strategy by noting that, one, criminals almost always obtain their weapons via illegal means, and two, additional gun control legislation would therefore only affect law-abiding gun owners who’re unlikely to commit a crime in the first place.
These points have fallen on deaf ears in part because of the mass shooting last year at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School. The murder of 14 students and three staff members by a deranged lunatic armed with an Ar-15 triggered an intense campaign by the left to institute further gun laws.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 18, 2018
It’s not clear how further gun laws would have prevented the tragedy. What’s known is that the killing only stopped because the suspect chose to discard his rifle and flee the scene. He was later apprehended near the school. Now imagine what may have occurred had someone like Verdecia been present to fire and incapacitate the suspect.
“Assault rifles, whether you are for them or against them, are prolific in our society,” Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler said to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “Lord knows how many assault-type rifles are out there. So why would we not want the school guardian to have parity with that potential threat?”
Exactly. Stopping mass shootings is impossible. So is trying to prevent mass shootings by over-regulating the legal purchase and usage of weapons by law-abiding citizens.
What’s not impossible is stopping a mass shooter in his tracks. That’s why Jones hired Verdecia, and that’s why he’s likewise reportedly planning to hire another combat veteran soon.
“I wouldn’t hire anybody who hadn’t been shot at and fired back. I need someone who has been in that situation,” he said.
Of course, not everybody agrees with his approach.
“You don’t walk around with an assault rifle strapped to your chest in a school. That is not the normal policy of police agencies,” Walt Zalisko, a retired police chief who now runs a global investigative group and police management consulting business, complained.
“His job is to protect the kids, and he can do that with a handgun, but it is also to form positive relationships,” he claimed. “Develop information on who may have drugs or weapons. There is a lot involved.”
“Verdecia isn’t there to get to know the kids, break up fights or do the typical community-policing that school resource officers typically do, said MSA Principal Bill Jones,” the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
There’s a reason Verdercia reportedly spent 144 training with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. There’s likewise a reason he made it to Iraq & Afghanistan and back.
While everything about this sounds reasonable, the left is, of course, raving mad.
https://t.co/8RunfwGZJg Absolutely appalling. American children don’t need combat vets with semiautomatic rifles, they need effective gun control to stop shootings before they start. Scaring kids with daily reminders of their mortality does not a safer school make. #GunControlNow
— Chardo Richardson (@TheRealChardo) February 12, 2019
I think that this is a terrible idea
With mass confusion
An innocent student could be shot in the crossfire
Florida School Hires 2 Former Combat Veterans to Take Down Active Shooters – The New York Times https://t.co/c41c9WXxKi
— Patrice Rodriguez (@yharold1010) February 12, 2019
Terrifying and absurd. https://t.co/DzJ3ZHyRxA
— Maria Kefalas (@ProfKefalas) February 12, 2019
I felt physically ill when I read this. Especially the part about he is trained by the inept sheriff’s department. https://t.co/envor2mVdJ
— John Shirkey (@jpshirkey) December 22, 2018
This is lunacy.
— Lisa Woolhouse (@LisaWoolhouse) February 12, 2019
It would be a cold day in Hell before I’d send my kids to a school with that policy. How in the world do people consider this “freedom?”
— Amy Gibson (@amyfgibsonsd) February 12, 2019
One such school in Flordia is living out an NRA fantasy land where students getting to walk past a man carrying an assault rifle and wearing body armor:https://t.co/yRaI0i54Yg
— Honest Nonsense (@NonsenseHonest) February 12, 2019
FYI, the actual fantasy is believing gun control regulations stop crimes. They don’t.
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