Since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, both lawmakers and citizens have ferociously debated various measures and solutions that would reduce the number of lives lost in a similar future tragedy. With many calling on lawmakers for increased gun control, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd thinks he has a better answer – do away with gun-free zones and allow teachers to bring a concealed firearm to school.
On Fox and Friends, Sheriff Judd emphasized how his plan, the Sentinel Program, is crucial to saving lives.
“There has to be a line-of-defense. It’s not something we want to do — it’s something we have to do.”
The plan, according to The Blaze, will train selected teachers to use concealed weapons on school campuses with the purpose of protecting students from potential threats by an armed assailant. A gun-toting teacher may not just take down a would-be mass murderer but possibly even deter someone from acting on a plan to shoot up a school.
“At least two coaches were killed standing in front of and trying to protect kids,” Judd told the Fox hosts on Saturday. “Don’t you believe it would be a game-changer if they had a gun to defend the children?”
Per a Breitbart report, the Polk County sheriff believes calling 911 is simply not enough when a shooter shows up at a school with the intent to kill. It just takes too long for law enforcement to get there and by then, it is too late. Judd described how Nikolas Cruz took only three minutes to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and it was several minutes later before police were on the scene.
“When 911 is called, the shooter is on the campus wreaking havoc, that’s too late…We have got to have specially trained people that have concealed firearms that can run to the threat and protect our children.”
Teachers wanting to participate would have to pass a background check and go through a demanding training program. The training would go above and beyond the standards required by Florida law enforcement. A psychological exam would also be performed on each candidate.
Once the teachers go through and pass the requirements, they are declared “special deputy sheriffs,” explained Judd. Only then can they bring a gun to school.
Southern University in Lakeland, Florida, already has the program in place, and Sheriff Judd is advocating a statewide, or even nationwide, rollout as soon as practical. He has already spoken directly with Florida Governor Rick Scott about the idea. While Judd implied that Scott is open to implementing the program, it is unlikely to get much support from legislators.