Image credit: NBC News
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After constant debate about how to properly protect a school from an active shooter, this Florida school shows us how to do it right.

A school in Florida is taking school safety so seriously that it has hired two combat veterans armed with semiautomatic rifles to patrol and guard the campus against potential threats, according to The New York Times.

Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, hired the school guardians to comply with state legislation requiring schools to have at least one “safe-school” officer. Principal Bill Jones said they have good reason to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.

“We’re not looking for a fair fight,” Jones said of potential active shooter situations. “We’re looking at an overwhelming advantage.”

One of the guards has 15 years of infantry experience, and the second veteran guardian will start working later in February. Jones wanted combat veterans who can be trusted to react quickly and correctly under fire.

“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.”

The Palmetto Police chief supports the use of semiautomatic weapons, something not everyone was comfortable with.

“Assault rifles, whether you are for them or against them, are prolific in our society,” Chief Scott Tyler said in December to the Herald-Tribune. “So why would we not want the school guardian to have parity with that potential threat?”

Jones said parents have been generally accepting of the guards, who were trained by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department and had to complete at least 132 hours of firearm safety and proficiency training.

The weapons are not stored on campus, and the guards are required to keep the chambers empty while they are patrolling.

The guardians’ salaries of about $50,000 “substantially exceeds” the state allocation the school received, but Jones believes the students’ safety is worth the cost.

source: theblaze.com

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29 COMMENTS

  1. i love it we all need military men to protect our schoold then these dumb illegals and stupid sicko children wont attempt killing anyone just because

      • This is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of, what do you do when one of these people goes berserk?

        Gun control does not work, never has and never will! We already have background checks and they do not work, they never have and never will for one simple reason, criminals don’t obey laws, that is why they are called criminals!
        If a person wants a gun, they will get a gun, if they can’t buy a gun, they will steal one, then who does the background check? How long is the waiting period?
        A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people (the citizens of any particular state) to keep (own)and bear arms (carry guns of any type and caliber, anywhere, anytime) shall (absolutely) not be infringed!
        The American people must demand that the government and the courts stop interpreting the constitution and instead enforce the constitution as it is written in plain simple and easy to understand English that a fifth grader can understand!
        Over 100 people per day on average die in automobile accidents in the United States, maybe we should outlaw automobiles since they are responsible for nearly as many deaths as guns!

        Prevent school shootings, if you dare to care, be aware, prepare, prevent, lock the damned doors! The way to prevent school shootings is to keep all guns out of schools period!

  2. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH ARMED GUARD IN OUR SCHOOLS, ITS THE BEST THING TO DO ,ALONG WITH POSTING SIGNS THAT SAY , ARMED GUARDS PATROLLING ENTIRE SCHOOL AREA AT ALL TIMES, , AND STICK WITH IT, NO POTENTIAL SHOOTER WILL ATTEMPT TO COME INTO A SCHOOL KNOWING THEY HAVE ARMED GUARDS, UNLIKE WHAT JOE BIDEN AND THE LEFT WING COMMUNIST , WHO PUT UP A WELCOME SIGN THAT READS , NO GUNS ALLOW ON SCHOOL PROPERTY, THAT TELLS POTENTIAL SHOOTERS THAT THEY CAN WALK IN AND START SHOOTING ANY TIME THEY LIKE AND KNOW THAT NO ONE WILL EVEN TRY TO STOP THEM, ITS ABOUT TIME WE STARTED BEING SMARTER THAN THE CRIMINALS ,

  3. Finally a school has taken on the responsibility for safety of our children. Thank God we still have people that are willing to step forward and prepare for these unfortunate acts..

  4. Bravo for Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida. They’ve done the right thing for the immediate protection of their students.
    They should take it a step further and and teach gun safety & responsibility in all grades with hands-on safety & operation of rifles & shotguns, with the parents permission, in Middle School and beyond at appropriate rifle and skeet ranges. Real education, not Hollywood, is the best way to promote safe and responsible use and ownership of firearms.

  5. I strongly support armed guards in schools. But the best solution is to arm some of the staff with concealed handguns.

    1. It’s far, FAR less costly than hiring armed police/guards. Arming some staff (teachers) is what they have done in Utah public schools for many years. No shootings.
    2. With some staff packing concealed heat, a perp would not know in advance who was armed. It’s pretty apparent who is armed with these guards toting rifles.
    3. If I were a deranged perp (likely a deranged high school kid), I would bring a handgun to the school, approach one of the armed guards, shoot him and take his rifle and ammo. That would make me 5-10 times more dangerous. There is NO WAY such a guard will be able to respond in time if the person looks innocent and approaches the guard with a hidden gun ready to fire.

  6. So let me get this straight, the armed trained guards carry AR’s but have no bullets in them. Sounds about right for the seriously uneducated politician who came up with this idiotic plan. I would say most deranged mass shooters are crazy and know they will probably get killed in the process of killing as many people as they can. They can take out a guard while he is loading his rifle.
    These guards are former soldiers and reportedly have taken fire, are trained by the police department but cannot carry a loaded weapon. I do not think many applicants will sign up for this unless they are seriously mental themselves.

    • The article did not say the AR’s had no bullets in them; it said there were no bullets in the gun chambers. All it takes for the guard to put the gun into operation is to pull the charging handle. The moment the guard perceives a threat, they will surely charge the weapon. If properly trained, the guard can operate the safety and fire upon the identified threat quite quickly. Your concern is unwarranted.

    • Besides all guards the schools needs a metal detectors in all doors. This will be the most effective way to prevent any future shooting..

    • I can see that you have not served in our military. If you are inside the wire you can not have a chambered round. if you are outside the wire you better have one chambered. In this case, they will have the magazine in the rifle without chambering a round. These two men are ex grunts. There will not be a goofball getting the advantage on them.

  7. It is time that we realize that we are not dealing with “Just Disgruntled Students” but are dealing with cold blooded killers. Recently a terrorist cell was taken down which was training children to commit mass murder in schools. If the parent does not like it, tough. As long as the armed guards are well trained and have experience in live shooter conditions (i.e., combat) they should be the right ones for the job. As for “Semi-Automatic” rifles. You don’t take a pistol to a gunfight involving large caliber rifles or shotguns. If you do, you stand a great chance of winding up on the losing end.

  8. Empty chambers doesn’t mean unloaded.
    It means you have to cycle the action to get around in the chamber before pulling the trigger.

  9. For those not familiar with AR’s, empty chamber does not mean empty weapon. The weapon is loaded with a magazine with bullets and the weapon is charged. A slap of the bolt release puts a round in the chamber. The school made a great call. That is a great deterrent. Cowardly shooters are not looking for a gunfight.

  10. They are not carrying unloaded weapons. The weapons are loaded, just no round in the chamber. Doing so precludes an accidental discharge. It takes less than a second to pull the charging handle on an AR, (NOT assault rifle) and likely even less time for a combat veteran who had to do it every time he emptied his magazine in combat. That is the way I carry my hidden weapon for self protection.

  11. The rest of the country needs to wise up and follow Florida’s lead. Conceal carry may also be a step in the right direction! Hope the guards take head shots and save the states more tax dollars rather than defending these scums with free legal, housing, medical and meals!

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