Crimson Trace

March 7, 2018

Legislation & Feedback

Florida’s state Senate has passed Senate Bill 7026 (the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act”),  a new piece of legislation that’s designed to raise the state’s minimum age for buying a gun to 21, require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases and ban the sale of “bump stocks.”

The bill, passed by the slimmest of margins (20-18) has moved on to the House, where it was given a second reading yesterday. It’s expected that a third and final reading will be given sometime today.

If that happens, there will be a vote today in the House as well. 

What’s the rush? Florida’s legislative session ends this Friday, so anti-gun groups are trying to force the bill to Governor Rick Scott’s desk in this session. If SB7026 passes the House vote, Scott then has 15 days to either sign or veto the bill. If he does nothing, it becomes law without his signature. 

The bill also includes an appropriation of $400,000,000 for estabilshment of, you guessed it, more governmental oversight, including the “Office of Safe Schools” in the state’s Department of Education.

We’ll keep you posted on the bill’s progress.

And it’s not often I get a reader response that makes me smile, think and agree with the sender.

When I do, it’s always been my policy to share their insight. Today...a reader response that encouraged me to push the argument for armed teachers ahead. 

But it’s stated so well, that we’re letting Allan Tarvid tell you himself.

“Nobody is telling teachers they will be drafted into SWAT school--everybody knows there are some who couldn't and therefore shouldn't carry guns. What we are trying to do is allow them to be more than organic speed bumps when their children come under attack. Right now the bravest of them are forced to lay down their lives while accomplishing nothing more then reducing a lunatic's ammunition supply by a couple of rounds and taking up two or three seconds of his killing time. The murderer then steps over the teacher's body and continues on as if the teacher had never been there. Throwing my life away for nothing would be absolutely unacceptable to me as a teacher and I would not work under those conditions. I would be demonstrating, parading, writing letters, throwing tantrums, and everything else I could think of in hopes of gaining the chance to shield my students in a meaningful way. My goal would be nothing short of doing everything in my power to harden my classroom and ensure it would be the last one the creature entered.

Once a mass murderer is standing in front of you, having the ability to stop him quickly is all that matters. How he got in, where he acquired his gun, whether he is crazy or just plain evil are suddenly all irrelevant points. Study after study reveals that every minute (sometimes every second) he is not stopped more people die. Waiting through the police response time means more people die, even where law enforcement agencies actually practice feces consolidation.

This "time thing" cannot be taken too seriously. Talking heads on the "news" and their column-writing counterparts mistakenly refer to law enforcement officers as first responders. I was similarly misrepresented during my career as a fireman for the City of Dallas, Texas. We practically begged the people we served to have family meetings about fire safety and hold home fire drills even though our average response time back then was three minutes. I/we wanted every member of the family to know how to escape the danger in the house immediately because in more than 90 percent of the house fires I saw, what people did between dialing 911 and the arrival of help had more to do with who lived and who died than anything that happened after we got there. You are actually your own first responder during the most critical seconds of a life-threatening emergency.

You see where I'm going with this... It's exactly the same in an active mass-murderer situation. If this happens at home, self defense professionals tell you to barricade your family behind solid cover in a room and have a gun covering the door while somebody talks to the police on a cellphone. Why not do the same if it happens at school?

Our chief politicians, billionaires, anti-gun Hollywood celebrities, and even money being transported in trucks are all protected by people with guns. Aren't kids just as important? What's wrong with these people? Why do they demand that we keep the kids at such risk?

Rant off.

Allan Tarvid
Outdoor Writer/Photographer
Sequim, Washington