Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has no great love for civilians with guns. In fact, at one time, he threatened to shoot first and ask questions later when it came to concealed carry licensees. So imagine the surprise when he says armed staff could have taken down the Parkland high school killer. In fact, Gualtieri revealed that the killer had to pause in the rampage several times to reload as he used neutered, five-round magazines in the attack.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, head of Florida’s state-appointed commission investigating the Parkland shooting, said today that video from inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School showed the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, had to reload his AR-15 assault rifle several times.
“There were several other times when he was in that school that his gun was empty,” the sheriff said, noting that the rifle had a six-round magazine. A reload break allowed a teacher on the third floor of the freshman building to move students away to safety, he said.
“If he had somebody in there with a gun, they could have mitigated this,” the sheriff said. “There were opportunities for staff to have intervened if they had been armed.”
So not only did Gualtieri acknowledge that armed school staff could have intervened and saved lives, but a New York Times editor actually repeated that on her Twitter feed. We will simply have to wait to see if this makes it onto the Times’ front page or if they bury it back by the obituaries. Assuming they print it at all.
Armed teachers can save lives. Innocent lives. So can resource officers who do not cower outside the school. Or well-armed and -armored deputies who don’t hide behind their squad cars in the parking lot.
Of course, the gun control movement will try to spin this as a reason why we need new laws limiting magazine capacity to five rounds or less. And so it goes.