Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican candidate for governor, finally weighs in on the gun debate and offers a nuanced backing of arming teachers while coming out against gun restrictions.
"Better to focus on denying firearms to dangerous individuals, which avoids infringing on constitutional rights and is also more likely to be effective," DeSantis said in a statement.
DeSantis weighed in a day after Adam Putnam, whose comments are here.
"The tragedy in Parkland represented a catastrophic failure by the Broward County Sheriff's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation," said DeSantis. "I have been clear that the FBI needs to provide full transparency to Congress and the personnel responsible for the failure need to be terminated. I also support the immediate resignation of Broward Sheriff Scott Israel as well as Governor Scott's call for an independent investigation of the entire department."
"Parkland demonstrated the need to provide adequate security at Florida's schools. I support Governor Scott's initiative to improve safety and harden these schools. While I don't think any teacher or administrator should be required to carry a firearm, I believe that those who possess a concealed carry license and are so inclined should not be barred from doing so on campus. What is more, I think it's important to establish a program so that we can enlist the help of retired military and law enforcement personnel to ensure that our students are safe while they learn."
"The issue of mental illness has been a recurring theme among mass shooters in recent years and we need more tools with which to deal with this stubborn fact. Anyone who is a danger to themselves or to society should not be permitted to wreak havoc in our communities, be it with a firearm or via other means."
"Given that the issues of bureaucratic incompetence, school safety and mental health demand immediate attention, I'm disappointed that the Florida Legislature is rushing to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. When dealing with a right that is specifically enumerated in the Constitution, blanket restrictions that diminish individual rights are suspect. Better to focus on denying firearms to dangerous individuals, which avoids infringing on constitutional rights and is also more likely to be effective. The goal should be to keep our students safe, bring accountability to the officials and institutions that failed, and protect the rights of Floridians."