State lawmaker from Miami tweets video of him shooting a gun to protest arming teachers

Rep. Robert Asencio was a campus police officer before rising to the rank of police captain.
Rep. Asencio looks at the camera after firing a gun in his Twitter video. | Screen grab
Rep. Asencio looks at the camera after firing a gun in his Twitter video. | Screen grab
Published Feb. 27, 2018|Updated Feb. 27, 2018

Rep. Robert Asencio, D-Miami, begins his Twitter video by methodically putting in ear plugs on a shooting range, as he discusses one of Florida's most controversial issues following the Parkland shooting.

"I served six years in the U.S. Army Reserve Special Operations community (and) 26 years in law enforcement, where I retired as a police captain," he says. "I've been involved in shootouts and I've seen children die as a result of gun violence."

Then he cocks his handgun.

"Now think back to your 8th grade English teacher." A gunshot bangs off camera. "10th grade art teacher." He fires back.

"Could you have trusted them not to panic and do the right thing?" he asks the viewer. "Do not arm your teachers. Fund appropriately public education. Fund mental health. Do ban weapons of war and save your children."

Asencio served as a campus police officer in Miami's public schools before rising to the rank of captain. His unique video echoes the sentiments of Florida's Democrats, who along with Republican Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and the statewide teachers' union, have said they are against arming teachers.

Meanwhile, the Legislature is pressing forward with a plan for a "marshal" program to allow teachers to carry guns in class if they go through 132 hours of training and become sworn officers of their local law enforcement agency. That proposal passed the state House Appropriations committee  on Tuesday and will soon go to the House floor, while a similar measure is making its way through the Florida Senate.