The Guardian: Armed guard at Florida high school failed to enter building and stop shooter23 February 2018 | 05:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Deputy Scott Peterson, who was the school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, resigned from the department on Thursday after being told he would be suspended, Israel said.
He did not say if Peterson would face criminal charges.
Israel said he made the decision after reviewing video surveillance and interviewing witnesses, including the deputy himself. The sheriff says Peterson responded to the building where the shooting took place, took up a position outside a door and never went in.
When asked what Peterson should have done, Israel said the deputy should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer”.
The sheriff said he was “devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words.”
Nikolas Cruz, 19, fatally shot 17 people at the high school on 14 February
in the second deadliest shooting at an American public school. The student survivors, supported by their families and teachers, have spoken out against Washington’s inaction and statements by the president.
The news of the deputy’s resignation came just hours after the NRA’s chief, Wayne LaPierre, broke his silence over the Parkland massacre, lambasting gun control advocates and repeating his notorious mantra from after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012: “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.”
In his speech on Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor in Maryland, he insisted that “the whole idea from some of our opponents that armed security makes us less safe is completely ridiculous. If that’s true, armed security makes us less safe, let’s just go ahead and remove it from everywhere.”
He continued: “We must immediately harden our schools. Every day young children are being dropped off at schools that are virtually wide open, soft targets for anyone bent on mass murder. It should not be easier for a madman to shoot up a school than a bank or jewellery store or some Hollywood gala.
“Schools should be the hardest target in this country. Evil must be confronted with all necessary force to protect our kids.”
This week, Donald Trump has repeatedly backed a proposal to arm teachers in US schools as a way to defend students in school shootings, despite opposition from the country’s largest teachers’ unions, school security guards and military veterans.
The state senator Bill Galvano, who is helping craft a bill in response to the shooting deaths, said an idea gaining traction is a program that would allow local sheriffs to deputize someone at a school to carry a gun on campus.
Galvano insisted the idea is not the same as arming teachers. He said the program would be optional and the deputized person would have to be trained by local law-enforcement agencies.
Joe Negron , the Florida Senate president, said both chambers are working on the legislation in response to the Parkland shootings. He said a final draft should be available “early next week at the latest”.
What won’t be considered is a ban on assault-style rifles.
That falls short of reform demanded by students who converged on Florida’s Capitol to take their concerns to state lawmakers Wednesday. Outside the building, many protesters complained that lawmakers were not serious about gun control and said that in future elections they would oppose any legislator who accepts campaign contributions from the NRA.
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