No fewer than five proposed laws are up for consideration as to whether to permit guns on school campuses in Florida. In response, various groups have already begun the push to lobby against the passage of the laws, which could affect behavior on K-12 as well as college campuses.
One man, whose son was killed in a mass shooting incident at the University of California-Santa Barbara in May 2014, made a second pilgrimage to Tallahassee to be part of a ”Backpacks, not Bullets” rally. He made a point of showing others a collection of wristbands that he had received from people who had also experienced the loss of a loved one to gun violence.
According to WTLV, he said, “In an atmosphere of high emotions, intense academic competition, alcohol and drugs, should we really be adding guns into the mix?”
A pair of the laws that are under consideration would permit concealed hand guns to be carried on school campuses. Another two would allow specific school employees with proper training to carry concealed weapons on the property of K-12 schools.
A Republican state senator from Pensacola, Greg Evers, holds the distinction of having sponsored one bill in each group. He was quoted by WTLV as advocating for so-called law-abiding people being permitted to possess guns on campus, ostensibly to be in a better position to help protect other students as well as themselves.
Evers cited an event at Florida State University last November in which a student shot three people before taking his own life; one of the victims was reportedly paralyzed from the waist down. Evers mentioned that it took roughly 5 or 6 minutes after shots had been fired for help to arrive at the FSU campus. “In a five to six minute time frame, there’s a lot of damage that can be done,” he said.
The last of the five proposed laws would nullify criminal penalties for carrying guns in a school safety zone.