As with other hot button issues, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came out of the gates fast again, this time to show the Biden administration that the Sunshine State is not interested in more gun laws.
Florida is, instead, prioritizing school safety in the wake of the two recent mass shootings in New York and Texas.
Gov. DeSantis on Thursday signed the state’s “Freedom First Budget,” which includes an increase in funding for school safety and mental health initiatives.
“If you look at our budget … we had another major increase in funding for school safety and for mental health and, you know, when you’re talking about school security, the thing is, is for whatever reason — I think going back to Columbine — this has become something where these deranged psychopaths have certain targets and some of them go to schools as a way to kind of maximize the trauma to a community,” DeSantis said during Friday’s press conference.
The governor pointed out that the school shooters are “very evil people” who often look for soft targets “where they think they’re going to be able to get away with it,” using the Buffalo shooter as a prime example.
“What I think we’ve done in Florida since I’ve been governor is make sure there’s adequate security at schools, make sure that we follow the recommendations of the Parkland Commission. I’m gonna be signing a bill probably within the next week that’s going to continue on with the commission, and make some additional improvements.”
“I think if you look at these four budget years since I’ve been governor, I think we’re pretty close to three-quarters of a billion dollars with school safety initiatives, and that’s something very significant,” he said, explaining that mental health is also a top priority that needs to be addressed:
You also have the issue of mental health and you know, my wife is very good on this and you know, she will always tell me, you know, you have some deranged lunatic that is not necessarily what we mean by mental health. Yeah, they probably have some mental problems for sure.
Maybe there could have been interventions, but you know, we talk about mental health and the schools — a lot of these are just normal kids that are going through difficult times.
You know, it’s not like everyone that needs mental health services is a would-be school assassin, that’s not true and I don’t want to lump them in together, but I also do think some of these people have so many warning signs and it just gets ignored time and time again. The Parkland shooter clearly was somebody that was a big-time problem in terms of how he was behaving.
And so we’ve done things like, since I’ve been governor, behavioral threat assessment so that if somebody’s in school, they’re online posting that they’re going to do some really bad stuff, that you take it seriously, that you understand that there may be people who are going to act against the best interests of the community and that you’re not just kind of hope nothing happens, that you’d be more aggressive on it.
“We’re going to continue to be very strong in terms of our school safety,” the governor promised. “I just think as a parent of young kids, that’s something that’s very sensitive to me and to my wife, and I’m happy to say in Florida, we’ve put our money where our mouth is.”
I appreciate Governor Ron DeSantis’s logical approach when looking for a solution.
He is taking the correct sequence of steps in making sure the schools are immune from another shooting, like Parkland.
- Adequate armed security
- Secure buildings with only one point of entry.
- Identifying and processing those with known mental health issues
- Immediately expel any student who shows they might be a risk to themselves and other students in the future.
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