Virginia Beach has 55 elementary schools that have no armed security. Tens of thousands of children go to school every day to a gun free zone that has zero ability to respond to a threat if an active shooter comes into the building. Teachers must use their bodies as shields and their weapons are Dr. Seuss books. If the unthinkable happens in Virginia Beach, police on patrol in the city would have to respond.
My office was across the street from building 2 on May 31, 2019. When the shooting happened, I watched employees evacuating the building in panic. The Virginia Beach Police did an amazing job responding to that situation, but unfortunately many people died because of one missing element. The lack of response on scene to an active shooter. Virginia Beach has a policy that employees can not be armed at work but failed to provide any security to the gun free zone it created. We must subscribe to a belief that IF there had been metal detectors for every employee to go through at work and if there was some armed security embedded in that building, that the chaos that happened on May 31, 2019 would have been substantially less and possibly not have even occurred at all.
We must defend our gun free zones, especially the ones where children are at. Why does a courthouse have multiple metal detectors and dozens of armed sheriffs, but a school has no security? Are judges lives more important than our children?
As a father of 3 children in the public school system, I believe the schools should be protected. One easy fix is a change to the law to allow Veterans to be employed as armed security by the school systems in Virginia. These veterans would go through and be certified by DCJS. Having a DCJS certified concealed carry Veteran in the schools is an a amazing opportunity for Veterans to interact with our children while at the same time providing the necessary security to respond to a threat if one ever occurs.
We cannot live in a bubble of hope that creating gun free zones actually keeps bad guys away. It does just the opposite. Unprotected gun free zones are the most dangerous places in America, and we send our children to them every day. My plan is to get armed Veterans in the schools and protect our most vulnerable population. A bad guy knowing there is a response team inside a school will most certainly deter most from acting, but if they still choose to do so, a response on scene will save lives.
As far as costs, lets face it. Virginia Beach has a $1 billion budget. There is always money when they need it. The state just balanced a $2.7 billion dollar budget deficit and still found $2 million dollars to pay for postage of absentee ballots and another $1 million for a VMI investigation. When the government is motivated, they find and have the money. We cannot sit back and say we cannot afford to defend our schools any longer. Lets put Veterans to work and make sure we have done everything we can to protect our children from the unthinkable.
Schools are as important to defend as courthouses.