Florida – Hardening The Soft Target, Not So Much

Repeatedly, it is demonstrated that it is the on scene, immediate responder that either mitigates the assault or totally thwarts the attack.

On May 5th, an article was posted here regarding the 2019 Florida Legislature’s failure to allow private schools and places of worship, that have a licensed school campus on their property, to arm themselves or hire private armed security to protect their lives and the lives of those who attend school or other activities on their property.

On May 7th an article was published on TownHall.com, by John R. Lott, Jr., titled: Armed Guards at Houses of Worship Is Not Enough addressing the very subject of hardening the soft targets (places of worship and schools) against an armed assailant.

Against all rational thinking the 2019 Florida Legislature failed the citizens of Florida. While broadening the protection of public school students, allowing teachers to be trained and armed, the Florida Legislature left both those students who attend private schools and young people and adults alike, who attend school or worship services on property owned by faith based organizations and shared with a school campus, to the wolves.

Under current Florida law, private school campuses remain gun free zones. That means gun free zones at ALL times, even when classes are NOT in session, i.e., Saturdays, Sundays, summer break.

Against all rational thinking the 2019 Florida Legislature failed the citizens of Florida. While broadening the protection of public school students, allowing teachers to be trained and armed, the Florida Legislature left both those students who attend private schools and young people and adults alike, who attend school or worship services on property owned by faith based organizations and shared with a school campus, to the wolves.

Yesterday, Tuesday, May 7th another school shooting occurred. This time in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. 8 students were shot, with one being killed. It was not a school guardian or a law enforcement school resource officer that stopped the attack. Rather, it was a fellow, unarmed student, on scene who tackled one of the assailants curtailing the assault.

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that it is the on scene, immediate responder that either mitigates the assault or totally thwarts the attack. Law enforcement only arrives after the shots have been fired and wounded and lifeless bodies are strewn on the ground.

The Florida Legislature needs to be made to know that the lives of those who attend private schools and places of worship are just as valuable as those who work in and attend public schools.

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Brendan Baily, Highlands Ranch STEM, Florida Legislature, SB 1238, HB 403, Florida, church security, school security, Florida, John R. Lott, Jr., Sheep No More

Florida Lawmakers View Christian Lives As Less Valuable

Christian lives and the lives of children who attend private schools have been viewed as less valuable by the 2019 Florida Legislature.

If you attend services at a church, worship center, ministry or synagogue that has a licensed school on its property or your child attends any private school in the state of Florida, the Florida legislature as twice determined that your life and the lives of your children are less valuable than the lives of children who attend public schools.

During the Florida 2019 legislation session there were two bills submitted by legislators for consideration the would allow those who attend services at churches, synagogues and other houses of worship to protect themselves against an armed assailant. Those bills were Senate Bill 1238 (SB 1238), introduced by Senator Debbie Mayfield and House Bill 403 (HB 403) introduced by Erin Grall and Cord Byrd titled: Safety of Religious Institutions.

Both bills passed through their respective committees with little to no opposition, receiving bipartisan support. However, in the Senate, after receiving 4-Yeas and 2-Nays, on March 25th the bill was sent to Criminal Justice Committee, on April 8th, SB 1238 was “Temporarily Postponed”. I the Criminal Justice Committee, on May 5th, SB 1238 was “Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration“.

On April 25th, House Bill 403 passed its third reading with a vote of 79 – Yeas and 35 – Nays. HB 403 was then sent to the Senate Judiciary Rules Committee where it sat without action. With the close of the 2019 Florida Legislative Session HB 403 was “Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration” on May 3, 2019. The Safety of Religious Institutions bill is dead.

It can only be concluded that the Florida Legislature views the lives of those who attend worship services and private schools as less valuable than those who attend and work at public schools, as this has been the second year in a row the Florida Legislature has neglected the safety of students who attend private schools and those who worship on the grounds that share a Florida licensed educational institution.

Those who attend worship services on the grounds that share a Florida licensed educational institution or attend private schools are left to the mercy of the wolves, without a means of self-defense by Florida lawmakers.

In Florida, when licensed, one can legally carry a concealed firearm . . .

  • when going to the country club
  • when going to watch a movie in a public theater
  • when attending a play or other performance
  • when going to a city park
  • when going to the beach
  • when grocery shopping
  • when going to the mall
  • when banking
  • when dinning at your favorite restaurant

But, not when attending your church, ministry, synagogue or other place of worship, if there is a school located on the property.

In recent months, weeks and even days, agencies responsible for public safety are issuing warnings to increase security at places of worship.


Is there not a mixed message here?

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Florida, church security, SB 1238, HB 403, Safety of Religious Institutions, Mayfield, Baxley, Hutson, Grall, Byrd, worship center, ministries, house of worship, synagogue, Chabad Poway synagogue, San Diego, Parkland, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Public School Safety Act, private school security,guardian training, church guardian