Solved by verified expert:17 people died after a 19-year-old opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Thismakes it the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook, Connecticut. It hasinvigorated the gun-debate, particularly whether schools should be gun-free zones, a debate that culminated onMarch 24 in the March for our Lives.For this 6-7 page paper (2,000-2,500 words), first describe the larger conversation in which these authors engage.The first two readings should help with this. Your paper then will use the in-class readings (3-6) plus two outsidetexts that further the discussion to compose a persuasive essay developing and defending your position on the topic.You will employ your knowledge of rhetorical concepts: Project, Argument, Claims, Evidence, Strategies (PACES).You will also employ your understanding of how to connect a secondary text to your argument, using it as evidencefor your point rather than letting it make your point, and citing your academically acceptable outside sources toenhance your ethos. Your argument must be supported with academically appropriate evidence, found on the SDSUlibrary’s database
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Florida school shooting: Governor signs bill allowing some school teachers to carry guns
Neither school shooting survivors nor the National Rifle Association are pleased with it
Mythili Sampathkumar, New York, The Independent Friday 9 March 2018 2
Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a school safety bill in the wake of the Parkland school
shooting in which 17 people were killed that would allow some school teachers to carry guns.
The $400m bill, written since the 14 February mass shooting, balances “our individual rights
with need for public safety,” said Mr Scott.
Neither the shooting survivors nor the powerful gun lobby organisation the National Rifle
Association (NRA) are pleased with the bill, however.
The legislation creates a so-called “guardian” program that enables teachers and other school
employees in participating districts to carry handguns if they complete law enforcement training.
It also raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extends a three-day waiting period for
handgun purchases to include long guns, and bans bump stocks that allow guns to mimic fully
The NRA, however, thinks even those limits are a sign of “bullying and coercion,” as NRA and
Unified Sportsmen of Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer said in a statement. The group felt the
new limits restrict people’s Second Amendment right to bear arms and a way to punish and
demonise legal gun owners.
“Obviously, this is what we’ve been fighting for. It’s nowhere near the long-term solution,” said
Chris Grady, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“It’s a baby step, but a huge step at the same time. Florida hasn’t passed any legislation like this
in God knows how long. It’s nowhere near what we want, but it’s progress and uplifting to see,”
Parkland survivors have been out marching, taking politicians to task on social media, and
speaking to the press in full force since the shooting, advocating for an assault weapons ban
across the country, but particularly in Florida. The gunman, suspected to be former student
Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 assault-style rifle.
The bill would still allow the AR-15 to be sold in the state.
Mr Scott pointed out though that he is pleased the “guardian” program is not mandatory, since he
is “not persuaded” to fully support it, as the NRA would have most likely wanted.
The program will be up to local officials to implement and “if counties don’t want to do this, they
can simply say no,” he explained.
The voluntary programme would require these so-called guardians to complete 132 hours of
comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training, pass a psychological evaluation, submit
to and pass drug tests; and complete certified diversity training.
It also excludes “individuals who exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers”
from participating in the programme.
It was named after Coach Aaron Feis, who had lost his life protecting students during the
Though the Broward County teachers union supports the overall bill, they did take issue with the
guardian programme and want it taken out during the state’s next budget go-round.
He also acknowledged that the debate on gun control will continue, adding that “this is a time for
all of us to come together, roll up our sleeves and get it done.”
Mr Scott commended the Stoneman Douglas student-activists for their outspoken advocacy: You
helped change our state. You made a difference. You should be proud.”
The bill also creates new mental health programmes for schools and establishes an anonymous
tip line where students and others could report threats.
Improved communication between schools, law enforcement, and state agencies is also included
in the bill after it was discovered the local FBI office had gotten a tip about Mr Cruz several
months before the shooting took place but failed to act upon it.
“We can never replace the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but in their
memory we can, and through this legislation we will, do more to prevent a senseless tragedy like
this from ever happening again,” said Florida Senate President Joe Negron.
State Senator Bill Galvano noted that “the advice of survivors and the family members of the
victims played a key role in the development of this legislation, and I was reassured to see the
families of the victims join Governor Scott to see this legislation become law today”.
AP finds the NRA gave $7 million to hundreds of schools
Associated Press · Mar 9, 2018 · Education
The National Rifle Association has dramatically increased its funding to schools in recent years
amid a national debate over guns and school violence, an Associated Press analysis of tax
records has found. But few say they plan to give up the money in the aftermath of the latest mass
The AP analysis of the NRA Foundation’s public tax records finds that about 500 schools
received more than $7.3 million from 2010 through 2016, mostly through competitive grants
meant to promote shooting sports. The grants have gone to an array of school programs,
including the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, rifle teams, hunting safety courses and
In some ways, the grant distribution reflects the nation’s deep political divide over guns. Nearly
three-quarters of the schools that received grants are in counties that voted for President Donald
Trump in the 2016 election, while a quarter are in counties that voted for Democrat Hillary
Clinton, according to the AP analysis. Most are in medium-sized counties or rural areas, with
few near major cities.
California received the most in school grants, more than $1 million, while Florida was a close
Florida’s Broward County school district is believed to be the first to stop accepting NRA money
after a gunman killed 17 people at one of its schools Feb. 14. The teen charged in the shooting
had been on a school rifle team that received NRA funding. School officials announced the
change Tuesday but declined to comment further.
Denver Public Schools followed on Thursday, saying it won’t pursue NRA grants in the future
and will turn down several that were to be awarded this year. But officials in many other districts
say they have no plans to back away.
“Whatever I think of the NRA, they’re providing legitimate educational services,” said Billy
Townsend, a school board member in Florida’s Polk County district, whose JROTC programs
received $33,000, primarily to buy air rifles. “If the NRA wanted to provide air rifles for our
ROTC folks in the future, I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”
The grants awarded to schools are just a small share of the $61 million the NRA Foundation has
given to a variety of local groups since 2010. But it has grown rapidly, increasing nearly fourfold
from 2010 to 2014 in what some opponents say is a thinly veiled attempt to recruit the next
generation of NRA members.
The NRA Foundation did not return calls seeking comment.
Annual reports from the pro-gun group say its grant program was started in 1992 and raises
money through local Friends of NRA chapters. It says half the proceeds from local fundraisers
go to local grants and half goes to the national organization. Tax records show roughly $19
million in grants going to the group’s Virginia headquarters in 2015 and in 2016.
Besides schools, other typical recipients include 4-H groups, which have received $12.2 million
since 2010, Boy Scout troops and councils, which received $4 million, and private gun clubs.
Overall, about half the grants go to programs directed at youth.
Grant funding to schools rose sharply in the years after the 2012 shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy
Hook Elementary School, fueled in part by a new grant program the NRA unrolled to help
schools make safety improvements. Three districts received safety grants totaling $189,000 in
2014, tax records show, but none appears to have been awarded since then.
Nearly half of the 773 overall school grants have gone to JROTC programs, which put students
through a basic military curriculum and offer an array of small competitive clubs, like the rifle
team at Broward’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But JROTC leaders say few
students ultimately enlist in the military, and the primary goal is to teach students skills like
discipline and leadership.
“The safety that we’re teaching, the good citizenship that we’re teaching here, those are the things
you don’t hear about,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jim Flores, a JROTC instructor at Cibola High School
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The majority of people walk out of here awesome young men
and women, respectful of authority, things of that nature. Not so much little tin soldiers.”
In some parts of the country, shooting clubs draw the same sort of following as any school sport.
Bill Nolte, superintendent of the Haywood County district in North Carolina, says he still shows
up at school sportsman’s club tourneys even though his son graduated. Starting in sixth grade,
students can join the clubs to compete in shooting events, archery and orienteering. For many
families, Nolte said, it’s just like any other weekend sports event.
“You take your lawn chair and your coffee in a thermos, and do much like you would do if you
were going to a youth soccer or travel basketball or baseball event,” Nolte said, adding that NRA
grants have helped buy firearms and ammunition and cover other costs that otherwise would fall
to the parents. “We are constantly seeking revenue for sportsman’s club just like we do for
cheerleading and track.”
Districts that tallied the largest sums of NRA money typically used it for JROTC programs,
including $126,000 given to Albuquerque schools, $126,000 to Broward County and $125,000 to
Anchorage, Alaska. The most awarded to a single district was $291,000, given to Roseville
schools near Sacramento, California, which say much of the funding went toward ammunition
and gear for trap-shooting teams.
Grants are often provided as equipment rather than cash, with schools given rifles, ammunition,
safety gear and updates to shooting ranges. Nationally, about $1.3 million was provided as cash,
while $6 million was provided through equipment, training and other costs.
The data does not include grants smaller than $5,000 — those do not need to be individually
tracked in tax filings.
Ron Severson, superintendent of the Roseville Joint Union High School District, says no parents
have raised concerns over the funding, but administrators may reconsider it in the wake of the
“After we get through this spring, we will probably take some time to assess how to move
forward,” he said.
School board members in some districts said they didn’t know about the grants. Donna Corbett, a
Democrat on the school board in southern Indiana’s New Albany-Floyd County School
Corporation, said she never heard about $65,000 that went to a JROTC program at one of the
high schools. Corbett said she plans to raise the issue with her board but feels conflicted about it.
“I am not a big NRA fan, but I also realize that ROTC is a good program,” she said. “I’m not sure
I would be willing to pull it to the detriment of the kids and their programs.”
While some states received dozens of school grants, about 20 got only a few or none at all. In
Massachusetts, for example, known for its strict gun laws, no schools have received NRA grants
since 2010, tax records show. Terry Ryan, a school board member in the Westford district
northwest of Boston, says a local teacher considered applying for a grant in 2014, but the district
ultimately didn’t pursue it.
“We were not interested in any way, shape or form endorsing the NRA or its philosophy,” Ryan
said in an interview.
By contrast, parent Jana Cox in Louisiana’s Caddo Parish says few in the area would have a
problem with the $24,000 in NRA grants that have gone to school JROTC programs.
“Everybody here has guns,” Cox said. “This is north Louisiana. You’ve got a lot of hunters and
you’ve got a lot of guns.”
Without NRA grants, some programs would struggle to stay afloat, officials say. For JROTC
groups, which receive most of their money from their respective military branches, the grants
have become more important as federal budgets have been cut. Programs at some high schools in
Virginia, Missouri and other states have folded in recent years amid the pinch.
Lt. Colonel Ralph Ingles, head of the JROTC program at Albuquerque schools, says the Florida
shooting has sparked a conversation about NRA grants, but he doesn’t anticipate cutting ties
“I don’t see anybody really backing down,” he said. “I think it’s just ingrained that we’re going to
continue to move forward in a positive direction.”
After another deadly school shooting, is it time for US teachers to carry guns?
Joel Gunter, BBC News, 15 February 2018
At least 17 people have died after a 19-year-old ex-pupil opened fire at Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
It’s the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 people were killed in Sandy Hook,
Two weeks ago, the BBC’s Joel Gunter looked at whether arming US teachers could help prevent
Two schoolchildren died on Tuesday and 14 others suffered bullet wounds when a classmate
opened fire outside a school in Benton, Kentucky. It was the third shooting incident at a school
in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year.
The victims were Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both 15. A 15-year-old boy was arrested and
charged with the attack.
The story fell somewhere into the middle of the day’s news agenda. “Americans have accepted
these common atrocities as part of life here,” wrote one commenter on the New York Times
website. “Another day, another shooting spree, and no political will to do anything about it.”
But there is political will building behind a certain sort of gun legislation — reforms that aim to
increase, rather than decrease, the number of firearms in schools and other public buildings, and
arm teachers and school staff as a means of defence.
Hours after the shooting in Kentucky, Republican State Senator Steve West rushed to file a bill
that would allow Kentucky schools to have armed school marshals patrol the site. His bill joins
another in the state which seeks to loosen gun restrictions around college campuses.
Mr West’s bill received cross-party support from state Democratic Senator Ray Jones. “We need
armed officers in every school in Kentucky,” Mr Jones said. “That is a small price to pay if it
saves one child’s life.”
The bill joins a raft of state legislation in recent years designed at putting more guns in schools.
Most recently, the Michigan State Senate passed a bill in November which would allow teachers
at primary, middle and high schools to carry a concealed handgun in class. Similar bills have
been filed this year in Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, South Carolina and West
If successful, those states would join at least nine that already allow some form of concealed
carry in high schools. Each fatal school shooting reignites a long-running debate over whether
the solution is more gun control, or more guns.
Good guys, bad guys
Efforts to arm teachers and school staff were jumpstarted in the wake of the 2012 shooting at
Sandy Hook elementary in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six teachers died. Facing a
public outcry at the massacre, and renewed calls for gun control, the NRA pushed heavily in the
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” said the NRA’s
Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, a week after the shooting, and the catchphrase
evolved into a philosophy that underpinned the NRA’s key legislative priorities.
The lobby group published a report calling for armed officers or staff in every school in
America, and in 2013, the year after Sandy Hook, seven states enacted laws permitting teachers
or school staff to carry guns.
“Over the past two or three years we’ve seen an explosion of legislative proposals to force
schools to permit guns or to arm teachers,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel at the Giffords Law
Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “And it’s not just pushing the idea that people need guns in
schools to be safe, it’s the idea that people need guns everywhere – city streets, public parks, even
But advocates say these kinds of reforms are the only meaningful way to protect schoolchildren.
They point in particular to more rural schools, where an emergency response from police may
take too long in the context of an active shooter incident. They also argue that gun-free zones are
creating “soft targets”.
In Kentucky, home to Tuesday’s shooting, Republican State Senator Tim Moore introduced bills
in 2017 and again in 2018 in an effort to reduce restrictions around guns on school and college
“Whenever in our country people with evil intent seek to harm others, including innocent
children, they will seek locations where they know there’s going to be minimal chance of
resistance,” he said in a telephone interview.
“Allowing law abiding citizens who are properly trained, properly vetted, with a thorough
background check and criminal check … that is a deterrent.”
School shootings erupted into the public consciousness in April 1999, when Eric Harris and
Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton,
Colorado. That massacre has since been eclipsed by shootings at Virginia Tech college (33
dead), Sandy Hook elementary school (25 dead), and 203 other shooting incidents in or around
According to an FBI study of 160 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2013, nearly a
quarter occurred in educational settings, and more of half of those were at junior or secondary
Fourteen years after Columbine, and eight miles down the road, Littleton suffered another
shooting. Karl Pierson, 18, went to Arapahoe High School in December 2013 with two guns and
shot 17-year-old Clare Davis in the head, before killing himself in the school’s library.
One of the first police officers on the scene that day was Swat team member Quinn Cunningham.
Still a serving officer, he now runs three-day active-shooter training sessions for armed teachers.
The “Faster” training courses – funded by Coloradans for Civil Liberties and the Independence
Institute – include a day of “mindset development” – preparing teachers for the possibility that
they will have to shoot dead one of their own students.
Mr Cunningham, 44, asks the teachers to close their eyes and imagine the student entering the
classroom with a gun. In reality, a teacher might have just a split-second to assess the situation
and respond. This is the most difficult and emotional part of the training, and reduces some of
the participants to tears.
“But if we can have them win in their minds first, against that student, then when it comes to the
actual incident they will prevail,” Mr Cunningham said.
America’s gun culture in 10 charts
Why are US mass shootings getting more deadly?
Five members of staff from Fleming High School in north-east Colorado volunteered last year
for the training, which takes place in the summer break to keep students in the dark about who’s
involved. One teacher who took part, who asked to remain anonymous, said she decided to
picture her favourite student during the preparation exercises, in an effort to harden herself to the
worst possible eventuality.
“Teachers aren’t really supposed to have favourites but you know, you have the ones that are
close to you,” she said. “But if that student made the poor decision to endanger everyone, I’m
going to have to do something about it.”
The school now has posters at every entrance stating that some of its teachers are armed. The
students spent “about a week or two” trying to …
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