Update: When legislation (SB 7030) was voted on in the Florida Senate during the 2019 legislative session to expand the “Guardian” program and arm teachers, Senator Lauren Book voted NO, changing the position she previously took on the Scott Commission. Thank you to everyone who contacted her and told her that arming teachers is wrong!
When a historic package of gun reform legislation was passed and signed into law in Tallahassee during Florida’s 2018 legislative session, Democratic state Senator Lauren Book (Plantation) was at the center of negotiations. The legislation raised the minimum age to buy a long gun from 18 to 21, banned the sale of bump stocks, and established a Risk Protection Order to temporarily remove firearms from individuals in crisis.
Unfortunately, it also created the “Guardian Program,” which allocated $67 million in funding for county sheriffs to train non-educators to carry loaded guns in K-12 schools to “neutralize” active shooters (school districts have to opt in to receive the funding). When the law was signed, Sen. Book claimed she didn’t support the Guardian Program, but noted, “what I disagree with more is letting the great be the enemy of the good” and not getting “something” done after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S.
Many gun control groups supported the overall gun reform package, but the NRA opposed it—despite the inclusion of the Guardian Program which they advocated for! The NRA even filed a lawsuit to strike down the new minimum age for long gun purchases. Despite this, Sen. Book is now backing the NRA by supporting an expansion of the Guardian Program to include arming teachers.
Sen. Book voted to provide Guardian funds for arming teachers as part of a commission set up by Governor Rick Scott to make recommendations on improving school safety. Media Matters has revealed that the commisson’s work was improperly influenced by the NRA. Book has nonetheless defended her vote to arm teachers in subsequent conversations with reporters by citing the response of school resource officers to the Parkland shooting and observing, “We saw how that went.”
Florida Senate Pres. Bill Galvano has already indicated he will look to move the commission’s proposal to arm teachers. He has not mentioned any plans to work on sensible gun bills that Democrats like Sen. Book are shepherding.
Please contact Florida Senator Lauren Book through one of the channels below and give her the following message, personalized to your liking:
Senator Book, I was absolutely disgusted to learn about your vote in support of an expansion of the Guardian Program as part of Rick Scott’s commission investigating the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This expansion would allow for funding to go to sheriffs who train teachers to carry loaded guns in the classroom. You’ve even defended your vote in subsequent interviews, citing the failure of school resource officers in Parkland to take down a shooter armed with an AR-15, high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammo. Listen, I greatly appreciate the efforts you made to support sensible gun reforms in the historic package of legislation signed into law by Gov. Scott in March 2018, but you CANNOT claim to be a champion of gun violence survivors and GVP advocates while pushing this noxious proposal to arm teachers. Media Matters has already revealed that members of Scott’s commission were improperly influenced by the NRA and now you have me wondering if they’ve gotten to you, too. Bottom line: The arming of teachers is an absolute betrayal of our childrens’ trust and it will cause MORE death and suffering, not less. You will NEVER be any champion of mine as long as you continue to perpetuate the gun lobby’s evil. In fact, if you do not explicity renounce your support for arming teachers, I will make it my life’s goal to see you defeated at the polls in your next re-election cycle.
Florida State Senator Lauren Book (D-32nd-Plantation)
Phone: (954) 424-6674
Facebook: Leave message as comment on Senator’s posts including https://www.facebook.com/book4senate/photos/a.410160052528200/967639196780280/ and https://www.facebook.com/book4senate/posts/965062923704574
Once you have contacted Senator Book, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!