Fox News uses Parkland shooting to push for more guns in schools

The morning after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to murder 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Fox & Friends hosts pushed for more guns in schools.

During an interview with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), host Brian Kilmeade asked him, “Do you also think it’s time to give the schools a fighting chance when these crazy former students come back to kill? And don’t you think it’s time to arm qualified security guards?”

Nelson quickly steered the conversation to gun control, saying, “We’ve got to face the fact that this is an automatic military assault weapon.”

“An AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing,” Nelson continued. “And the question is, should this be a legal weapon in our society?”

At the end of the interview, Kilmeade again pushed the idea of more armed guards in schools. This time, Nelson pushed back more forcefully.

“Yeah, you asked about that — the fact is we can’t make our schools armed camps. I mean, that’s not practical, and it’s not reflective of our open society.”

“That’s fine, I just want a qualified guy to be able to shoot back,” Kilmeade interjected, before ending the interview.

But it appears there were armed guards at the school. Reuters reports that “a law enforcement officer is assigned to every school in the Broward County district.” According to USA Today, “schools in the Broward district typically have one or two school resource officers, typically Broward County Sheriff deputies who are armed and always on campus.”

For Fox News personalities, however, that’s not enough. On the Wednesday edition of his show, Sean Hannity argued that while it appears there was a guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there should’ve been more.

“I mean, a school this big that has 3,200 students and multiple buildings, it seems to me you need a few people in each building, retired military, retired police, and I would think, over time, that families — we’re not talking about all that much money,” he said.

But local law enforcement and school officials don’t buy it. Asked about armed guards during a news conference, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters, “If a person is predisposed to commit such a horrific act… there not a lot law enforcement or any entity can do about it.”

Meanwhile, during an interview on MSNBC, Melissa Falkowski, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, pointed out that school officials have recently made changes to safety protocols, and said, “I don’t think we could have been more prepared than we were today.”

“We talked to every single class period that sat in front of us about what to do in this situation,” Falkowski said. “And every single teacher did that with every single class that they had until the kids were tired of hearing about it… and even still, even with that, we have 17 casualties, 17 people that aren’t going to return to their families.”

“And to me that is totally unacceptable. From my personal viewpoint it is time for Congress, government, somebody to do something, and it’s time to talk about what the problem is and try to fix it.”