Parkland Bombshells from Top Cop: Staff Should’ve Been Armed, Shooter Used 5-round Magazines


Parkland Bombshells from Top Cop: Staff Should’ve Been Armed, Shooter Used 5-round Magazines

There are two bombshells dropped in New York Times editor Patricia Mazzei’s Twitter feed this morning, one of which has me rethinking some things and the other of which should cause gun controllers to rethink some things. First, though, the Twitter thread in question:

The first tweet in that thread that caused my eyes to bug out was this one, in which the lawman who heads up the Florida state commission on investigating the Parkland shooting comes right and out and says that staff should’ve been armed:

I will confess that I have historically not been a fan of the armed teacher idea the NRA pushes after ever shooting. My reasoning is straightforward: these shootings are a such a statistical rarity that schools shouldn’t be going to great lengths to prep for them. And if that prep involves arming up school staff across the country, then the number of negligent discharges (or firearms left unattended) will go up, and the negative press will blow back on gun rights.

Furthermore, active shooter preparations that create a “threat” type of environment at the school, and put the kids in a “lockdown” mindset — things like school shooter drills or visibly armed staff — only serve to create a climate of fear among parents and children that feeds support for gun control measures.

But I’m increasingly warming up concealed carry by highly trained staff, and this Parkland thing may put me over the top. That’s certainly where the sheriff’s mind is on this issue, and I think when it all shakes out there’s going to be a lot more acceptance of this approach.

Now for the other tweet that should cause heads to pop, but probably won’t:

First, I don’t believe there is a “six-round” mag. He’s probably referring to a five-round mag, with one in the chamber, and the reporter got confused. This makes sense, because Florida is a state that has a five-round limit on centerfire rifles used for hunting. So it looks like the perp was using five-round mags for this attack. (Actually, they may have been 10-rounders with a limiter.)

So let’s be clear on what this means: the 9th worst mass shooting in US history, with a 17-person fatality count, was carried out using magazines that are half the size the state and federal Assault Weapon Ban bans want us limited to (i.e. 10 rounds).

Truly, magazine capacity does not matter for mass shootings, and Parkland should be the nail in the coffin for that myth.

Magazine capacity matters when you’re under time pressure because the target is shooting back, i.e. in a gunfight. It doesn’t matter when you’ve got plenty of time to reload. And if you look at the duration of these mass shooting events, the number of shots fired, and the realistic rate-of-fire of the weapon, these guys are spending a bunch of time not shooting, so they can reload at leisure.

Anyway, the next time somebody tells you that a ban on mags over 10 rounds will save lives, point them to Parkland.

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Jon Stokes is Deputy Editor at

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