Fla. lawmakers meet with superintendents on school safety

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The New York State Legislature is preparing to pass the toughest gun laws in the country, and the President plans to follow suit with a series of executive orders.

On Tuesday, Florida lawmakers met with school superintendents in Tallahassee to find ways to better protect students from deranged gunmen. Gun control wasn't expected to be part of their solution.

Citizens expressing their Second Amendment rights are choosing to arm themselves for protection, and they expect state lawmakers to protect their right to do it.

Kids also want to be protected, and in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut last month, lawmakers are looking for ways to better protect Florida students without harming gun owners.

Sen. Bill Monford, D-Tallahassee, is the vice chair of the Senate Education Committee. He says the committee will explore its options, but gun control isn't likely to be one of them.

"Gun control is not on the agenda," he said. "I doubt it (will come up this session). It may very well if the chair wants to put it on the committee, I think it would be appropriate."

The fix getting the most attention is beefing up school security. But the cost of putting more armed police officers in Florida schools is $100 million, creating a funding problem because many of the lawmakers charged with making the decision have also signed a pledge not to raise taxes.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed the pledge. He's also heavily endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

When asked what measures he supports, Scott said, "We want our schools to be safe. We want our students to be safe, our teachers."

The Florida Legislature has a history of killing gun control bills, but many of the new measures to muzzle the Second Amendment are coming from Washington (D.C.) and are out of the state's control.

One superintendent shot down an idea that's been hanging around ever since the Sandy Hook shooting, telling committee members teachers should not be armed.

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