Her name was Meadow Pollack and she was just 18 years old when gunned down, shot nine times, at last year’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) high school Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida. “Just one” of 17 cut down that day as they were just getting started in life.
Everyone cried then, most still cry, but Meadow’s dad Andrew Pollack also got pissed, very pissed, and that anger seems to be exactly what’s needed to protect better our kids, and those who teach them.
His no-nonsense, ex-New Yorker persona got immediate national attention just days after the tragedy, and since then, he’s still angry and working towards making our kids safer. Holding back the tears, he yelled at America that we have to find a better way.
Liberals hate him because he doesn’t believe that radical gun control is the main answer. He thinks we have to physically protect our campuses and remove the school setting from a deranged nut’s list of potential targets. As a direct victim himself, he’s worth listening to — more on his activities below.
On a personal note, I live about a mile from MSD, and a Brooklyn high school friend of mine lost his nephew there that day, Nicholas Dworet. In the days that followed, we had many Facebook back and forths, in which I listened to his grief, and then his search for the “answer,” which inevitably leads to strict gun control.
Now, who am I to argue with him? I don’t consider myself to have any “standing” on the issue. I haven’t lost anyone to school violence, and both of my sons are long graduated. On a societal basis, I certainly care about protecting our students, but how can I disagree with my friend’s idea as to the best means to reach that end?
He’s the one who lost someone, not me. Who gives a crap what I think about it?
The MSD shootings inspired a very impressive national movement, which although not yet really achieving any radical changes in gun laws, clearly indicated that in the eyes of so many, enough was enough, that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. (Yes, minimum gun purchase age was raised from 18 to 21 and bump stocks outlawed, but those are hardly major fixes.) Still, the March For Our Lives group, started by students themselves, is a powerful, well-organized, continuing movement focusing on more restrictive gun laws.
And that brings us back to Andrew Pollack, who is going in a very different direction,
Pollack’s priority is not focused on restricting the overall number and firing capacity of guns…there are too many out there already which would violate any new restrictions anyway…but he instead argues for protecting our schools against those guns and the lunatics who would use them for harm.
He’s been fighting to increase school security with armed marshalls, bulletproof glass, arming teachers who pass intensive firefight training, enhanced door lock systems, metal detectors, dogs that are trained to run towards gunfire and attack the shooter, enhancing the entrance and exit layouts of buildings, higher tech CCTV capabilities that provide real-time coordination of live video feeds with law enforcement personnel on the scene, and anything else you can think of to stop a single bullet from hitting a single person.
He would love to get Federal money for all this, but he’s not losing any sleep over it if he doesn’t. In fact, although he’s met with Trump and Florida Governors Rick Scott (past) and Ron DeSantis to discuss Federal and State strategies, his strategy seems to be focusing more on the individual school districts themselves, holding them accountable. And this week, DeSantis asked for a Grand Jury investigation into the Broward School Board/system over Parkland:
Want to make school officials more responsive to the safety of their students? The specter of financial ruin or jail time hanging over their heads might just do the trick. This is how you fix a national threat, on the local level, school board by school board, school by school. The Federal government can’t swoop in and fix everything all at once.
Pollack has also worked with President Trump to revise Federal regulations to make it easier for schools to expel and law enforcement to intervene when troubled students are suspected. For example, Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz had a long history of troubling behavior. He should never have been allowed to set foot on that campus in the first place.
To summarize, Pollack brilliantly argues that schools don’t have the same level of security as airports, stadiums, embassies, and other public places. He cites 9/11 as a prime example, that once those terror attacks took place, airport security procedures were changed, and not a single aviation attack has taken place since. And it’s not like the Islamists haven’t been trying.
In April of last year, he launched his nonprofit organization Americans for Children’s Lives and School Safety (CLASS). I encourage you to use Andrew Pollack as a resource whenever the subject of school shootings comes up.
This man isn’t just talking about school shootings, he’s doing something to stop them.