STARKE, FLORIDA — A father whose daughter was murdered in the Parkland school shooting in 2018 is donating more powerful firearms to school police officers. Breitbart reports that Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 students killed in the infamous shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, donated AR-15 pistols to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office via his nonprofit Meadow’s Movement.
“EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD AGAINST EVIL”
The nonprofit teamed up with weapons manufacturer Byrna to provide the eight backpacks, each of which includes an Adams Arms AR pistol and Byrna body armor. The backpacks will allow school resource officers (SROs) easier and faster access to the more powerful weapons and protective equipment. Without them, SROs would have to retrieve that kind of equipment from a locker or police vehicle.
Pollack, who also serves as Byrna’s chief public safety officer, told Breitbart: “I was fortunate enough to link up with Byrna, which is such a great company. They have the same vision as I do. They [want] to save lives and give law enforcement the tools to even the playing field against evil.”
Bradford County Public Schools Superintendent Will Hartley welcomed the donation as a necessary precaution given the alarming number of school shootings in recent years.
“I wish more people could have it. Because, if someone comes on your campus and they have a long gun, we need to be able to meet their force with the same kind of force,” Hartley told Breitbart. “The backpacks with AR pistols fit perfectly with our belief that if someone comes on your campus we should have every right to stop that threat with whatever means necessary.”
SOCIAL MEDIA REACTIONS
Supporters and critics weighed in on social media. On Instagram, one user wrote: “Andrew Pollack is doing it the right way. Instead of exploiting his kid’s death for profit, he’s actually looking for a solution that helps the schools and doesn’t mess with 2A.”
Another user argued that the weapons should not be accessible to law enforcement officers in schools, writing: “And (sic) AR-15 is too powerful of a weapon for in school it's an outside weapon.”
Dave Hardy, who says his son was shot to death in 2016, tweeted: “This move is about the most sensible thing I have heard about regarding helping to keep students safer from the attacks of cowards looking for five minutes of infamy.” Hardy’s tweet also included a cartoon mocking the concept of “gun-free zones” by calling them “soft target[s] where law-abiding people can’t protect themselves from the violent intentions of others.”