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Davis: Arming School Teachers 'Doesn't Make Any Sense'

BOSTON (CBS) - The suggestion to arm schoolteachers with weapons after the deadly school shooting in Florida "doesn't make any sense," said Ed Davis, a Security Analyst for WBZ-TV and the former Commissioner of the Boston Police Department.

"I've been involved in shooting incidents. I've supervised men and women who have had to use their weapon in defense of their lives, and this idea that if we put more guns out there, we're going to be safer, is really borne of inexperience," Davis said Thursday. "Anybody who's been in the military or in policing, knows that when bullets start to fly, the last thing you need is more guns out there. The amount of friendly fire that occurs in the military, the blue-on-blue situations and the police, you multiply that by 100 times if you give schoolteachers weapons. It just doesn't make any sense."

Ed Davis (WBZ-TV)

Davis spoke about the issue when asked about President Donald Trump's suggestion to consider allowing schoolteachers to carry a concealed weapon in schools, to thwart an active shooter situation.

"Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this," Trump said in a tweet Thursday.

Davis said he otherwise was "very happy to hear what President Trump had to say" when the president met with students and victims' families on Wednesday, one week after a shooting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead.

"He's talking about national background checks, restricting to 21 the age to purchase a weapon, and getting the mental health information out there. Those are key things we've been talking about for years here in Massachusetts. Those are the things that have to happen," Davis said.

But he disagrees with a scenario where schoolteachers have weapons.

"(President Trump) did talk about putting more guns and weapons in schools and I totally disagree on that. And I've been part of these incidents. I know what gunfire is like, I know what the human condition is when people are subject to these shooting incidents," Davis said. "I've talked to every one of my officers that's been involved in a shooting incident for 20 years, and they always revert back to their training. Every single one of them has said the same thing, 'He started to shoot at me and I referred it back to my training and I did A, B and C.' You can't train people across the country as much as police officers are trained. It's like establishing the TSA 100 times over. We just can't afford that, so let's talk about something we can do."

The answer is "better regulations, logical responses" that include instituting national background checks for potential gun owners and having mental health databases incorporated into those background checks, Davis said.

"People who are crazy shouldn't get firearms," Davis said. "But we need to institute national background checks and have the mental health databases incorporated into the checks that happen so that we can eliminate that from happening. Everyone agrees that they shouldn't have them. Why can't we move in that direction?"

Parkland Florida high school shooting
People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school, February 14, 2018. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Davis also supports limiting high-capacity magazines.

"There's no reason for people to have 30 and 40 rounds. There are bunch of excuses why people need this, but the truth of the matter is, they were designed for the military," Davis said. "They were designed for people that need to kill and that's not what the 2nd Amendment is about... I'm not trying to eliminate them, but you have to understand that the efficiency of killing goes way up when you have a weapon like this."

High-capacity firearms "are creating a lethal situation in our schools," Davis said.

"No one would doubt the effectiveness of mandating seat belts in cars or air bags in cars. Why can't we have those kind of regulations and still allow people to buy guns? So all of the arguments right now are just a stalling tactic, to get farther away from this tragedy, and to try to maintain the status quo and the status quo is unacceptable," Davis said.

Davis said young people being involved in the gun debate, as seen in the days after the Florida school massacre, "is going to push the needle on this."

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