TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sen. Rick Scott, the former governor of Florida, spoke out Wednesday in the wake of this week’s tragic school shooting in Texas and called on his colleagues in Washington to pass a bill named in honor of two students killed in the 2018 Parkland shooting.
“As the governor of Florida, I had four mass shootings,” Sen. Scott told a Nexstar DC correspondent on Wednesday. “I had the Parkland school shooting and actually talked to some of the parents yesterday so they’re unfortunately reliving this because it never goes away when you lose a child.”
After Parkland, Scott said he formed several task forces: one to deal with mental health, another focused on how to make sure schools are safe and a third to examine what law enforcement could do. Florida, he said, passed comprehensive legislation within 30 days to address those issues.
“Most things are gonna get done at the state level. But I think we oughta have those sort of buckets,” he said. “There’s two bills we’ve been working on that Democrats have blocked so far – one would have a national database of how schools are doing with best practices.”
That bill is the Luke and Alex School Safety Act. Sen. Scott first proposed the legislation in 2019 with two other Republican senators: Marco Rubio of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The bill, named after Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, would create a Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices.
The other bill that Sen. Scott said is being blocked is one that would have threat assessments done by the federal government.
“You’ve gotta get your law enforcement to share information. In all my shootings in Florida, the FBI had prior knowledge to their call center, so I worked with the FBI – I was very vocal about it – and they actually made big changes,” he said. “But I think there’s a lot more that we can do with regard to sharing threat assessments. Every shooting is different but there’s always some red flags out there and so we’ve gotta figure out how do we use that information to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Scott said Wednesday that proposals from Democratic lawmakers to change gun laws is not the answer.
“I’m not gonna take away the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” the senator said. “I think the way you oughta look at it is say, OK so if those things passed that the Democrats proposed, would that have stopped this? Would it have stopped Buffalo? Would it have stopped Parkland? And so that’s what you have to say to yourself. So let’s do the things that actually would stop those.”