Palmetto, Florida’s Manatee School for the Arts is employing two armed combat veterans to protect students and teachers while at the school.

One of the armed combat veterans is already on campus and the second will began guarding by the end of this month.

The New York Times reports that one of veterans will carry a Glock handgun in 9mm and the other will carry a semiautomatic rifle. The rifle is a Kel-Tec RDB 17″, which shoots the same rounds as an AR-15 (.223 or 5.56).

School principal Bill Jones noted that the semiautomatic rifle is “just a much more effective weapon than the handgun is.” He also noted that he likes having the two different kinds of weapons because he does not want an attacker to face the guards on equal footing. Rather, he the combat vets to have “an overwhelming advantage.”

Jones said he was purposeful in hiring combat vets as guards because, in the event of an attacker, he does not want it “to be the first time they’ve had someone shooting at them.”


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