Want to protect our schools from invasions like the one we saw in Florida this week? Arm them. Anything short of that is simply political blather designed for public consumption to make it appear as though you care.

One dead kid is one too many and Lord knows we've seen our share of dead kids since shooting up schools became the rage in the later part of the last century. Want to stop it? Arm the schools. To the teeth. Retired military and off-duty police officers with intelligence and weapons training could immediately improve safety at our schools.

I'm not talking about undercover surveillance. I mean in your face, fatigue wearing, long gun toting security. Post a sign on the roof of the school clearly stating:

"We are armed to the teeth. Enter at your own risk."

If qualified school personnel want to arm themselves too, well that's all the better.

Whenever there is an attack on a school an army of instant experts starts beating the drum for gun control and background checks. It sounds good. It makes great bumper stickers and TV soundbites but it is meaningless gobbledygook. Hey, let's declare our schools to be gun free zones.That ought to discourage the next Nikolas Cruz, no?

Arming our schools would have seemed preposterous not that long ago. It's a new world and the threat is real. Without proper security, our kids and teachers are sitting ducks for the next maniac. And yes, it can happen here.

Any community that refuses to even discuss greatly enhancing security at its schools to include armed patrols is foolishly gambling with the lives of their young people and those who have been hired to educate them. No kid should have to cower in a closet waiting for help to arrive. No teacher should die while trying to shield their students from a madman with a gun.

Simply demanding tougher gun laws and background checks just don't cut it anymore. Let's get down to the business of protecting our schools.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.