Arizona GOP doubles-down on NRA’s idiotic proposal

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Earlier this week, Arizona's Attorney General who still believes he is the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom "banned for life by the SEC" Horne, came up with the "genius" (sic) idea of training and arming volunteer principals or other top administrators at every public school because, by God, we just can't afford to pay trained police officers. Horne calls for armed principals:

Attorney General Tom Horne on Wednesday proposed training and arming principals or other top administrators at every public school.

Horne said he ideally would like to have a trained police officer in every school. But he said the state's budget constraints make that a financial impossibility.

Horne said having a single individual having access to a gun is preferable to letting each teacher be armed [true], saying having that many guns at a school could result in students getting hold of one of them.

What makes the armed administrator proposal appropriate for his office, Horne said, is that it would be his 36 investigators, each a sworn peace officer, who would provide the training at no cost to the schools or the state. He conceded, though, that if they are training one person in each of 2,000 schools statewide it likely would take away from their other duties.

* * *

It would be up to the individual principal or whoever is designated to purchase his or her own firearm.

Similarly, Horne said, those who are designated could obtain body armor – again, at their own cost.

You will note that boy genius does not propose paying these teachers more pay for their double-duty as peace officers. Nosiree, they have to buy their own weapons and armor. I would really love to hear an assessment from the school district's risk management office how this is going to affect the school district's liability insurance policy.

This is just a knee-jerk response from Tom Horne who has been a stooge for the NRA throughout his political career. He is seeking to curry favor from the NRA for his almost-dead dream of running for Governor in 2014. No serious thought went into this proposal.

Sadly, Horne says his lame-brain idea is backed by sheriffs in Pinal, Mohave and Apache counties. Arizona AG proposes arming 1 educator per school:

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu came out with his own, much broader plan on Wednesday aimed at training multiple educators per school to carry guns, noting his proposal and Horne's were "the difference between putting your toe in a pool or jumping in."

"And they should not be in a locked box these weapons," Babeu said. "Our schools are not as safe as we think they are, and we need to do something about it."

* * *

Babeu said his plan would focus on arming as many educators as possible on a volunteer basis, even those who work at schools where a law enforcement officer already is present. Horne's plan would limit gun-toting teachers to schools where there is no armed presence.

* * *

Apache County Sheriff Joe Dedman said the issue needs to be studied more before authorities approach the Legislature.

"I'm not ruling out any of the ideas," he said.

Trish Carter, a spokeswoman for Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan, said he was "on board" with Horne's idea, but noted it was too soon to comment or offer specific details.

Let's review, shall we? Columbine High School had an armed school resource officer who engaged the shooters but could not stop the carnage. Virginia Tech had its own campus police force which could not stop the carnage (as did the University of Arizona when a gunman shot up the College of Nursing in 2002). Fort Hood, Texas, the largest Army base in the U.S., with multiple armories of weapons and highly trained soldiers and armed MP's could not stop the carnage. This is a false promise of security.

One volunteer armed school teacher per school is not a serious proposal. It is a sick joke.

Now Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio proposes to double-down on the idiocy of Tom Horne. Sheriff Arpaio aims to put armed posse at schools. Would these be the same yahoos from his "Cold Case Posse" still searching for President Obama's real birth certificate? Or a bunch of volunteer vigilante George Zimmermans?

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced plans to deploy an armed volunteer posse to protect Phoenix-area students in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Arapio tells KTVK-TV he has the authority to mobilize private citizens to fight crime but hasn’t talked to specific districts.

He says he doesn’t plan to put posse members inside schools but will have them posted around the perimeters.

Yeah, no school district has approached Crazy Uncle Joe about this, nor would they. This is just another pathetic publicity stunt by Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio. Thanks for nothing, state of Maricopa. You should have rid this state of this pathetic loser back in November.

Surprisingly, The Arizona Republic(an) editorialized on Saturday, Your voice is needed:

Don't cede the debate to the loudest, most self-interested voices.

If you abdicate your responsibility to help define your children's future, the response to the massacre of innocents in Newtown, Conn., will be written by gun-rights absolutists and opportunistic politicians.

They are already polishing the storyline.

The National Rifle Association says safety lies in more guns. The Arizona Citizens Defense League wants to arm teachers. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wants to arm one educator per school.

Their answer to guns in schools is more guns. These voices could shout down real debate. Don't let them.

* * *

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, a Republican, says . . . "If you want a voice at the table, you have to use it."

Exactly. So speak up. Define the country you want for your children.

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0 responses to “Arizona GOP doubles-down on NRA’s idiotic proposal

  1. Bess, I continued the discussion with Rep. Kavanagh in a new post and covered some of the same ground as you. Your points are well made here and hopefully well taken.

  2. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    …and the necessity to do so.

  3. NYTimes article on the troubled mental past of the woman who pushed a man to his death in Queens. It shows the difficulty in monitoring the mentally ill in the community.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/nyregion/erika-menendez-suspect-in-fatal-subway-push-had-troubled-past.html?hp&_r=0

  4. Rep Kavanagh,

    On Jan. 8, 2011, Jared Laughner stopped to reload at the Safeway in Tucson. (The Safeway I shop at, I might add.) He was tackled as he reloaded by three unarmed, courageous people. A concealed carrier approached and could not figure out who the shooter was, so he did not fire.
    These tragic massacre situations occur in moments. Unless one is laying in wait for this to happen, one principal or one teacher in a school would probably not be at the right place at the right time.

    I can tell you from the school perspective, that many campuses are open with several buildings and outside hallways. Good principals do not stay in their offices, but visit classrooms daily. If the gun is in the office, it’s with the office manager and the attendance clerk. Should they be armed, or should the principal carry at all times? Would the principals wear a bullet-proof vest as they visit classrooms? What message does that send to children in an environment that they view as safe?

    The mission of a school is to educate and raise responsible children who become responsible adults. If you want to arm school safety officers, I’m fine with that, but a weapon has no place at a school otherwise. Adam Lanza, we will probably find out, had some sort of problem with his mother AND the elementary school. No one knows at this time. It was an extremely isolated incident in a school with many, many safety measures.
    As I mentioned in my last post, why can’t we look at the successful Australia model? No one is trying to take away all guns, but certainly there are military-type models that do not belong in the hands of citizens. All rights have limitations.

    As far as your suggestions for mental illness, I would agree with most of them. Adam Lanza was not identified as mentally ill, perhaps because he was home-schooled. If he had attended public school, professionals might have identified him and helped his family seek appropriate help.

    If you are sincere in hoping to find solutions, I hope you will consider options that don’t involve arming school employees other than school safety personnel. I also hope you will use your position in the legislature to create a budget that addresses and provides for the needs of those with mental illness.

  5. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    I watched the video Cheri posted and while it contributed some information arguing against arming some school staff, it also suggested that regular cops might also fare poorly in such encounters. However, the news simulation on the video was not representative of the actual situations trained armed school personell would encounter. In the simulations shown, the armed “good guy or gal” was taken by surprise in a crowded room. A more likely scenario would be for the trained school person to hear an alarm, get a weapon and hopefully a bulletproof vest, and head towards the scene of the shooting intruder with the advantages of knowing the area better and having the element of surprise and a bit of planning However, fear and confusion would still be factors, but less so.

    It is important to heed the statement of the police expert in the video who conceded that regular cops also do not have the training to perform well in such situations, which argues against putting them in classrooms too. Besides, what do you do when the only armed person in the school is the police officer and the shooter kills him or her from a distance or up close by surprise? Then the shooter has no opposition for the 10 to 15 minutes it takes other police to arrive. Just because the shooter is mentally ill does not mean he is not cunning.

    So what do you do? I am not sure. I can tell you that putting a cop in every K-12 school, public, charter and private would probably cost over $300 million in Arizona alone and I do not think it would work well. And it might trigger what criminologists call displacement and these crazed killers would then attack kids in unprotected areas, such as on school buses, in parks, in shopping malls, movie theaters, sports venues, museums, etc. Then what do you do? There aren’t enough cops to put one everywhere.

    What about getting rid of guns? Second amendment aside, there are about 300 million guns in the US. and probably as many high capacity magazines. Neither I or even most liberals would support rounding all the the guns up and the second amendment clearly and thankfully would prohibit that. In addition, the assault weapon ban is more feel good legislation than meaningful solution. Assault weapons are little more than semi-automatic rifles with mean looking accessories. Banning them still leaves many more similar rifles with similar shooting and firepower capabilities, almost exclusively owned by law abiding people, such as myself, who use them responsibly. Even banning high capacity magazines is questionable because it takes only a second or two to put another smaller magazine in and after someone empties one regular magazine, I doubt anyone is going to be close enough to disarm the shooter in that second or two window before the next magazine is loaded. Only an armed person can stop such an armed maniac.

    Which brings me to where I think we can do the most to stop these incidents. Almost all of these shooters are seriously mentally ill, often psychotic persons suffering from schizophrenia. We need to prevent them from getting guns, insure that they are picked up for evaluation and treatment when they become dangerous and treat them either in institutions or as out patients with intensive monitoring to insure they stay on medication. And if they cannot stay on medication in the outside world, then they should be institutionalized. That means we insist that all states properly report mental patients not allowed to posses weapons to the national database. Many states do not do so properly. We needed to develop sophisticated applications so it is easy to run the gun checks on buyers at gun shows so all buyers are checked. We need to evaluate laws allowing for detention for evaluation and commitment of the dangerously mentally ill to make sure we can intervene legally and medically before it is too late.

    Alternately, we can personally attack each other in blogs and in the end do nothing until the next tragic event and then we can attack each other in the blogs again.

  6. movingazforward

    Let’s pretend for a moment that Arizona’s highest ranking upholder of the law didn’t admit that he “willfully aided and abetted” in violation of securities laws, isn’t banned for life by the SEC, and isn’t being investigated by the Arizona State Bar and listen to how he thinks we should address gun violence in our state.

    Horne says he would like to have a trained police officer in every school, but “budget constraints” make that impossible.

    The elementary school where I teach had trained police officers on campus as part of the “DARE” program which educated students about drugs and gang violence, among other things.

    The DARE program no longer exists in my district and many others, but our Legislature gave corporations a 538 million dollar tax break (against the wishes of many business leaders in Arizona) last year. Budget constraints my ass.

    Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for crooks and crackpots like Horne and Arpaio to address the issue of gun violence in a competent, responsible manner.

  7. AZBlueMeanie…I just wrote a rather lengthy reply to Mr.Kavanagh, and when I hit “post” it didn’t appear. Can you please fish it out of wherever it might be and post it here? Thanks.

  8. “The left?” “you people?” We’re your fellow citizens. You get to make laws. You are supposed to listen.

  9. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    I sense a lot of hostility here in response to my simple question meant to understand the left’s position, especially regarding serious mental illness and gun violence.
    Forget I ever asked and reached out for dialogue.
    Thank God you people don’t like guns.

  10. Thank you. What do you expect from an ALEC/NRA/CCA bought and paid for shill? I want to know how he sleeps at night.

  11. Your response, Rep. Kavanagh, is insulting. It’s like a retort from a snotty adolescent. If you read some of the previous posts here, you will see constructive proposals. It would be nice if you actually represented people, not the weapons whose sole reason for existence is to kill people.

  12. Francine Shacter

    In re the 2nd amendment: when the second amendment was written, the only gun was a musket which could fire only one shot before being reloaded. You may also like to re-reading the wording of the 2nd amendment in order to understand the context. Gun owners today are not part of a “well regulated Militia”.

    Amendment II:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

  13. As a former Port Authority cop, how do you propose we stop people being pushed onto subway tracks?

  14. Certainly we have restrictions on other rights. Should we look at Australia and their success?

  15. Back at ya. What is your proposal?

  16. How about no knee jerk reactions? How about start with watching this:

    Part 2:

    How about NOT doing the bidding of the NRA for a change. That would be nice.

  17. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    What is your proposal?