Tom Horne, Arizona's Attorney General, is pushing for a new law that would allow one trained official at each Arizona school to have access to a gun.
The firearm would be "locked in a secure place" until needed, the AG's office says.
Lot of good it'll do there.
Under Horne's plan, the principal of the participating school, or someone else designated by the principal, would be fully trained in how to use the weapon during an emergency. The almost-armed individual would also "have adequate communication to be alerted to an emergency in any part of the school."
What a farce. Especially when the idea is to reduce the chances of a massacre like the nightmare at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 8. Who'd be doing the alerting? Someone standing next to the locked firearm, wishing they had a key?
At least the school districts wouldn't have to pay for the training. Horne is offering the services of trainees from the ranks of his own office, plus that of participating sheriffs' offices. So far, Horne says, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan and Apache County Sheriff Joe Dedman have agreed to help out.
"Training will involve not only firearms, but also 'use of force" laws, defensive tactics, judgment, simulations, and properly securing the firearm,' says a news release from Horne's office.
The free time at the gun range attended by school officials and deputies who aren't out looking for crime victims will still be much cheaper than putting cops in schools as recommended last week by the NRA.
From Horne's release:
"The ideal solution would be to have an armed Police Officer in each school. Some of our schools have such officers, referred to as School Resource Officers (SROs'). They are not only there to handle emergencies, but also make friends with the students, and the students learn that Police Officers are people one can confide in, and are not the enemy.
However, budget considerations have caused the Legislature to cut back on the SRO program. It may not be possible to afford a Police Officer in every school. In that case, the next best solution is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location. This proposal is analogous to arming pilots on planes."
Bad analogy. The reason pilots might be armed is to prevent a takeover in the cockpit, not to stop a senseless massacre in the coach section.
Horne also says his proposal is a better idea than allowing all teachers to bring guns to school, "which could create more dangers than it prevents."
We don't think he could back up that assertion with statistics, but... point taken. The image of guns poking out from every teachers' purse or briefcase isn't comforting.
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Horne says State Representative David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, has agreed to sponsor legislation to kick-start the plan.
The AG is fishing for public input on this one, so we'll put it to you in a poll: