Emergency preparedness: AZ AG Horne’s worthy proposal

AZ Attorney General looks to ensuring student safety

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has announced a thoughtful proposal intended to reduce the risk of another horrific school massacre. He is joined by Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Sheriff Tom Sheahan of Mohave County and Sheriff Joe Dedman of Apache County. Other Sheriffs are also considering participation in the proposed program.

The proposal is that any school that wishes to do so, may designate the principal or another administrator, to receive training in the use of firearms and how to handle emergencies such as the recent Sandy Hook School slayings in Newtown, Connecticut. Training would be provided free of charge by personnel of the Attorney General’s Office and the cooperating Sheriff’s Offices. The designated individual would then be authorized to keep a securely locked firearm, and would have adequate means of communication to be alerted to an emergency in any part of the school.

“It may not be possible to afford a police officer in every school,” Horne said. “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.”

Some Arizona schools have sworn officers, referred to as School Resource Officers (SROs) currently on campus, but budgetary constraints have impacted the ability to expand the program.

Rep. David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista) has agreed to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session to put Attorney General Horne’s voluntary participation plan in place. Horne emphasized that only one person in the school will be designated. That person will be evaluated for fitness for this program. Training will involve not only firearms, but also “use of force” laws, defensive tactics, judgment, simulations, and properly securing the firearm.

The most recent Gallup poll, conducted after the Newtown massacre, indicated Americans want trained school officials armed to protect children. They rated the effectiveness of three potential actions higher than the semi-automatic weapon ban proposed by Democrats and Barack Obama.

According to the survey, the most popular option chosen by respondents is boosting police presence at schools; 53 percent of respondents said more police would be “very effective” at reducing acts of mass murder, while another 34 percent said it would be “somewhat effective.” Forty-seven percent say decreasing media and video game gun violence would be “very effective.”

In the wake of the shooting other states are also reacting. Among them, South Carolina is introducing similar legislation. In Utah more than 200 teachers recently signed up for free concealed-weapons training offered by the Utah Shooting Sports Council. A Texas district has allowed teachers to carry guns since 2008. Michigan state lawmakers passed a similar bill — one day before the Newtown school shooting — that would have allowed those with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in schools. It was vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder.


21 Responses to Emergency preparedness: AZ AG Horne’s worthy proposal

  1. Westnash says:

    This makes much more sense than assigning guards to schools and there should be at least one person in each school competent enough to use a gun…hopefully it will never be necessary. Teachers don’t need to be carrying guns…it sends a bad message to the kids.

    • StetsonXXX says:

      I much prefer Horne’s plan, but my dad often carried a gun, and as a youngster, I never thought it sent a “bad message.” We lived on a ranch and my mother, siblings and I all felt protected.

      • Westnash says:

        Yep, carrying a gun on a ranch has nothing to do with a school teacher in Mesa or Buckeye with a gun on his/her belt while teaching a class. I have had guns since I was 5 years old but don’t feel the need to carry one with me when going to Wal Mart or Quick Trip.

      • StetsonXXX says:

        You like to pontificate and endlessly spout mostly nonsense. The best example is the fact that you obviously haven’t read what Attorney General Tom Horne actually suggested….which did NOT include arming teachers. You are evidently so enamored with your own views and ability to spew words that you comment without boning up on facts.

        Go back to bed. And take your teddy bear with you.

    • PJ O'Malley says:

      The kind of logic behind this statement is boggling in its lack of cohesion with reality, “Teachers don’t need to be carrying guns…it sends a bad message to the kids.”
      The messages being signaled to kids by having a staff properly armed against the new fashionable outbreak of violence in schools are plentiful.
      Message 1, My school takes the necessary steps to assure my safety.
      M. 2, The world is not entirely safe and there are hazards along the way.
      M. 3, There are bad people out there and I’d better learn that now while I dream along in childish ignorance, oblivious to danger.
      M. 4, As I mature in society I realize that I will be responsible for protecting others more vulnerable.
      M. 5, A person armed is the true first responder and tends to be much less often a victim in our society.
      M. 6, The police can’t be everywhere; typically they arrive after the shooting is done. Adults step into positions of responsibility when needed.
      M. 7, People wil go to extraordinary measures to demonstrate they love me.
      These are only some of the valuable messages we send to our youth when we care enough to prepare for the unexpected.

    • eubykdisop says:

      What, precisely, is the “bad message” that would be sent to the kids by teachers carrying guns, Westnash?

      • Westnash says:

        A teacher walking around a class with a gun on his/her belt is a bad example for kids and would only make Arizona a further laughingstock to the nation.

        Korean kids, who had something to actually fear, across a nearby border learned to defend themselves via martial arts. Arizona kids have more to fear of the future from not concentrating on their education while the school districts waste taxpayers money via duplication and high administrative costs.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Please forgive me, Westnash, but it would seem that you simply restated what you already wrote. My question is what, specifically, is the “bad message” that would be sent to the kids by teachers carrying guns? Would you please state the “bad message”? Thank you very kindly, Westnash.

      • PJ O'Malley says:

        We are still waiting for you to “bone up on the facts” and tell us just what bad message we are sending to our youth when we assemble to protect them? And are you still “boning up” on Sen. McCarthy, because I haven’t seen that fact-filled response. Go ahead and “spew” on those topics, Westnash.

      • eubykdisop says:

        PJ O’Malley:

        It is an old and well established tactic of the left to repeatedly cast aspersions upon the character of a person, like U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, without ever making any sort of factual argument. It is what is commonly referred to as a “smear tactic”.

        As regards the “bad message”, I don’t think we should hold our breath waiting for a response from Westnash on that one, LOL! ;-)

  2. Maggie says:

    Attorney General Horne is showing some much needed leadership on this issue. The entire nation is grieving, but we also need to be smart. Horne is doing the right thing. As a mother, I applaud him.

  3. Hunter says:

    Horne’s idea is a step in the right direction, but anyone with a legitimate reason to be on school grounds and having a CCW permit should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds.

  4. LD 7 PC says:

    Reacting to horror is not on par with being prepared in the first place. The world has unfortunately changed from the idyllic days of our youth, Crime is rampant. Add to that the fact that liberals think it’s unconscionable to put mentally ill in treatment facilities. So now they are free to walk among us , shoot their mother in the face and kill 20 little children and 6 of their teachers. Horne is right!
    My only caveat is what if the sole person with authority is not at work on that particular day? We need TWO people with training and access to the firearm at each school.

  5. LEO IN TSN says:

    Knowing the teachers are carrying guns would send many positive messages to the American children, as very well explained above. It will demonstrate that a firearm is a tool, and like other tools they work well in the hands of law-abiding citizens. It will demonstrate that in America we have the Constitutional rights to protect ourselves and our God-given rights that led to the creation of this great country. It will demonstrate that citizens can and should step up to extend security to themselves and others, especially to those who are not yet prepared to do so.

    AG Horne has taken a great first step in addressing this lack of security and protection in our schools. But his plan is incomplete in mandating that only one administrator can be armed. What happens when that #1 has to go downtown to a meeting, or is sick or on vacation, or at the other end of the campus? Or what if #1 is immediately incapacitated? There has to be a back-up.

    But what happens when #1 & #2 are at the same meeting, or sick at the same time or out to lunch together, or if #1 forgot to turn over the key to the gun locker? As you can see, the security can not be left in the hands of one or two persons. There has to be authority for anyone who wants to train and carry to be allowed to do so. One person, or two or three, just isn’t adequate. Criminals will identify the #1, and will plan accordingly. How ‘bout if we just assume that responsible American citizens will have the common sense to take their responsibility seriously, and we train them to be prepared? Wow?

    God bless America

    • Doc says:

      AG Horne is on the right track. But, I oppose any “gun-locker” nonsense. I also oppose 1 (ONE) person on school grounds carrying. Make it voluntary. Wanna’ be armed @ work? take the class & feel safer for you (teachers) & your students!

  6. Pima Pal says:

    Tom Horne has the background to speak intelligently on this topic. Not only is he the top elected law enforcement officer in the state, but he served us ably as state Superintendent of Public Instruction and fought the TUSD anti-American lunatics who were committed to teaching Aztlan and MEChA fanaticism in our schools (“the brutal ‘gringo’ invasion of our territories.”)

    I’m grateful that we have a man of his extensive background and possessing the top notch credentials he does coming out in favor of implementing protection for Arizona’s students. I think he should expand his idea to include more than one person per school with access to a firearm, since that one person might be off duty when it would be necessary to be on scene due to Illness, vacation, personal leave etc.

    And to the fight he hand on his hands down here in Tucson,this video is an example of the Reconquista dogma (“Reconquer” the American Southwest for Mexico) that was being taught in Tucson Unified School District and paid for with our tax dollars::

    • Tea Partier says:

      This video should be seen by every American!
      Is it any wonder the pro-illegal invasion Arizona Republic newspaper wants to diminish Horne? Over allegations that are suspect, the newspaper has called fro him to step down as Attorney General. Think of this as a puzzle with the pieces being put into place by lefties like Linda Valdez and her editorial board cohorts.

      I support Tom Horne in his efforts. He is clearly a patriot and that all too rare, caring, public official.

  7. Observer says:

    Horne is the worst kind of Republican the folks at the Daily Repulsive can envision. Like Ronald Reagan, Tom Horne is a onetime Democrat who saw the light, and eventually became not just a Republican, but a conservative one, at that!!.