Sheriff Joe Arpaio has finally decided, to no one’s great surprise, to take his marching orders from NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, as he prepares to post his army of gun toting volunteers around his area schools. Arpaio said in an interview on Fox News today that there are about 50 schools that he would concentrate his efforts on first, out of some 2000 schools overall that need his type of ‘protection.’
“Everybody else is talking about what their ideas are. They want new laws. This is immediate. I don’t need a new law to send out my posse” said Arpaio… Arpaio’s volunteers number about 3,000, with 300 to 400 carrying weapons. They log about 100 hours of training and undergo background checks, just like deputies, according to NBC affiliate, KPNX.”
It should be noted, of course, that while some sort of background check is being done on these volunteers, no mental health tests are being done and, therefore, we won’t know if we may be sending a crazy person with a gun to a school full of trusting kids. And even though a background check may show some discrepancy, it is not known what level of acceptance the Sheriff is allowing for those with misdemeanors, those who are wife beaters, those with anger management issues; those who have problems with alcohol and substance abuse or even some alleged but unproven pedophilia issues. These are not the people to be sending into schools with guns.
The Sheriff’s move will certainly inflame the already heated discussion between opposing groups about what should be done in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown.
“Geraldine Hills, of Arizonans for Gun Safety, called it “outrageous…Cops aren’t teachers, teachers aren’t cops,” she told KPNX. “It’s a very nice what-if scenario, this fantasy of the armed civilian hero. It doesn’t play out in real life.” “I don’t feel that I would want to be in a position of being responsible for either a concealed weapon or securing a weapon on campus,” Gregg Baumgarten, a former principle outside of Phoenix, told the station. “I just think it’s a recipe for disaster.”
It is no secret that there were armed guards at Columbine and heavily armed military personnel at Fort Hood, where there were multiple casualties in both instances.
Conservative pollster Frank Luntz has said:
“The public wants less guns in schools not more guns…I don’t think the NRA is listening.”
His poll showed that a majority of NRA members want some sort of sensible regulation and control of assault weapons.
This is a raw issue and the shock of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, still has the country reeling in disgust at the death of 20 children as they attended classes. Having been appointed by the President to spearhead some sort of solution planning, we await the decisions that VP Biden and his team can come up with on a very short timetable.