Arizona’s attorney general is proposing making one school staffer with exceptionally good aim the heat-packing point person for emergency school security.
Tom Horne said on CNN that he believes blanket proposals to let teachers bring guns to school “would create more dangers than it would solve.”
On the other hand, he said, schools would regret not doing anything in the wake of Newtown.
“So, my proposal is to designate one person, the principal or someone he designates and then we’re offering to give him training in marksmanship, in judgment, when to shoot, when not to shoot, how to secure the gun in a locked, safe place, to give intensive training,” Horne said. “And I’ve offered to give that training for free to the schools. One person, the principal or someone he designates and so that there will be one person on campus trained, able to deal with a situation if it arises.”
That might expand if the one-person-per-campus training goes well, he said.
“I’ve got 36 investigators who are sworn police officers. Three sheriffs have agreed to participate. I’m expecting more sheriffs to participate. So, depending on how many we can train, we’re offering to do this for free, you know, we could have substitutes in the schools prepared to do this as well,” Horne said.
The CNN host countered that there “doesn’t seem to be evidence” arming people at schools would prevent a massacre.
“No, it doesn’t necessarily and, obviously, there’s no perfect solution. But it would be a shame if somebody went into a school and started shooting people and shot a lot of people over a continuous period of time if that person could’ve been stopped by somebody with a gun and a gun and who was trained how to use it,” Horne responded. “That would be a terrible tragedy and I don’t want to have a tragedy occur where everybody regrets that we didn’t do something when we could’ve done something.”
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers issued a joint statement opposing arming any teachers, arguing that schools should be “sanctuaries, not armed fortresses.”
“We would like them to be safe sanctuaries, but we found out that sometimes a bad guy can penetrate and you want someone who can deal with it in that case,” Horne said. “Now, I’m not requiring anything of anybody. If they don’t want it, they don’t have to have it. But if they do want it, I’m offering this as a free service that we will provide to the schools.”