Goldwater Institute’s Tom Patterson’s latest blog (you can read it here), applauds Tom Horne’s idea of arming a school employee, saying, “Having one unidentified person armed maybe a more effective deterrent anyway. The safety record of persons with concealed carry permits has been nearly perfect and we could tap into that to make our schools at least a little safer.”
Despite this claim, Patterson’s argument is really an economic one. He doesn’t believe we should “spend public money we don’t have.”
And so, he pooh-pooh’s people like me, who claim that Horne’s plan is safety on the cheap, that it creates an illusion of safety.
And why is it, as Patterson claims, “not a wise use of funds” to staff each school with one policeman, one trained to deal with the horrible possibility of a shooter on campus?
It hasn’t happened here yet.
No, really, that’s what Patterson actually says:
“To me, it’s pretty obvious that the expense of putting an armed guard in each school to prevent incidents which has so far not occurred once in our state is not a wise use of funds (bold is mine).”
That’s right, the intellectual light of the Goldwater Institute’s arguing that since we haven’t had a mass school shooting in Arizona yet we don’t need police at each school.
I guess we wait until we actually have one, right, Tom? Then we reevaluate the need for police in schools.
Look, the reality is this: Short of turning schools into locked-down, metal-detected armed fortresses, they will continue to be targets of crazies. Even with police present — which will lessen the carnage and maybe actually stop the shooter — the chances are the shooter will kill and kill many (Columbine’s armed sheriff’s deputy got into a shootout with one of the killers, who then went on to continue his carnage).
But Patterson’s logic escapes me. Except for this: For folks like Tom Patterson, the bottom line is always the bottom line.
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Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.