Tom Patterson and school safety: Don’t worry.
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.