Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Campbell: ‘Arming school employees is not the solution to the gun violence problem’


Campbell:  ‘Arming school employees is not the solution to the gun violence problem’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), released the following statement on SB 1325, a bill that would allow designated school employees to carry concealed weapons on school campuses that are more than 30 minutes and 20 miles away from a law enforcement agency.

“We know that arming school employees is not the solution to the gun violence problem in our schools. I have a list of concerns with this bill. SB 1325 would allow any designated school employee to carry a concealed weapon on school campuses and does not require adequate training. We can’t expect school employees to react the way a trained peace officer would in an emergency situation.

“School resource officers are trained for emergency situations. Instead of wasting time on bills like this, we should be funding the school resource officer program. Schools that are more than 30 minutes and 20 miles away from a law enforcement agency are prime candidates for a school resource officer.

“The extremists at the Capitol seem to think that arming school employees is the only option to prevent gun violence in schools. That is completely false. There are plenty of things we can do to prevent gun violence. In fact, I proposed a series of bills that presented a comprehensive approach to protecting our schools and communities from gun violence. My plan would have increased school safety and security. It also would have provided mental health services and interventions to stop those with severe mental health issues from having access to firearms. Unfortunately, extremists here blocked my efforts.

“Democrats have offered other common-sense options. I won’t accept that this bill is the best we can do. We have an obligation to the people of Arizona to prioritize the safety of our kids over political ideology.”

Despite Democratic opposition, the House Appropriations Committee passed the bill today.

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