Legislative Update

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Join us for our weekly update from the Capitol with a reporter from the Arizona Capitol Times.

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. A bill was introduced today that would allow staff members to carry guns on Arizona campuses. For more on that and other legislative news, we welcome Luige Del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times, our weekly legislative update and lots of stuff going on, it sounds like the committee action is hot and heavy, and we have got this one now, what are we talking about here?

Luige Del Puerto: So, a few weeks ago, attorney John Tom horn would prefer each school have a police officer but that would be too costly, and the second best option is, is to allow schools to designate a staffer to be able to carry a forum on the campus and, and be where had to defend a school in case of an attack so this legislation, facilitates that program. And so, the office would be, and their proposal would be able to train school officers who are designated by school officials, and they will be trained about gun safety, how to, to, you know, handle stress, and even confront a deranged man, and so, all those gun training that would, to his mind, be useful in case there is an attack on the campus.

Ted Simons: And now, this is one school staff member designated. A number of designated staff members, how does that work?

Luige Del Puerto: The proposal says that, that the school would have one, one staffer who would be able to carry a firearm and in a secured area on campus.

Ted Simons: It probably is at least one.

Luige Del Puerto: Right.

Ted Simons: And I would imagine if another person is trained in the same way, although, again, I guess the idea, it sounds like what horn was trying to say is you don't want no guns, which is the current situation but you don't want everyone and their brother with guns.

Luige Del Puerto: And in fact, he was saying this is, really, our second best option, and we don't want to create a situation where everybody can carry guns on campus and, and again, claiming that that's the best way to defend the school in case of an attack. At the same time, we don't want to not do anything. So, he's saying, ok, so, you know, putting a police officer on the campus would be too expensive, and it's not an option, so, you know, let's, let's try this one out.

Ted Simons: Mandatory or optional?

Luige Del Puerto: Optional for schools, so the bill by David Stevens would give school districts the ability to do it or not.

Ted Simons: And three-day training program with all this stuff. I think that sometimes, people forget that, that those who are trained in law enforcement and the military and such, these are people who will give their lives for others, and that's a lot of, a lot to ask for a school teacher who all of a sudden is faced with a crazy man with a gun.

Luige Del Puerto: And certainly, and in fact, during their Press Conference today, there was a substitute teacher who was featured as one of the speakers, and she, basically, said that she's ready to defend the school, and if need be to kill, if that's necessary, and to confront somebody, shoot that person, and if that's what is necessary. And she also said that she is trained for it. And she said that many feel, many teachers feel the way that she feels but they are not able to express, as well as, because of fear, a reprisal.

Ted Simons: So how likely is something like this to pass?

Luige Del Puerto: That's, that's a tough question, but, the Governor already said, and I think the Governors indicated that she doesn't want to see an expansion of, of, of having the ability to carry guns on K-12 schools. So this would be a hard sell as a result of it, and I recall last year or the year before the govern vetoed a bill that would allow the guns on the campuses, and so, I'm assuming this legislation would have, have a hard time getting out of the state legislature and if he did, the Governor is, is likely to veto this proposal.

Ted Simons: Interesting. And before we go, I will let you go, I should say, there is a panel now deciding that a U.N. sustainability declaration from, what, 20 some odd years ago, if, if someone decides we follow that, we cannot follow it? What?

Luige Del Puerto: Basically, the legislation is that, that has been introduced in previous sessions, the sponsor is, a state Senator named Judy bergess, and the idea is that we don't want the united nations dictating or in any way having the ability to, to control American lives and so, this proposal is a reaction to the rio declaration from 1992 on, on environment and sustainability. And she is saying, basically, she believes that, that this, this agenda 21, this, the principles laid out may be a way, a sinister way, if you will, to control the American public.

Ted Simons: I believe that she used that, the U.N. program is sinister and dark.

Luige Del Puerto: I think she also used evil seductions of the united nations.

Ted Simons: Evil seductions to the united nations. It sounds like as though this hearing was, was a bit of a rally. There was call and response and all sorts of stuff.

Luige Del Puerto: Yes, she was asking the people if they would like their private property to be controlled by Government, for example, and of course, they said no. A resounding no.

Ted Simons: So basically, got the crowd into it, and it sounds like a rally.

Luige Del Puerto: Well, in a way it is. Although it's interesting because, in a typical committee hearing, the audience is not supposed to cheer or, or, you know, shout or anything like that. And I have seen previous, the previous chairman gavel them to order as soon as they try that.

Ted Simons: And business leaders, they are not exactly excited about something like this?

Luige Del Puerto: No. They oppose it, not because they like the rio declaration, but they say that the legislation is too broad, and that it would, it would probably touch other things that are not intended to be touched.

Ted Simons: Too hard to follow, I would imagine, for lots of businesses.

Luige Del Puerto: Yeah, and I think one of them mentioned they would have to go through all the laws and the rules that we have and try to see, try to ensure that it does not run counter to the proposal. Assuming it gets out of the legislature and the united nation, the evil body that's about to control the American public --

Ted Simons: From guns on campuses to the sinister and dark united nations, the capitol has it covered, don't they?

Luige Del Puerto: They do.

Ted Simons: Good to have you here.

Luige Del Puerto: Thank you.

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