Sunday, January 1, 2012

guns on campus in Arizona?

I'd be remiss if I didn't start out this memo with best wishes to you for a happy, healthy, prosperous and (most importantly) SAFE New year, which leads to the topic of the day.

One of the Arizona state legislators plans to re-introduce a bill to allow guns on campus in the State of Arizona. Although I have friends who are gun owners, and I support their right to recreational shooting and hunting, allowing guns on college campuses simply doesn't make any sense to me.

(Incidentally, the Kent State tragedy of 1970 (pictured above), which was caused by TRAINED members of the Ohio National Guard, resulted in a monetary settlement against the state of Ohio in the amount of $675,000. Adjusted for inflation, that would be equal to $3,792,257 in 2010 dollars. Arizona's 2010 concealed weapons law requires neither permits NOR TRAINING in order to carry a concealed weapon.)

For that reason, I sent the letter below this morning to Tom Horne, Attorney General of the State of Arizona, and asked him to bring felony charges if the Senator in question introduces the bill again when the legislature reconvenes. As a courtesy, I also sent a copy of the letter to the Senator involved.

Attached below is my letter (with minor adjustments for electronic publication purposes):


Mr. Horne:

Our daughter, Kelly, graduated from Loyola University in Chicago in May of this year, but will be back on campus again (in Flagstaff, Arizona) in less than a month.

When I read in the Arizona Republic the other day that Arizona Senator Ron Gould planned to re-introduce legislation in January to allow guns on campus in the State of Arizona, I was appalled. For a lot of reasons, I feel that allowing guns on college campuses is the height of stupidity. Although he is a business owner, and may actually be a decent individual, I would like to ask you, as an Arizona tax payer, to bring felony charges against him if he introduces the proposal again.

The specific statute that is applicable to the proposed legislation is alluded to on the website of the law firm of Beresky & Fish. The key words on this page are these: “Under Arizona law, any reckless act that causes another person to be put in danger of injury or death may result in a misdemeanor or felony charge of endangerment."

In my opinion, allowing guns on campus falls under the category of “causing another person to be put in danger of injury or death”.

There are a handful of states currently that allow guns on campus. The Texas Senate passed a bill in May of 2009 to allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus, and the Texas House of Representatives is currently considering approving the bill. The most compelling statement in the link listed in this paragraph is this one, by Senator Rodney Ellis:

“When there is an alcohol-related tragedy on campus, you don’t hear claims that giving students a 12 pack is a solution.” he said. “Yet, when it comes to gun-related incidents, we seem to think that putting more guns in the mix will lead to a good, rather than bloody, outcome”.

As of June of 2011, 275 colleges in 36 states have signed a resolution to keep guns off campus. Included in the list of colleges who signed the resolution are Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and The University of Arizona.

According to a recent UPI article, Mr. Gould has been working with the National Rifle Association to “tweak the wording" of the bill, which is another reason that it should NOT be passed.

The NRA no longer has the interests of its members at heart, or society as a whole. The article below provides additional information about the organization, which is one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in America:

it's time to pry the rifle from your cold, dead, hands

Arizona has already received worldwide ridicule for the decision of the Scottsdale Gun Club to have kids take their picture with Santa - and an AK-47:

why Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is nervous

On top of that, the Republican Party in Tucson (where Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot last January 8 with a Glock 19) held a fund raiser in September. First prize was a Glock 23, and second prize was a deer rifle.

how dumb can you get?

The argument by gun advocates that having more guns on campus would make kids safer is absurd. For further proof, listen to Archie Bunker’s ideas about how to eliminate hijackers on airplanes:

I miss Archie Bunker

State Representative Steve Farley, and Hildy Saizow (President of Arizonans for Gun Safety) are both quoted in the video below:

the voices of reason

America has the fourth highest rate of deaths by firearms in the entire world. The only countries that have higher death rates from firearms are Guatemala, Columbia, and South Africa.

South Africa, which leads the world in firearms deaths by a wide margin, has firearms laws similar to the United States. It also is home to an organization, the South African Gunowners’ Association, that has views similar to, and the support of, the National Rifle Association. To say the least, the information about the organization in the link in this paragraph should dispel any doubts about the idiocy of expanding gun ownership in America.

Additional information about my thoughts on gun control can be found at the link posted below:

bang, you're dead

There’s an old adage that guns don’t kill people. People do.

It’s also true that guns don’t pass irresponsible laws. People do.

Let’s start out the New Year on the right foot. Please do your best to prevent Arizona from making another mistake.


As you should know by now, I'm not afraid to "stir the pot" on occasion.

It will be interesting to see how the State of Arizona reacts to my letter.


  1. If I had an award this post would win it hands down. BRAVO my friend, BRAVO!!!!

  2. Make your argument without calling gun owners idiots and maybe I would at least respect it as rational. So far all I can see if hyperbole. I fail to see how a responsible citizen with a permit becomes irrational when they step onto a college campus.

    And this gem: Arizona's 2010 concealed weapons law requires neither permits NOR TRAINING in order to carry a concealed weapon.

    Yes that is in fact true. But if you read the proposed bill you would see that a permit is required to carry on campus. Meaning 21 years of age, training, background checks, and a live fire qualification including a decisional shoot. But what good is being accurate when you can play the "blood is going to run in the streets" card.

    Any other mention of the other states that allow this? Have there been mass murders there? I have yet to see one in the news. However if you recall the Virginia Tech shooting, you may learn that a few weeks prior VT actively fought and successfully defeated a bill that would have allowed students to carry on campus. How did that work out for them?

    1. Mark:

      I'm always open to a discussion of topics.

      Since I spent more than 25 years in Toastmasters, I know that many topics can be successfully argued on both sides.

      I carefully re-read the article above again this morning, and did not find any instance where I called gun owners idiots.In my second paragraph, in fact, I indicated that I support my friends who are gun owners.

      However, Jared Lee Loughner IS an idiot, and the irresponsible 2010 concealed weapons law made it possible for him to buy a powerful handgun and kill or injure 19 people. He finally was restrained without anyone taking a shot at him.

      When the families of the shooting victims in Tucson find the right attorney, the resulting lawsuit is going to cost the State of Arizona a LOT of money. (For further reference, re-read paragraph three above again).

      It's probably true that gun owners came up with the idea of taking pictures of Santa and an AK-47, or auctioning off a
      Glock handgun in the county where Representative Giffords was shot.

      By implication, then, I'd have to say that THOSE gun owners are idiots.

      I've written personally to Senator Gould twice, and politely asked him to withdraw his bill. So far, I've had no response.

      69% of all the voters in Arizona oppose SB1474 (as do 56% of all gun owners). In addition, the heads of virtually every educational institution are opposed to the bill, as are the campus police chiefs of all three universities. Their letter of opposition (see below) was published in the Arizona Republic on February 11:

      The reason that a whole lot of people are opposed to the bill is that it makes it much more difficult for campus police to tell who the bad guy is. They may very well accidentally "take out" the responsible gun owner FIRST, thinking that HE is the bad guy.

      You may find it interesting to note that even after the SECOND shooting at Virginia Tech (see below) no one there is in favor of guns on campus. The campus instituted a text message warning system, combined with warning sirens, after the 2007 shootings, which undoubtedly saved many more lives.

      Inevitably, allowing more guns on campus will endanger MORE innocent bystanders will be shot accidentally, either by the campus police or fellow students.

      Adding the requirement that armed students must have training and a permit is a step in the right direction, but it begs a question. If requiring training and a permit to carry a gun in a CONTROLLED environment like a college campus is a good idea, than it's absolutely irresponsible for the requirement not to apply in the remainder of the state.

      As a society, we should have learned long ago that confronting violence with more violence is NOT the right answer, which is why the civil rights movement succeeded in America.

      What we DO need to do is to pay more attention to troubled individuals like Jared Loughner and T.J. Lane so that it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to get their hands on a gun.

      Thanks for listening.