Thursday, December 16, 2010

If the Arizona legislature has its way, the safest college campus in Arizona won't be in Arizona...

...not legally, anyway.

The ever-reliable (for providing blog subject material, anyway) Jack Harper is getting an early start on his term in the House.  The soon-to-be-former state senator is the lead sponsor of the first House bill of the next session of the legislature, HB2001.

If enacted into law, the measure would allow faculty members of the state's community colleges, provisional community colleges, and state universities to carry concealed weapons on campus.

This bill, in one form or another, has been proposed in the last few sessions of the legislature.  It's usually opposed by the police departments and staff of the various colleges and campuses.

It's an indicator of how certain (OK, "most") Rs place a premium on ideology over reality.

Nearly everybody who has worked, taught, learned, or just visited on one of Arizona's college campuses doesn't see the need for this bill, yet the ideologues in the legislature continue to push this measure to turn our colleges and universities into armed encampments.

Of course, this being the legislature, when one comes across a measure that seems to be inherently dumb, one should also look for legislator who'd personally benefit from it.

State Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Russell Pearce with a 'Noo Yawk' accent) is the Director of Scottsdale Community College's Administration of Justice Studies program.

This bill, if passed, would seem to benefit him, presuming that as an FOR (Friend of Russell's) he's as much in the pocket of the NRA as his friend and cannot function in society without immediate access to his gun.


The campus of the community college that employs him is situated entirely within the boundaries of the Salt River Pima/Maricopa Indian Community (SRP/MIC).

While the college is "within the jurisdiction" of a community college district (Maricopa County Community College District), the laws that apply to the persons on it are those of the SRP/MIC.

People are barred from possessing weapons on the campus (and the rest of the Community) under *tribal* law, not state law.

HB2001, if enacted, wouldn't actually go into effect there.


I'm not sure if the prospects for this bill are any better this time around than they were in the past, but given the lege's rightward lurch and its utter disregard for the opinions of people who have anything to do with education, anything is possible.

Stay tuned.  The coming session of the lege is going to provide fodder for writers all over the state.



John Kavanagh said...

This posting's attack on me was quite a stretch. What's up?

State Rep. John Kavanagh

cpmaz said...

Actually, this wasn't an attack on you.

For the next two years, I'll probably criticize almost every piece of legislation that you and your colleagues pass.

However, this is a sloppily written measure and deserves more than criticism, it deserves mockery.

Every time I've seen this measure come down the pipeline, I've always thought it was utter b.s. and it's been opposed by the folks who would actually have to deal with its effects - students, faculty, staff, and PDs on the campuses.

Nobody who it would affect seems to want it, and it doesn't seem to make sense, yet someone runs it every year (it was Harper last session, too).

Cynic that I am, when that happens, I start looking for people who will personally benefit from the bill.

As far as I can tell, you are the only legislator with a significant tie to a community college, and that particular CC just happens to be the one campus this bill wouldn't affect.

Too good to pass up.

For the record, and I've said it here and in public before this, while I find your political positions to be completely abhorrent, you personally are highly intelligent, well educated, and well spoken.

I haven't said the same things about your colleague from LD4, and given his track record, I don't expect I'll ever have to do so.

Well, other than the "abhorrent" part.

Thane Eichenauer said...

People can and have been robbed at Scottsdale Community College.

Laws, rules and procedures that prohibit people from protecting themselves make it easier for those who do not care to follow the law to attack the innocent. Why should I or any lawmaker want to tip the scales in favor of the criminals?

John Kavanagh said...

I was not referring to your criticism of the bill but your first saying I will personally benefit from its passage and then immediately pointing out that I would not benefit. I found that strange.

State Rep. John Kavanagh

PS. While I carried a revolver off duty for 20 years while a cop, I do not feel compelled to do so now and rarely do. But when I do, I feel a lot safer.

Kenneth Pritsker said...

I also noticed that the FIRST Republican bill was this concealed weapons on campus legislation.

My first question: "Where is the problem? My second question: "Who outside the legislature supports this?" (Is this really a N.R.A. bill?) My third question: "The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators believes “concealed carry” initiatives do not make campuses safer. What facts are these legislators using to support this legislation? (Is this an ideological measure where facts aren't needed? And if it is, exactly what ideology are they promoting?)

And for this bill to be the first bill introduced while we are in a financial crisis is rather alarming. SEVENTEEN sponsors and co-sponsors? Interesting. But most interesting to me are the eight freshman legislators who co-sponsored this - Brenda Barton, Chester Crandell, Justin Olson, Terri Proud, Karen Fann, John Fillmore, Steve Urie, and Rick Gray. I see how proud Katie Hobbs is to co-sponsor her first bill on funding transplants – are these freshman equally proud that THIS is their first contribution to our legislative process?

And please note Kavanagh is NOT a co-sponsor of this bill. (FYI: He wanted to use Clean Elections money to pay for his N.R.A. dues.) Kavanagh is an intelligent member of our legislature – and I really respect him for taking the time to "post" on the site. I repeatedly saw Rep. Kavanagh on the lawn at the Capitol during the SB1070 protests. He makes himself available to discuss the issues - and regardless of ideology, his availability, sincerity and his position as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee has earned my respect.

Very good reporting about SCC being on Indian land!

FYI: Other faculty legislator include: Leah Landrum Taylor (South Mountain Community College), J.D. Mesnard (Mesa Community College), David Schapira (ASU), Kyrsten Sinema (ASU) and Marcario Saldate (UofA)

Thane Eichenauer said...

There is no square inch in Arizona that is completely safe. Some portions are hazardous due to poisonous snakes and mountain lions. Other portions are hazardous due to nefarious people. Given that you can't predict when a criminal will choose to strike it is a good idea to protect yourself. Right now if instruction staff and students are prohibited from protecting themselves then the only people who have guns on government community campuses will be criminals and the police.

I support the right of law abiding individuals to protect themselves using firearms - don't you?

The fact that one lobby group does not think that allowing law abiding people to discreetly carry self-defense tools doesn't make it so. I am sure that if somebody at Virginia Tech had been permitted to carry a firearm on their person they would have been far less likely to have been murdered by Seung-Hui Cho - don't you?