Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three years later: Arizona's still "looking down the barrell"

[Updated below.]

I don't remember seeing this 2008 story get mentioned much during the aftermath of the Arizona shootings last month. I only stumbled across it myself because I was hunting for something else.

Following a shooting at Northern Illinois University in spring of that year (too far back to remember?), Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson had a plan:

Horrified by recent campus shootings, a state lawmaker here has come up with a proposal in keeping with the Taurus .22-caliber pistol tucked in her purse: Get more guns on campus.

The lawmaker, State Senator Karen S. Johnson, has sponsored a bill, which the Senate Judiciary Committee approved last week, that would allow people with a concealed weapons permit — limited to those 21 and older here — to carry their firearms at public colleges and universities. Concealed weapons are generally not permitted at most public establishments, including colleges.

Ms. Johnson, a Republican from Mesa, said she believed that the recent carnage at Northern Illinois University could have been prevented or limited if an armed student or professor had intercepted the gunman. The police, she said, respond too slowly to such incidents and, besides, who better than the people staring down the barrel to take action?

Because, as I commented at the time,

There are some people so dim that they think they could take a terrible and dangerous situation like the Northern Illinois shootings and make it better by throwing in a hail of crossfire and potshots from freaked-out amateurs for good measure.

We could call her bill The Full Employment for Arizona Attorneys Specializing in Wrongful Death Suits Act of 2008.

Update: It's hard to say Arizona has seen much daylight on the subject since 2008. I haven't tracked down what became of Senator Johnson's bill, although I believe it wasn't passed. Her State Senate seat is now filled by Republican anti-immigrant enthusiast Russell Pearce.

Update #2:  Did I say "Republican anti-immigrant enthusiast Russell Pearce?"  My bad.  I meant to say Republican secessionist and anti-immigrant enthusiast Russell Pearce. p3 deeply regrets the error.

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