CRACKING WISE: Proposed bill a perfect zero

By DAVID MENDEZ

Up in Phoenix, our state legislature has yet again proposed that we arm students and teachers on our college campuses.

House Bill 2001, sponsored by State Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, would allow university and community college faculty to carry weapons on campus, so long as they have a valid concealed weapons permit.

Harper also sponsored HB 2014, which would forbid community colleges and universities from creating rules that prohibit concealed weapons permit holders from possessing their weapons on campus.

These are just two of five gun-related bills sponsored by seemingly gun-obsessed Harper. By comparison, the rest of the legislature combined has only submitted four gun-related bills.

I get it, Jack. I’ve been to Surprise. There’s nothing to do but stock up on ammo, then drive the three minutes it takes to get outside the city limits and shoot at old couches.

Arizona already has the second-most lax gun laws in the United States, scoring two out of a possible 100 on the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence scorecard. Allowing concealed weapons on campuses would give us a perfect zero.

At the risk of sounding like a liberal hippie who hates guns and spends his time practicing hugging and self-affirmation, these proposals are stupid ideas and wastes of time.

I’m a strong supporter of gun ownership and gun rights. As soon as I’m able, I’d like to own a handgun and receive the training to carry it safely.

I understand that carrying a gun is supposed to make you feel safer. It’s almost like a stress ball. Only it’s the kind that can kill people when you squeeze it.

Yet I also recognize that creating laws that allow you to carry a weapon wherever you like isn’t going to prevent tragedies.

They didn’t protect the six who died outside of that Safeway on Jan. 8 from random violence, and I doubt that allowing faculty to carry guns on campus will prevent the kind of Virginia Tech-esque casualties that Harper fears.

Harper is sponsoring another bill (HB 2563) that deals with people banned from owning firearms because they were found to be mentally ill. The bill would allow those citizens to petition the court to regain the right to own a gun.

His ideas can’t help but make me think that the crazy definitely look after their own.

Include for online version only:

Helpful links

Rep. Jack Harper’s member page: http://www.azleg.gov/MembersPage.asp?Member_ID=77&Legislature=48

HB 2001 page (includes videos):
http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=HB2001&Session_ID=102

HB 2014 page:
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/hb2014p.htm

HB 2563 page:

http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=2563&Session_Id=102&image.x=0&image.y=0

Brady Campaign Arizona Scorecard:

http://www.bradycampaign.org/stategunlaws/scorecard/AZ/

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