Ken Bennett is a Republican candidate for governor of Arizona.
Editorial by Ken Bennett – candidate for governor
As a candidate for Governor of Arizona, I am announcing my School Safety Operation Plan that will not remove guns but will put guns where necessary to protect our children. The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
My first order as Governor will be to create a task force that will focus on student safety in our schools during manmade and natural emergencies with an emphasis on the worst case scenario – to control a school during an active shooter situation. This task force must include emergency response personnel, facility emergency operational control experts, infrastructure specialists, and facility hardening analysts.
My guidance will include requiring school personnel to complete training to equip them with basic emergency operational control skills. We currently require school personnel to learn skills like CPR so they can help in the first critical minutes until professionals arrive. This same principle must be applied when a crazed gunman is shooting at our students and staff.
· I will recommend as a starting point the Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response (FASTER) program in Ohio that trains ‘willing, competent, and capable’ staff members in an armed response, crisis management, emergency medical aid, and carrying firearms in schools.
· I support tax credits for staff willing to be armed in the schools.
· I support putting Law Enforcement officers into schools, especially when a viable threat is identified, to give immediate protection to our students while a threat is analyzed.
· I will require a proactive component to address the infrastructure needs of our school facilities during an emergency and of students with severe mental health issues. I will address the difficult issue of tracking severe mental health issues instead of who is getting a gun. Our teachers must be able to focus on educating our children.
The current administration’s Severe Threat Orders of Protection (STOP) plan focuses too heavily on seizing guns. My plan restores the focus to protecting our children.
The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.