Does Governor Bentley Share Obama’s Distaste For Legislators?

Will AndersonThe Governor was speaking at a school safety summit in Montgomery recently, and he indicated that he would veto a bill passed by the Legislature last month which would allow teachers and other volunteers in Franklin County, after being trained by local law enforcement, to carry guns in schools.

“You don’t get somebody just off the street to treat your congestive heart failure when you’re sick,” Bentley said at the summit. “So why do you get somebody off the street to protect you with active shooters?”

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His analogy is flawed and condescending. Just as laymen can be trained in CPR to save lives before first responders arrive, teachers can be trained to stop a classroom killer while the police are on their way.

Governor Bentley’s insulting tone continued, “You know the Legislature sometimes gets excited. And sometimes they try to be relevant. And sometimes they will come up with some crazy bills. We don’t need to be crazy about this.”

President Obama couldn’t have topped it. In Washington, he’s been trying to marginalize the Constitutional relevance of Congress a lot lately, starting with Boehner (who he successfully rolled on tax increases), moving on to Senate Republicans, twelve of whom he had dinner with recently, (presumably to discuss tax hikes over a glass of merlot) and then to Senate Democrats, who met with him Tuesday.

For the moment, he’s softened his tone and reached out his hand. And an unidentified aide has called it a waste of time.

Rand Paul’s filibuster was well-timed, because Obama was overdue to be taken down a notch or two. Beyond drone policy, Paul was lodging a general complaint about accountability from the Executive Branch—something that hasn’t been forthcoming until Paul’s 13-hour demand that he get an answer to his simple question about the use of drones on innocent American citizens absent an imminent threat. The question had been in play for about a month with no response; the morning following the filibuster, Senator Paul got his answer.

Here at home, someone needs to bring the governor down a notch or two. His opinion that teachers shouldn’t be armed is debatable, but his characterization of the legislature as childlike, looking for something to live for implies a man who hasn’t the time to be bothered with something as arduous as deliberation.

The facts are that Franklin County now has the opportunity to train teachers and volunteers how to use a firearm, and then permit them to be armed. They aren’t obligated to be armed, but there’s a good chance many of them will want to, knowing that it can take the police more than a few minutes to respond to some Franklin County schools. And then, perhaps, other schools around the state will realize that all heck isn’t going to break loose with armed teachers, and they, too, will allow teachers to carry.

Or they might not. That’s the beauty of subsidiarity. It ought to be up to school districts to make up their own minds on the subject, even if they go against Governor Bentley’s ideas about what works.

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Memo to the Governor: That’s not crazy. That’s pragmatic.
By: Will Anderson

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