March 5, 2013
Host: Ted Simons
Guns in Schools
- State Senator Rich Crandall has proposed a bill to allow rural teachers or administrators who meet certain requirements to carry concealed firearms, if approved by the school’s governing board. Senator Crandall and Senator Leah Landrum Taylor will discuss the pros and cons of the measure.
- Rich Crandall - State Senator
- Leah Landrum Taylor - State Senator
| Keywords: guns
, around arizona
Ted Simons: A bill to allow certain staff members in mostly rural school districts to carry concealed weapons on campus is being considered by the state legislature. Joining us tonight is the bill's sponsor, Senator Rich Crandall. And speaking against the bill is Senate Minority Leader Leah Landrum Taylor. Good to have you both here, thanks for joining us. All right. Why is this necessary?
Rich Crandall: When you look at school safety, there is a mental health component, school resource officers. But there's also a component of self-defense. And primarily for your rural districts, Wikieup, the closest law enforcement is all the way in Kingman.
Ted Simons: I think they include military and law enforcement, as well? Who gets to carry these weapons?
Rich Crandall: This is not just something that was thought up over a weekend. This is very thoughtful. We called around the United States and said, who's doing something good in the policy of self-defense. You go to Texas rural school districts, they have had the policy in place since October of . A small district where the closest law enforcement is minutes away, a teacher can carry a weapon but only after a permit, training. They have very, very specific rules.
Ted Simons: Why not arm staff in these small, remote schools? Why not?
Leah Landrum Taylor: I understand the portion of making sure we are looking at the whole discussion as it relates to school safety. When we're talking about arming the teachers, one of the things is to make sure the actual school boards determine who would be eligible to carry these various weapons. I'm very concerned about a School Board member actually engaging to make a decision like that. Also the fact, just, you know, the conversation that was just discussed about Texas. There was a recent incident, because Texas has decided, let's go ahead and do this. In the middle of this training a teacher was accidentally shot. So with that being the case, you know, I don't know how much liability we would move with that. I'd rather take a look at safety assessments for each of the schools. That's very important to look at this. Also on the front end portion, about making sure we have enough school counselors and psychologists. When you look at the fact that over % of the American public in general, with a poll taken in January, is not in favor of a teacher carrying a weapon on school grounds. What kind of weapons are we talking about? I'm very curious to know.
Ted Simons: What kind of weapons, A. And B, are we talking about people who are ex-law enforcement or ex-military only? Or anyone else on staff?
Rich Crandall: It could be anyone else. I called and spoke to the superintendent of one of these very small school districts. I love Senator Landrum-Taylor, we're very good friends, but she's wrong. We're talking K-, kids, kids, kids. You can't afford to have all those pieces in place. Only pistols or revolvers, the bill says. Must have ammunition that doesn't ricochet.
Ted Simons: Is it one person or anyone on staff?
Rich Crandall: It could be anyone. I called down to Texas and spoke to the superintendent that had the policy in place the longest. We go into executive session with the school board. We talk about individuals who have applied for the program.
Ted Simons: What have you heard of the shooting during the training?
Rich Crandall: I've never heard of the teacher shooting before, so I'm not sure if there was training along with this bill or not.
Ted Simons: What have you got there?
Leah Landrum Taylor: It's an article that was taken right here. I do have the article if you want to take a peek at it. A teacher was accidentally shot during this training. A lot of other issues go with this. Even AZ Post has a very big concern about making sure there's a proper amount of training. Who would take on the funding for that? Schools are already strapped with the over $ billion cut in the last three years over education. How would this happen? A board member would have to make a determination that these are the individuals deemed okay to carry these particular weapons. That's of major, major concern. I'm not sure how they would go about doing that. Liability just alone for the various school districts, if an individual accidentally lays the gun down, and there's other articles about the security guard that left the gun in the rest room.
Ted Simons: If it were narrowed down to one person in the school, if it had to be ex-law enforcement or ex-military or something along these lines, and again, we're talking rural areas where you're a far distance from military and/or law enforcement. Would that make a difference?
Leah Landrum Taylor: This bill actually is very, very broad. It does open it up to anyone. Quite frankly, there are maybe ways that we could go about partnering in, whether it's with DPS or highway patrol, they are always around, as well. If they were in the parking lot for instance, working on paperwork, as a deterrent factor at a school that's close by, there are other ways. Look at the design of the school, how it's laid out. One entrance in, one entrance out for visitors. There's a lot of things you could promote in school safety in having an assessment. But going this direction right here, this is very broad.
Ted Simons: Please.
Rich Crandall: One problem we all have, we are both Maricopa County lawmakers. We see things through that lens. We're talking Crown King with nine students, students. There is no -- a school resource officer costs upwards of 70,80 ,90 thousand dolars. It's not going to happen. Saying you can do nothing in the area of self-defense isn't appropriate, either.
Leah Landrum Taylor: But you can partner in quite frankly with a school resource officer or a counselor, someone at a high school or an elementary school.
Rich Crandall: Crown King is an hour from anybody. There's no school counselor. Nine students and you're an hour from the closest anything. There's no highway.
Leah Landrum Taylor: Fortunately with this, accidents could occur on the campus. My thinking again, this bill is what we're talking about right now. It's extremely broad. We're talking about anyone that could be deemed as okay to be able to carry that weapon. We don't know. And also in the bill it states that they have to have a previous -- looking at the previous reactions to a crisis before they authorize. What if there was never a crisis in the schools?
Rich Crandall: It says it must consider if there were a previous, how do they respond to that.
Ted Simons: Liability was raised. A concern?
Rich Crandall: I said, have you had any problems whatsoever in the six years you've had the bill in place. He said absolutely not, we haven't had any problems.
Ted Simons: Can it be focused a little more?
Rich Crandall: It always can be. It has to go through the Senate full body and then over to the House, many opportunities.
Leah Landrum Taylor: I think we really need to take a look at different assessments and looking on the front end of different types of prevention. Because it's a small school does not mean many of the children may not have a need still for mental health services, as well.
Rich Crandall: Good point.
Ted Simons: Let's stop it right there, then. Good to have you both joining us.
Rich Crandall: Thank you, appreciate that.
Record Stocks Closing
- The stock market closed at a new record high. Stock analyst Wayne Stutzer of RBG Wealth Management talks about the market.
- Wayne Stutzer - Stock Analyst, RBG Wealth Management
| Keywords: business
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. The Dow Jones Industrial Average today closed at a record high of nearly,. Here to tell us what's going on is Wayne Stutzer of RBC Wealth Management. Wayne, good to have you here.
Wayne Stutzer: Thank you.
Ted Simons: Is it a surprise that we're seeing the market surge like this?
Wayne Stutzer: For many people it's been a surprise that it's been going out since the demise of and. Many analysts told you we would never see another record high for five,ten fifteen, twenty years or maybe even our lifetime.
Ted Simons: And is it a concern now that it happened right before you-know-what happened?
Wayne Stutzer: It might mean tomorrow we will drop down a little bit again. This is the third time we've been here. We were here in 2000 -- and 2002 and 2007now this time. What makes it different? In 2002 and, everybody was truly overzealous. Stocks would go up forever and the attitude was irrationally exuberant, as they would say. In 2007the same thing, but it was in real estate, irrationally exuberant. Now we know what happened to the banks after that. I don't think the public is irrationally exuberant. There wasn't a hurrah on the close at Wall Street.
Ted Simons: Are there enough people you think still concerned that the market could even go higher?
Wayne Stutzer: It does like to climb a wall of worry. The general mood of the public is still more of a worried nature or a skeptical nature. Not the type of confidence we saw at other highs in the market.
Ted Simons: Now, Chinese markets, or economic conditions, European I think with the retail sales there, that all plays a factor, too, doesn't it?
Wayne Stutzer: Today's numbers did show China has made an effort to try to restimulate their economy. They are coming off a terrible low race, and they are still not positive numbers, they are just less worse.
Ted Simons: Let's talk about whether or not the market right now in the United States, is it overvalued? What kind of investment are we looking at here?
Wayne Stutzer: That's an interesting point, too. The market likes to look at the price to earnings market. When we saw the tech bubble crash, the average to one dollar of earnings was. It's more of a market ran by the banks and sub-prime mortgages and all that, and we still laugh at the home prices as we know it. The history is about where it's been historically on average. It's not overly exuberant in that way, nor what we would call extremely cheap, like it would have been in the depths of October 2008, early 2009.
Ted Simons: Earnings do seem to be up?
Wayne Stutzer: Yeah, just in the last week, Wal-Mart good report, Home Depot, good report. A lot of companies are not only using some of that cash to expand their business but they are using a good amount of that cash to raise dividends and to buy back stocks. In fact, today a company called Qualcomm just made that announcement. Companies are making money. They are still sitting on a lot of money, but they are making money.
Ted Simons: What about the bond market, the treasury yields, is that still fueling what is happening? A lot of people say any low interest rates are doing it. And without Ben Bernanke nothing would be happening with the market.
Wayne Stutzer: That is a part of it, a lot of people refinance their mortgages, they do feel more confident. It's much easier to pay down debt at % than %, for an example, Ted. You don't put money in the market if you think the company is losing money. You put money in when you think the companies are making money. Earnings have doubled in the last five years.
Ted Simons: Why is the stock market going great guns, earnings going great guns and the economy seems to be somewhat stagnant?
Wayne Stutzer: A couple of things We are going through this process of trying to get our balance sheets back in order after getting truly out of whack in the mid part of and. When you can't borrow money to build your business or build your life, then you've got to do it the old-fashioned way, called cash on hand. That's what I call a "back to the s" attitude. We're spending but only what we know we can spend. What happens then, Ted, it takes longer for the economy to recover. But it'll be a much more solid recovery because it's based on real dollars, not the type of synthetic money we use to take it out of a house to live on.
Ted Simons: Last question, is this a healthy rise in the stock market or are we next to a bubble here?
Wayne Stutzer: I think it's a healthy rise but it doesn't mean markets don't take pull-backs from time to time. I don't see the type of crash, let's say that, we experienced in or . That I don't see.
Ted Simons: Wayne Stutzer, thanks for joining us.
Wayne Stutzer: My pleasure.
Voting Rights Case
- The United States Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on an Alabama case that could overturn a key provision of the 1965 voting rights act. Civil rights advocates have called that provision the “hammer” and “heart” of federal efforts to protect minority voting rights. Arizona State University Law Professor Paul Bender will tell us more about the case.
- Paul BenderLaw ProfessorArizona State University
| Keywords: ASU
, Supreme court
Ted Simons: The United States Supreme Court is considering an Alabama case that could overturn a provision of the Voting Rights Act. It's a case that impacts Arizona, as well. ASU law professors Paul Bender is here to tell us more. Good to see you again.
Paul Bender: Good to see you.
Ted Simons: What is the Court looking at here?
Paul Bender: The Court is looking at the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, section of that. It requires covered states, whenever they do anything that affects voting, changing a precinct, redistricting, when elections are held, when you have to get your ballots in, anything like that, they cannot put those laws into effect immediately. They have to get preclearance from the Justice Department or from a District Court in Washington. The preclearance is designed to make sure that the change does not deny minority voting rights or lessen minority voting rights. The states picked for coverage were states that had a history of discriminating on the grounds of race or ethnicity.
Ted Simons: I think some folks listening had no idea Arizona had that kind of history. You can understand Alabama. What's the deal with Arizona?
Paul Bender: It's interesting. Alabama was not covered originally in 1965, it was covered in 1972 or 75’, I forget which. The year they covered it, the coverage formula is based on the state having used a test or device that makes it hard to vote, like a grandfather clause, or that's discriminatory. Or a poll tax or a literacy test. In or , they added any state that had I think -- that only had ballots in English and had a substantial non-English speaking population, they said that would be a test or device, also. That's how Arizona came in. We had years in which we had ballots that were only in English. Those are states that Congress was afraid would do things that would hurt minority voting rights. The reason for preclearance is that a lot of these things could be done just before the election. So like a week before the election, I'm going to move the polling place. That could be very discriminatory. Or one of the bills in the legislature now is a bill that says that only a member of your family can turn your ballot in. That could be very discriminatory against Native Americans who live in places where they need somebody else to do that. If that's done a week or a month or two before the election, there's no time to bring a lawsuit on the grounds that it's discriminatory. The law is to make sure voting changes are not made that have a discriminatory impact.
Ted Simons: So what's the challenge?
Paul Bender: The challenge is that's unconstitutional. It interferes with state sovereignty, it tells the state they can't put laws into effect until the federal government approves. The other is that the formula is outdated. Sort of an equal protection argument. Why are these states picked out and not the others. The original formula was -- made sense. But now the argument is, hey, the formula is the same as it was in. Shouldn't the formula be changed? Congress re-enacted the thing three or four times. And recently as they did not change the formula, they left the same formula. They found the formula still works. These are the states with the most likelihood of having changes in voting that would discriminate against minorities.
Ted Simons: In particular, Justice Scalia had a remark saying, this is basically a perpetuation of racial entitlement.
Paul Bender: That's what he said.
Ted Simons: Could that statement impact how the Court looks at this?
Paul Bender: It might, and it might go in the opposite direction of what Scalia intended. That is a really outrageous statement to say that anti-discrimination is anti-entitlement. So he says we, the supreme court, have got to get rid of this, because we can't trust Congress to take into account -- the main argument here is state sovereignty. When the bill was reauthorized in Congress, it was a close vote in Congress? Unanimous, nobody opposed it. Scalia said they would never get rid of it because they are afraid of what the push-back would be from something like that, so we have to get rid of it.
Ted Simons: With that in mind, seconds left here. What do you think the Court will do on this?
Paul Bender: They will probably strike it down. There are clearly four votes to strike it down or uphold it. As usual the question is, what is Justice Kennedy going to do. He pressed what seems to be a lot of things for the argument, that the formula was outdated. He is a big believer in states' rights and states' sovereignty. I think that would overcome his feelings about discrimination in this case.
Ted Simons: Even with the Scalia remark that's on the record?
Paul Bender: If people think that about that, I better vote to keep that in place, because that shows racial discrimination is still alive.
Ted Simons: Thanks so much.