by Max Brantley
Leslie Rutledge, a Republican candidate for attorney general, seems to be threading a needle here.
Want more guns in schools?
Want no more guns in schools?
Rutledge's news release has something for everybody in attempting to capitalize on the official opinion by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that state law doesn't now allow arming of school district staff with concealed weapons, as Clarksville wants to do.
She calls for leadership, clear guidance on what districts can and cannot do. (I think McDaniel has done that, though the Clarksville superintendent, among others, disagrees with his opinion.) Said Rutledge:
Each community in Arkansas is different and the local leaders must be in a position to do what is right for their school children.
What IS right? Rutledge doesn't say. She perhaps recognizes that some places want more guns in school. Some do not.
AG Candidate Rutledge Calls on State Leaders to Act Now on School Safety
Rutledge: We’ve spent too much time talking about what they can’t do to protect our kids from an armed threat, now it’s time to tell them what they can do.
Little Rock, Ark. (August 5, 2013) —
Today former Prosecutor and Republican candidate for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following statement calling on Arkansas’s statewide leaders to take the lead on addressing the failure to properly address safety in Arkansas schools:
“This past week has brought to light a major safety and security issue facing Arkansas school districts, and the children who attend Arkansas schools. With school children returning to classrooms in the coming weeks, I’m calling upon Arkansas’s statewide leaders to take the initiative to find a solution to the looming gap in our local campuses school security plans when it comes to responding to an armed threat on our school grounds. Local school districts need clear, precise direction from state leaders on what authority they have to proactively protect their students. Too much time has been spent talking about what local districts can’t do to protect children from an armed threat. Now, it’s time to tell them what they can do. Each community in Arkansas is different and the local leaders must be in a position to do what is right for their school children. This is a major issue facing Arkansans — it’s time for state leaders to do what they were elected to do by the people — lead. They need to start working side-by-side with state police, local law enforcement, and the school districts to determine precisely what proactive steps Arkansas school districts can take right now to protect Arkansas’s school children. The school districts need to know what they can, or cannot do, to protect Arkansas school children, and then they must be allowed to do it. If I have the privilege of being Arkansas’s next Attorney General, I will work closely with state, local, and district level leaders to help them find the safest, most effective solutions to the problems they face.”