I've the first thing I noticed was that he failed to co-sponsor Rep. Liz Pike's School District?Armed Teacher's bill.
That troubled me for a variety of reasons... and I started to hear rumors of why he didn't co-sponsor it... and then I heard about what happened at the last PCO meeting, where he proceeeded to get up and lie about the bill, what it meant, and what it would accomplish.
I freely admit I have a quick trigger. But in this case, I thought I would give Paul the benefit of the doubt and ask him what was up with that. So I sent him this, first on Facebook (Feb 16):.
And then, on email:.
For whatever the reason, Paul has not seen fit to respond.
From: K.J. Hinton
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 11:33 PM
Subject: Pike's armed teacher bill.
I'm given to understand you are condemning Liz Pike's arming teachers bill.
First, I would like to know exactly what you believe is wrong with it and second, precisely what would you propose that's better?
I keep thinking about what I would want if my child at age 7 or so were in that classroom in Sandy Hook... that guy is coming through the door... the teacher knows he's coming... and all she's got to defend herself and those babies with is a stapler.
I need to know: if your child were in that classroom... what would you have the teacher do?
Because frankly, nothing else matters.
I'd appreciate it if you could help me with this.
Here is a summation of what took place at the PCO Meerting, all, of course, in Liz Pike's absense from the Called Unto Liberty Blog, the only summation I could find..
February 17, 2013Leave a commentAt the first meeting in 2013 of the Clark County Republicans Central Committee, 17th LD State Representative Paul Harris was asked to give a spur-of-the-moment report on developments in Olympia. Among his comments was the rather surprising admission that he and “several legislators in his caucus” were not in support of HB 1788 , the bill initiated by Liz Pike and sponsored by such pro-Constitution stalwarts as Reps Matt Shea, Jason Overstreet, Elizabeth Scott, Cary Condotta and David Taylor, which would allow permanently-employed teachers to pay for their own training and certification in order to carry a concealed weapon onto school grounds.
The context of his comments was in relation to the resolution that was being considered by the Central Committee to oppose “any holder of public office and any candidate for public office who the Board finds has taken any action to infringe, impair or usurp our Natural and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, regardless of their party affiliation.” Harris argued that his failure to support Pike’s bill could be considered grounds for such opposition by the CCRP, but that he actually had good reasons for not doing so. He stated that Pike’s bill could have unintended consequences, such as opening the door to teachers being forced to register firearms. He also expressed concern that teachers would have to pay large fees to be trained and certified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission per the bill’s requirements. He doesn’t want teachers to have to pay large fees, which could reach $500 or more, according to Harris.
So in one fell swoop, Harris attempted to both justify his lack of support for Pike’s bill, and his opposition to the CCRP resolution, while still trying to keep his ‘conservative credentials’ intact. The only problem was that word has apparently reached Pike and other sponsors of the bill that he was undermining it before the PCOs. She is apparently meeting today with Board members and PCOs in Clark County to clarify the contents of the bill. In reading it (see link above) I find no requirement to register weapons at all, only a requirement for school personnel to be designated as potentially carrying after being trained to the Commission’s satisfaction. Harris used the ‘slippery slope’ argument here, but frankly, I don’t see where he is deriving the fear that it would be a precedent for gun control. I think it more likely that Harris, who hails from a swing district, is afraid to be on record voting for a controversial bill to arm teachers.
A hint at his real position can be found in this article in the Columbian from December, in which he is quoted:
State Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, said on Thursday that he would need to research Pike’s proposal before taking a stance on it. He said he could support more police in schools, if there was a way to pay for it, but arming teachers?I can’t imagine that he had never had a chance to ‘give serious thought’ to the issue before he was approached by the media. It is highly likely that he was among the first people that Pike consulted before publicly speaking on the subject. It seems clear that Harris is afraid to stand up for this application of the 2nd Amendment, and has instead chosen to cast doubt on the bill among the conservative base so that he is not alone when he opposes it. A calculated political move that one would expect from the invertebrates who currently lead the National Republican party.
“I’d have to give that some serious, serious thought,” said Harris, a former Evergreen school board member. When it comes to preventing school shootings, Harris added that he’s yet to see a solution that addresses both sides of the issue.
This bill would add no cost to taxpayers. It would only take advantage of the fact that there are many citizens among our population, including teachers and administrators in schools, who have chosen to acquire training at their own expense in the proper use of firearms so that they can protect themselves and others in public. It even allows for the option of the school paying for the teacher’s certification expenses. It is a local, citizen-based solution rather than a big-government one. I applaud Representative Pike and her co-sponsors for taking a political risk in order to provide a safer environment for school kids.
On this, we agree.Categories: Uncategorized
I have heartburn with Rep. Harris's actions here for three reasons:
First, he offered up nothing better.
Second, he was busy ginzuing Rep. Pike in her absence.
Three, he lied to do it.
Here is Rep. Pike's response, again from the CUL Blog.
February 17, 2013Leave a commentThis morning, in response to criticism from Paul Harris at yesterday’s CCRP Central Committee Meeting, Liz Pike distributed the following email to all PCOs:
Dear Clark County PCOs:
I am writing to clarify details contained in a bill I introduced, House Bill 1788 – the Safer Schools Act of 2013. Recent massacres at “gun free zones” in public schools prompted me to start a broad community discussion about how we can make our schools more safe in Washington. I believe in government that’s closest to the people. Elected school boards are without a doubt – government closest to the people. This bill gives them the authority to allow certain permanent employees the opportunity to carry a concealed firearm onto school grounds.
Here is a link to the full bill:
The following colleagues helped craft the legislation and also co-sponsored the bill:
Rep. Matt Shea
Rep. Jason Overstreet
Rep. Dave Taylor
Rep. Elizabeth Scott
Rep. Brad Klippert
Here is an overview of the Safer Schools Act of 2103:
• Bipartisan legislation allows school boards more options for school safety
• Allows coordination between School Administration and local law enforcement officials.
• Hundreds of parents, teachers and School Board members support my idea.
• School boards would adopt written policies within the guidelines of the bill.
• Allows qualified permanent school employees to enter a physical training program created by the Criminal Justice Training Commission. (CJTC)
• CJTC trains every law enforcement officer in the State of Washington.
• Liberals hate this bill because it’s perfect.
The person who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School last December broke at least 8 laws when he committed those terrible crimes. One more law on the books would not have stopped him. Criminals intent on harming innocent victims do not care about gun laws. For this reason, I am morally opposed to any sort of restriction on firearms. When government restricts second amendment rights of citizens, it just means that the bad guys are the only ones with the guns. US crime statistics have shown that as the number of concealed carry permits rise in each state, violent gun crime goes down in those states.
When gun violence occurs in a public school, who is the first person called to the gun free zone? Answer: a cop with a big gun. Who is the second person called? A preacher to conduct a memorial service. The two very things not allowed in public schools, guns and prayers, are the first responders when gun violence occurs.
Rep. Pederson, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is not willing to move this legislation out of his committee. The deadline for him to hold a public hearing and committee vote on this bill is this Friday, Feb. 22nd. There is only a limited amount of time for legislation to pass through the process and we are near the end of that cycle. If we don’t come up with a better solution to ensure the safety of our children and school teachers, I will introduce this bill again next year because I am looking for solutions.
Lastly, my overall goal with this legislation was to elevate the community discussion to identify ways to make our schools more safe for our children.
I am happy to address any specific questions you may have. Thanks!
WA State Representative, District 18
Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!
Cell (360) 281-8720
Personal Email: ElectLizPike@comcast.net
Legislative Email: Liz.Pike@leg.wa.gov
I don't know what Harris is thinking here. I do know that this kind of apparent idiocy combined with a complete lack of responsiveness removes him from any further consideration on my part for any political office.Liz Pike
WA State Representative
It's fine to disagree with a bill. But failing to have a better idea, failing to address your concerns when the bill's author is around and failing to respond to questions about your position are all disqualifiers for me.