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Rep. Rev. Craig Sells School Gunslinger Bill with Verbal Tricks and Outright Lies

I wanted to give Pastor Scott Craig some credit. His break with wingnut Gordon Howie suggested he might be a rational legislator. But as I listen to the audio of yesterday's Senate State Affairs committee hearing on House Bill 1087, the school gunslinger bill, I hear the revival-tent flim-flammer I was afraid District 33 would get.

Rep. Rev. Scott Craig
With a flag this big, who needs facts?

Rep. Rev. Craig launches the Old Time Gunfire Gospel Hour at the 7:00 mark in SDPB's recording. He says that many media outlets have "misrepresented repeatedly" his bill. He then proceeds to misrepresent facts.

In response to the evidence that draconian security measures like guns in schools raise anxiety and harm education, Rep. Rev. Craig asserts that our anxiety is already raised by sitting in a "defenseless" setting. No school in South Dakota is defenseless. Every school in South Dakota has security measures in place. Adding armed teachers and janitors to schools does not magically change schools from "defenseless" to "fully defended." Adding guns increases the daily risk of harm while providing only iffy defense against something that has never happened in South Dakota.

Rep. Rev. Craig says that President Obama wants increased arms in schools. Rep. Rev. Craig thus implies that President Obama supports HB 1087. Hogwash. Read the White House's plan. President Obama supports spending real money to hire more properly trained resource officers and counselors to implement evidence-based policies to make schools even safer (which is darned hard when schools are already the safest place our kids can be, as acknowledged by Sen. Craig Tieszen in his testimony right before Rep. Rev. Craig). Nowhere has President Obama expressed support for Rep. Rev. Craig's plan to let schools arm their teachers and janitors and vounteers.

Rep. Rev. Craig trots out the malarkey that the President and his wife sleep well at night knowing their children attend a well-armed school. That's a lie: Sidwell Friends has no armed guards. The Quakers running the Obama children's school probably don't cotton much to the violence inherent in the weapons carried by their Secret Service detail, but even they probably recognize that the President's family is a unique national security target from which we cannot extrapolate any policy implications for South Dakota school children.

Rep. Rev. Craig talks about how the Holy Land has armed teachers keeping its kids safe. Hooonnnk—wrong again! Israeli teachers don't carry guns, certainly not in their classrooms. And Israel has much stricter gun control laws than the U.S.

Rep. Rev. Craig asserts that those of us who recognize the harms of guns in schools need this bill, since this bill guarantees that local school districts can decide to keep guns out. The verbal contortions here are almost kinky. One does not guarantee the right to a gun-free educational environment by empowering local government to take that right away. Right now as a parent and teacher, if I move to another district in South Dakota, I can rest assured that state law keeps my new school district from putting my daughter and myself at daily risk of firearms accidents. HB 1087 takes away that guarantee and requires that I engage in new political battles to secure my daughter's safety in every community I may enter.

Rep. Rev. Craig's revival-tent performance yesterday showed the House Bill 1087 is based hype and horsehockey. Five out of nine members of Senate State Affairs were unable to see around the horsehockey Rep. Rev. Craig shoveled in favor of his bill. Let's hope the full Senate is less prone to pulpitial hypnosis and can vote down the school gunslinger bill.


  1. larry kurtz 2013.02.23

    Prophets=profits: white man does not live by bread alone.

  2. larry kurtz 2013.02.23

    Sen. Ewing of D-31 just said we won't vote for embedded school shooter bill because public doesn't want it and school boards won't use it.

  3. larry kurtz 2013.02.23

    Sen. Otten on school sentinels: "As far as the school districts I represent, I do not see any of them ever enacting it." RT @ArgusMontgomery

  4. Jana 2013.02.23

    The Reverend lied. The rest of the legislators knowingly let him lie without objection. The media let him lie.

    Welcome to South Dakota.

  5. Rorschach 2013.02.23

    I got chills.
    They're multiplyin'.
    And I'm losin' control.
    'Cause the power
    you're supplyin',
    it's electrifyin'!

    You're the gun that I want.
    (you're the gun I want), oo, oo, oo, honey.
    The gun that I want.
    (you're the gun I want want), oo, oo, oo, honey.
    The gun that I want
    (you are the gun I want want), oo , oo, ooooo
    The gun I need.
    Oh, yes indeed.

  6. Curtis Price 2013.02.23


    Mr. Language Person objects. How about:


  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.02.23

    epexegetical... hmm... I'm not sure we can say Craig is adding explanatory matter. His hypnosis stems from the paralanguage, not his language. Is there a distinct religious use of that term that might fit here? Other suggestions?

  8. larry kurtz 2013.02.23

    Apocryphal? Mendacious? Bearing false witness?

  9. larry kurtz 2013.02.23

    Remember your piece on the Montana teabagger preaching self-reliance, Cory? This is how christians divert resources bound for the public good to the exclusivity of the charismatic leadership of one true breeder.

  10. Robin Page 2013.02.24

    When I asked Pastor Craig to withdraw his bill, his response was that Jesus told the people to lay down their robes and take up swords....2014 Election is not long away...hopefully the people of Dist. 33 will see him for who he really is and vote him out of office!

  11. Roger Elgersma 2013.02.24

    He seems to think that copying unbelievers(Jews without Jesus) that he is being Christian.
    Did he ever read about Daniel in the lions den. Do all Christians live when they trust God. No, they are called martyrs. But trusting his God might do him more good than trusting his gun.
    I have been told by a member of the dead mans club that I was dead. I just told him I would trust God and be ok. That worked that time, it might work next time. One Daniel survived the lions den, three hundred Christians died in the Roman ampetheater by hungry lions. Those Christians grandparents could have met Jesus, and those people knew there was something different there. Just one of my proofs that Jesus was real.

  12. Rorschach 2013.02.24

    Governor Jack Stanton (Primary Colors):
    "I'm going to tell you something really outrageous. I'm going to tell you the truth."

  13. Rorschach 2013.02.24

    Vic Deakins (Broken Arrow):
    (You can shoot at the school, but) "Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?"

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