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School Gunslinger Bill Flops: No School Adopts

Last year South Dakota adopted an unpopular, unnecessary, and potentially costly law allowing schools to arm teachers, volunteers, and other school-grounds gunslingers.

A full school year has passed, and still, not one South Dakota school has felt the need to use the school gunslinger law:

The Pierre School District has two officers and video surveillance among its precautionary measures, but Superintendent Kelly Glodt doesn't expect to use the school sentinel law. In fact, he's not surprised that no other schools have signed on — the program provoked mixed reactions and requires substantial training.

"You can't just pick somebody and say, 'you put the gun in your room,'" he chuckled [Nora Hertel, "South Dakota School Districts Haven't Armed Staff," AP via Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2014.05.17].

The rootin'-tootin'est legislator in South Dakota, Rep. Betty Olson, can't even find support for the school gunslinger bill in her won school district:

Olson said she knows of a few good teachers in the rural Harding County School District who are good shots, though Superintendent Ruth Krogh wouldn't place herself in that camp.

The school sentinel program was touted as security for those in rural areas, but Krogh said she's surveyed teachers and they feel safe.

"As far as having guns in the school, I don't see that as an option," Krogh said [Hertel, 2014.05.17].

South Dakota, when you see your school principals and administrators and board members at your graduation receptions and the State Track Meet, thank them for keeping your kids safe at school by not bringing guns in the building.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.05.19

    Single-party rule driving an agenda designed to distract a weary electorate from the ethical lapses of their clique: brilliant, really.

  2. Steve Sibson 2014.05.19

    This issue shows how public education was the driving force behind destroying the Constitution and now crony capitalism is the result. And I can fill in the dots for those of you who have been indoctrinated by the public indoctrination system.

  3. Doctor not Bricklayer 2014.05.19

    Your last paragraph is so true! Our school districts do work hard to keep our children safe, and they truly deserve our thanks and support, not stupid rhetoric and bills like the Gunslinger Bill!

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.19

    Pandering for more NRA $. That's all this stupid law was about, although I'm sure no legislator wants her children killed in a SD school. Or anywhere else for that matter. Still, it seems better parenting and grandparenting to effectively contribute to the child's safety, which pandering clearly failed to do.

  5. larry kurtz 2014.05.19

    This issue shows how public education was the driving force behind building the American military and now crony capitalism is the result. And I can fill in the dots for those of you who have been indoctrinated by the public indoctrination system of indoctrination.

  6. Jerry 2014.05.19

    Nothing like the NRA gun nuts to bring out the nuts Mr. Sibson. You make zero sense with that remark about public education and the constitution.

  7. Jerry 2014.05.19

    I see where you made your mistake Mr. Sibson, in your mind, you got confused with Section 8 where it says that "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". Yep, tripped you up on that one didn't it?

  8. Barry Smith 2014.05.19

    Rep Hickey was a main sponsor on this bill and I give him the benefit of the doubt that he believed his support was the right thing to do , as opposed to being motivated by NRA money. That being said at the time I remarked on this blog that this was an overly reactionary law. It was an emotional response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook. The good thing about the law is that it put all the power into the hands of the local school districts and it was affirmed through this action that the only guns that South Dakotans want in schools are those attached to trained law enforcement officers.

  9. Steve Hickey 2014.05.19

    On my voicescarry blog in March I posted an article looking at my first two terms in the House through the rear view mirror-- things I was proud of and not proud of. On the not proud list I wrote the following...

    I'm not proud of my role in the whole school sentinel bill that consumed so much energy last year. I wish I would have led the way on the mental health aspects of school shootings but instead we brought yet another controversial gun bill that no district wants. These experiences have taught me to really pick my battles. Sometimes the juice isn't worth the squeeze.

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.19

    Good response Hickey.

  11. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.19


    I'm with Hickey (Yes, I said that.), that spending time, money and attention on mental health is a much more effective investment in school safety. When a school shares a counselor with 3 other schools to reduce costs, the students lose. When she can only spend one or two days per week at a school, and much paper work must be completed, little time is left for students.

    I also support investment in safety and lock down education and drills at schools. A recent survey showed that, although such drills are mandated in many states, including MN, they aren't done at all or not enough. MN law requires 5 such drills per school year, but the majority of schools do only a couple.

    I believe there are many social factors that bear some responsibility for student violence in schools. A livable wage would likely solve several. Both parents might not have to work or work more than one full time job. More money might be available for educational supplements. Greater income results in less government expenditures and more tax revenue. That could add to school counselor numbers and skill. Win/win.

    There is much more but these things pop in my mind.

    [Comment edited to deny angry Kathy Scott sockpuppets attention. ;-) ]

  12. larry kurtz 2014.05.19

    spearditch should just erect a ceement jaysus then everything will be all right.

  13. Jenny 2014.05.19

    Ingratiating response for an election year, Hickey.

  14. Steve Hickey 2014.05.19

    Vote me out, Jenny. If I gave one hoot about it being an election year I'd not say half of what I say on a variety of topics.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.19

    When politicians have their form of buyers remorse, it comes to mind that it is likely that they didn't talk to those that would be the most affected by their legislation.

    The next time they propose legislation that affect women's reproductive right, it would be great if they talk to women and not to the Bible.

    The next time they propose legislation making discrimination legal in South Dakota, it might be a good idea to talk to the bakery owner and those that would patronize their establishment.

    The next time they propose legislation making gay marriage illegal, it would be a good idea to talk and listen to the gay community.

  16. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.19

    I understand what you did Cory, and why. I have mixed feelings about it.

  17. Jenny 2014.05.19

    I wish I could vote you out, Pastor. Anybody that supports laws that discriminate roughly 10% of the population is not an effective, nor worthy leader.

  18. lesliengland 2014.05.19

    the repub legislator says what? why in the hell did you support/sponsor/be manipulated by pro-nra in the 1st place?

    to the "madonna's" of the blog-why are we righteously smearing cory in this thread?

    and sibson, just trying to figure out what you are? - wow -so public ed,... there is so much wrong that...what? - union/college graduate/liberal teachers mis-educated the public in the clear language of 2d amendment so that it got, what? ...smaller?? now you can't shoot rich cronys? or just government schills? kinda like "stand your ground"?

    you like "coast to coast", right? got a better authority on the dots?

    amen to jesus and the thread title. whew!!

  19. grudznick 2014.05.19

    Mr. kurtz, Spearfish used to have a concrete statue of "Jesus" if I recall correctly. Up on the hill there. And they sang at it and stuff. I wonder if it is still there.

  20. Dave Baumeister 2014.05.19

    This was the stupidest, frickin' regurgitation that ever came out of Pierre. If some school did use this, the kids would do one of twos things: they would spread rumors about who "has the gun" based on whom they didn't like. Or they would figure out who "has the gun" (yes, kids are very good at figuring these things out) , and they would pass that information around. In the first case, some poor, unarmed treater would be the first target. In the second case, the real teacher with the gun would be the first taken out, which kinda defeats the entire purpose of the bill. The people who voted for this were real morons.

  21. grudznick 2014.05.19

    I'm not for this, Mr. Baumeister, but I don't think that law limited it to just one teacher or janitor (my choice if I wanted somebody in a school to wield a weapon), I think every teacher could have been armed.

    Nobody would mess with that school, but then you'd just have more guns that potentially moron kids could get a hold of, or have language or drama teachers waving them around less effectively than if the custodians or grounds people open carried.

    And you'd also have that possibility, however small, that some teacher would snap and go after one of the fatcat administrators that are sucking up all the money that could have gone to good teachers.

    But I'm with you here, sir, there were a lot of problems in those laws.

    PS: I like your name, it reminds me of a childhood friend I had and it is fun to say.

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.19

    Larry, don't get me going on the Spearfish messiah again... but I read Rand Williams has revised his plan to put a big Jesus on the Passion Play Amphitheater site itself rather than the city owned hill. He'll still need a conditional use permit to go higher than 35 feet.

    But hey, maybe building big concrete Jesuses (Jesi?) in every town would keep the kids safer than the school gunslinger law.

  23. Les 2014.05.19

    How many times is the Maddville going to regurgitate this subject? Time to start passing out the pills. I'm guessing many have a pass to the truck backed up to the school dumping the Ritalin.
    Rep Hickey doesn't care for me a bit after a couple disagreements, but I supported him when he came across on capital punishment and when he repented on this even though I thought there was some merit to this bill.
    The eggheads still throw him in the grinder when they get a win because he isn't an egghead. Talk about Spearditch crazy.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.19

    Sorry, Les: it was mentioned in the news; the end of the first gunslinger-authorized school year seems to me as it did to AP's Hertel a reasonable place to note the law's absolutely lack of use.

    Rep. Hickey's statement that "the squeeze isn't worth the juice" on this bill is worth noting (and I'm going to start using that phrase!). We have a legislator admitting that the effort he made for a bill turned out not to be such a great idea. Where else do we get such honesty from a sitting South Dakota legislator, especially about a mistake?

  25. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.19

    Agreed Cory, this wasn't a Madville press release, the story was mentioned in both the RCJ and that Sioux Falls paper, it was also on KELOland.

  26. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    I knew there was some anti-Second Amendment blood running thru Hickey's veins. The main benefit of the bill was to show just how far the government schools have gone to destroy America's Constitution. Now crony capitalism is running wild.

  27. Jenny 2014.05.20

    Steve, were you bullied pretty badly back in the 70s at your (public) school or something? You have this hatred of public education, man. You need to heal, do some meditation or something to try to get over your past experience with whatever happened to you in regards to public education. Trust me, not all public schools are like the one you went to.

  28. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Good eye, Jenny: pretty clear, huh?

  29. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Sibby attended parochial school, too: a former holy roman kiddie diddler, he is.

  30. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Ceement Jesi will have surveillance capabilities, Cory.

  31. Les 2014.05.20

    Do they know you're blogging at work Jenny? Typical lib. Attacking Sib rather than his message. Were you bullied as a child Jenny?

  32. PNR 2014.05.20

    I expected this. I said at the time that it wasn't worth all the angst either pro or con. I supported (and support) the law primarily because it puts the decision at the local level which, I still think, is most appropriate.

    And given this evidence, I think other laws might be passed which push even more decisions down to local school boards and communities. We can for the most part trust them - far more so than we can trust centralized authorities removed from the actual situations. We should.

  33. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Jesus, Les: he without sin cast the first stoner.

  34. Jenny 2014.05.20

    Les, why are you so worried about my day to day activities? I was not attacking Sibby. Sibby continuously attacks public schools, and I am trying to figure out why he has so much angst towards public education.
    If you want to know, Les, this is my quiet time before my day starts. I look at current events and go to Madville times to read Cory's latest. The comments are always entertaining and interesting.
    Have you checked the cows yet?

  35. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Jenny, I wasn't bullied all that much. But I did receive a heavy dose of indoctrination that has taken years to deprogram. I am just trying to pay it forward.

  36. Liberty Dick 2014.05.20

    Hickey, did you get that quote from the classic movie "The Girl Next Door"??? LOL

    In case you don't know the movie "The Girl Next Door" is about a pornstar that moves next door and the kid falls in love with her. The quote is used multiple times in the movie. I am sure it is just a coincidence but funny nonetheless.

  37. Steve Hickey 2014.05.20

    I got the quote from a former legislator in 2010 when I was running for office the first time. He made a list of ten things he wished people told him when we was a new legislator. I've given the list to several others since. Every one of the points was excellent, things like don't speak to every issue and every bill on the floor. One of the points was to really pick your battles and make sure the juice is worth the squeeze.

  38. Liberty Dick 2014.05.20

    I am sorry but I giggle every time you say that. I envision the kid in the movie getting badgered by the girl's "manager" asking him if the juice is worth the squeeze. I know completely off topic.

    Back on topic the bill is still a win from a local control/liberty stand point. No district might be using it now but what happens in a few more years and some of those yummy federal dollars stop stimulating our state? The police department I used to work for was going to lay me off when the economy tanked. (I quit and went to school full time before that happened.) Do you suppose school resource officers could be cut and an armed administrator added much cheaper?

  39. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    There should be people trained to operate rocket launchers on school property especially where local control freaks offer their neighbors' daughter to the Bakken/Boko Haram set.

  40. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    stupid state: only you can prevent hickeys.

  41. Jackilope 2014.05.20

    The mentality that tragic mass violence would be lessened if a "good guy had a gun" is a myth. In the USA we have this bully approach to handle everything with violence. We are now privatizing prisons so those making up these insane laws can profit even more.

    I, for one, see more propaganda in the whole "God, Guns, Wave A Flag and Howl About The 2nd Amendment" distraction. A simplistic bandaid that takes our eyes about how the US really is. We vilify the poor and label them as "takers" while allowing banks and Wall Street to loot us and have no consequence. We have parents working two or three crappy paying jobs so there is no parental guidance at home and vilify the parents and the kids and the public schools for that. We vilify any movement to allow health care (and mental health care) be accessible to as many as possible.

    The US has a widening gap on the haves and have nots. People are disposable -- especially if there is a profit to be made. Let's just give every newborn their Bible, flag, and gun and let ALEC and the NRA write our laws and let those nice privatized prisons fill up.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.20

    Hold on, Lib D. I don't see anything in that story from the always slanted Washington Times that says the deputy with the gun stopped the shooter. The shooter killed himself. The deputy didn't stop the shooter from shooting a 17-year-old girl. The deputy didn't stop the shooter from killing himself in the library. The deputy didn't actually use his gun. The shooter gave no indication that the presence of the deputy caused him to take any specific action.

    And the deputy was a deputy, meaning his having a gun is irrelevant to justifying South Dakota's school gunslinger law, which would allow non-law-enforcement personnel to wield pistolas in school.

  43. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    "really pick your battles and make sure the juice is worth the squeeze"

    Yes, the good old pragmatism trumps principles. The principles behind the Constitutions are not as important as political power.

  44. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Thank you, Cory: that was a much nicer response to Dick than the one i wanted to post.

    Steve: you recognize principles handed down by the supernatural that supersede any constitution anyway. Get a grip.

  45. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    " which would allow non-law-enforcement personnel to wield pistolas in school"

    The Second Amendment to the US Constitution and the South Dakota Constitution both allow that as a right. And Roger doesn't buy the fact that the Constitutions have been destroyed? After two Mitchell school board members gave an oath to defend both Constitutions, I offered my voluntary services as a school sentinel, and then challenged them to stand by their oath. They did not.

  46. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Which members were those, Steve? Will send them gift certificates to Cabela's.

  47. owen reitzel 2014.05.20

    The real stopper for this asinine law is liability. The insurance costs would be high if the school could get insurance at all.
    The last thing I'd want in my school is some gun nut itching to pull the trigger

  48. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Owen, do you think we should force insurance companies to cover abortions and contraceptives?

  49. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Owen, do you think insurance companies should be forced to arm the pre-born?

  50. owen reitzel 2014.05.20

    Steve should insurance companies be forced to provide insurance to schools that implement the gunslinger law?

  51. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Nice answer Owen. Thought you would not like the question.

  52. PNR 2014.05.20

    The question of insurance could go both ways, depending on circumstances. We are a litigious society, and when it comes to liability lawsuits, schools are d*mned if they do, and if they don't.

  53. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.20

    You persistently say the Constitution has been trashed and means nothing, yet at the same time you continue to live under the protection it provides.
    It must be a scary life to think that the state and federal government do nothing more than conspire to take away or threaten to take away Steve Sibson's liberties.

  54. owen reitzel 2014.05.20

    Thanks Steve. I'll take that as a compliment.

  55. MJL 2014.05.20

    Sibson: Do those same second constitutional rights you claim apply to sawed off shot guns? If not, then why the limit on them?

  56. mike from iowa 2014.05.20

    Liberty Dick-the title is very misleading because all but one or two had mass casualties before they were stopped. Most by trained professionals,not Joe Sixpack.

  57. Jenny 2014.05.22

    Sibby, aren't you a Catholic? Here in the MN town where I live there's a Catholic convent called Assisi Heights that holds seminars all the time. They are having one this weekend called spiritual movement and meditation for youth. Sounds interesting, maybe I'll sign my daughter up for it. We're not Catholic, but anything that nurtures the soul is beautiful and uplifting. Most of those nuns are staunch socialists also. They know that was what early Catholicism was all about.

  58. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.22

    Absolutely right Jenny. I'd broaden it. Jesus, his followers, the initial church described in Acts - all as socialist as can be.

Comments are closed.