Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson Said There Should Be More Guns in Elementary Schools, Which Are a "Target-Rich Environment"

Thumbnail image for JerryPatterson.jpg
Jerry Patterson
In the wake of the massacre of 27 people, 20 of them children, at a Connecticut elementary school today, Texas officials behaved with remarkable decorum.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, a noted gun lover, sent a muted press release urging parents and students to be vigilant about school safety. And Governor Rick Perry passed along a statement offering condolences to the victims and their families.

So it was up to Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to turn a national tragedy into an opportunity to say something incredibly insensitive.

"The common denominator for the school shootings in Aurora, Columbine and Virginia Tech is that we have a target-rich environment," Patterson told the Houston Chronicle. "You have a shooter that is completely free to go about his sick fantasy. We need to do what it takes to change that."

OK, so Sandy Hook Elementary isn't a grade school, but a "target-rich environment." Given that schools are apparently so rich with targets, what does Patterson suggest be done?

"Had there been [armed security guard and citizens] in Colorado, at Virginia Tech or now in Connecticut -- someone that could have changed the dynamic and to do so by having a firearm -- there would be fewer lives lost," he told the Chronicle.

It's all clear now. The problem is that we don't have enough guns in schools. Problem solved.

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77 comments
MisterMean
MisterMean

So do these Republican clowns go to some sort of school or seminar to be stupid?   There seems to be a wealth of odd and offensive statements from the GOP at all levels.

Daniel
Daniel

If only his mom had had a gun, things might have turned out very differe--oh, wait...

Simone Baumetz
Simone Baumetz

Glad to see you still read the Observer. There are usually some informative articles in this rag - amongst the trashy stuff.

Simone Baumetz
Simone Baumetz

These people do NOT represent the views of millions of Texans. Probably Rick Perry will say something even more stupid than Patterson. He usually does. The governance of this state has been high jacked be extremely right wing, incredibly wealthy parties who put $$$$ and their own interests above the well being of the people. They tend to interact with each other and reinforce and exacerbate their lunacy.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Society has been breaking down since the 1960s.  Birth out of wedlock is over 50% now.  It's hard enough for women to rear children on their own, even when the state financially replaces the father.  But when one of those children has mental issues and is increasingly violent, two parents are crucial at the beginning of the problem.  In the macro, we are losing societal contructs and these school massacres are but a symptom.

When anything goes, it’s women who lose. - Camille Paglia (b. 1947), U.S. author, critic, educator. Observer (London, 15 Dec. 1991).

icowrich
icowrich

I'm not a gun nut, but, for the life of me, I can't imagine why suggesting that there be armed security at a school is so controversial.  It seems like common sense to me, regardless of your position on gun control.

norman44
norman44

Everyone is taking cheap shots - including Eric Nicholson.  Schools do need better security, whether it's a staff member with a gun, co-locating schools near other official buildings, having metal detectors or some other solution.  We know that there is at least one school in Texas where staff DO carry guns because they are so far from police protection.  Making fun of people opening the discussion to find a solution is not productive - it's just a knee jerk reaction from an effete jerk.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

School attacks in China (2010–2011) - A series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People's Republic of China began in March 2010. The spate of attacks left at least 21 dead and some 90 injured. Prof. Joshua Miller, chair of Social Welfare Policy at Smith College, attributed the attacks to stress caused by "rapid social change, mass migrations, increasing disparities in wealth and weakening of traditions."

On March 23, 2010, Zheng Minsheng 41, murdered eight children with a knife in an elementary school in Nanping, Fujian province; Following a quick trial, Zheng Minsheng was executed about one month later on April 28.

Just a few hours after the execution of Zheng Minsheng in neighboring Fujian Province, in Leizhou, Guangdong another knife-wielding man named Chen Kangbing, 33 at Hongfu Primary School wounded 16 students and a teacher. Chen Kangbing had been a teacher at a different primary school in Leizhou; he was sentenced to death by a court in Zhanjiang in June. On April 29 in Taixing, Jiangsu, 47-year-old Xu Yuyuan went to Zhongxin Kindergarten and stabbed 28 students, two teachers and one security guard; most of the Taixing students were 4 years old.

On April 30, Wang Yonglai used a hammer to cause head injury to preschool children in Weifang, Shandong, then used gasoline to commit suicide by self-immolation.

An attacker named Wu Huanming, 48, killed seven children and two adults and injured 11 other persons with a cleaver at a kindergarten in Hanzhong, Shaanxi on May 12, 2010; early reports were removed from the internet in China, for fear that mass coverage of such violence can provoke copycat attacks. The attacker later committed suicide at his house.

On 4 August 2010, 26-year-old Fang Jiantang slashed more than 20 children and staff with a 60 cm knife, killing 3 children and 1 teacher, at a kindergarten in Zibo, Shandong province. Of the injured, 3 other children and 4 teachers were taken to the hospital. After being caught Fang confessed to the crime; his motive is not yet known.

Eight children, all aged four or five, were hurt in Minhang District, Shanghai when an employee at a child-care centre for migrant workers slashed them with a box-cutter.

In September 2011, a young girl and three adults taking their children to nursery school were killed in Gongyi, Henan by 30-year-old Wang Hongbin with an axe. Another child and an adult were seriously wounded but survived. The suspect is a local farmer who is suspected of being mentally ill.

Last Friday (14 Dec 2012) A man stabbed 22 primary school students in a knife attack in China on Friday, officials said, the latest in a series of assaults.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Maybe society should impose restrictions on women who elect to raise children on their own.  No father figure during the formative years of a boy is a huge mistake, in the macro.

Wendy Player
Wendy Player

Can't give the teachers what they need to teach children but by golly we can pay for armed guards.....

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

It turns out that the boy's mother was a gun fanatic, with a collection of rifles and semi-automatic pistols who used to take the two boys out to the gun range for practice.  She knew that the one boy was deeply disturbed and still continued to encourage him to learn how to handle the guns that he eventually used to kill her and massacre 26 innocents.  She is just a guilty as the boy, if not more.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

The NRA created this problem. 

Their desire to eliminate any and all reasonable controls on guns have put assault weapons in the hands of the mentally ill.

This is a fact.

Toothpaste don't go back in the tube.

Squeezing more out won't help either.

It's time to put and end to "gun shows" and the free for all of guns for sale.

Nobody is trying to take away all the guns.

Nobody needs to shoot a bullet/second.

Unreasonable NRA = Dead kids.

pak152
pak152

so it's wrong for the commissioner to make this pronouncement, but it is okay for Barbara Boxer and Jerry Nadler to call for increased gun legislation before the facts are known and the victims are buried. Shoot even the President couldn't help but call for meaningful action whatever that means.

fromtexasbygod
fromtexasbygod

The mass murders occurred in a gun free zone and assault weapons are banned in Connecticut.

amuse2
amuse2

Bury the dead before debating the politics of the situation.

observist
observist topcommenter

I think some people are just born with a preference for mutual assured destruction over disarmament.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The NRA has flooded the country with guns.  Nothing can be done about that now.  It's time to start a movement to outlaw the sale and manufacture, and importation, of bullets and ammunition.

RyanJ99
RyanJ99

IMO its sad and tragic that so many of you want to argue for armed security guards that make $9 an hour to watch over campuses as though thats going to solve the problem.  This is a deep social ill, something that needs to be addressed by society from within.  Just today there were two attacks on elementary schools, on in China and one in the US, one with knives and one with guns, both with injured and dead children.  There is no easy fix and I hate that so many people are polarizing politically over such tragic circumstances.  Put your party affiliations aside and think about how to mend our broken communities with thoughtful and considerate discourse.  (And p.s. a 30 round clip can be emptied in less then 30 seconds giving a security guard 50-100 yards away little chance of stopping anything and at $9 an hour compensation at that.)

Luis Cruz
Luis Cruz

It's shouldn't be to the point where we have to arm everyone in order to protect ourselves from mass shootings.

Larry Richard
Larry Richard

Land commissioner...... what an important job!!! One that tax dollars pay for. What a idiot.

Larry Richard
Larry Richard

Now he says it after children get murdered... But when people wanted more armed guards before, "we would have to raise taxes" or "children should should not grow up around guns" you have some stupid ass reason for not doing what people ask but now you are on board.... true politician...

roo_ster
roo_ster

None of our boys beat Ghoul Bloomberg to the punch, as he wallowed in the blood of innocents to push his agenda. 

As for Patterson, he was so gauche as to suggest ways these things could practically be prevented.  The nerve of some people.

Brookes Smith
Brookes Smith

Gun free zones, only keep out the good guys.

JustinG
JustinG

To summarize most of the posts you will see here along with the article:  "Yeah, let's outlaw guns and stuff then stuff like this will never happen again because then it would finally be illegal to kill people and stuff!"

JustinG
JustinG

Well there aren't any armed guards at schools right now...  How's that working out for everybody? 

Perhaps one of the dumbest articles written by the Observer to date.  Clearly not proposing any legitimate solutions and mocking anyone who is. 

Daniel
Daniel

@holmantx Really? Out-of-wedlock births have become to the norm in China? Because that's the only possible cause of senseless violence: women having sexual agency I mean out-of-wedlock births.

It's all the fault of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band somehow. Damn those 1960s!

observist
observist topcommenter

@holmantx Not sure how your math is Holman, but both the killing/wounding and casualty/perpetrator ratios are drastically lower in the all these knifing attacks than in US gun attacks.  Lunatics will be lunatics, so let's not give them the most efficient killing tools available.

Daniel
Daniel

@holmantx They should impose a hefty monthly fine on the mother for the duration of the child's minority -- kind of like probation for a felony. Also, women should have limited or no access to birth control, because that tacitly condones out-of-wedlock sex. And they should  cover their hair in public -- not in private in front of the males of their own families, I'm not a retrograde barbarian, for God's sake.

icowrich
icowrich

@pak152 Neither are wrong.  Now is the time for a policy discussion.  I, for one, think armed security at schools is only common sense.

icowrich
icowrich

@fromtexasbygod So?  A state law in a tiny state didn't stop the mom from owning a small arsenal.  What a surprise. 

Americano
Americano

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz   Let's outlaw Cocaine, Heroin and Meth while we are at it, then no one will ever die from those drugs again.

monstruss
monstruss

@JustinG no one in this thread has said anything about outlawing guns. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@JustinG 

"hows that working out for everybody?" on the whole, well.

thousands of schools, hundreds of days a year, and almost all without any violence.

seems that it works without everyone carrying weapons.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Daniel @holmantx Don't be obtuse.

Prof. Joshua Miller, chair of Social Welfare Policy at Smith College, attributed the attacks to stress caused by "rapid social change, mass migrations, increasing disparities in wealth and weakening of traditions."

and obtuse mealy-mouths

pak152
pak152

@Mantikos @RyanJ99 but they were attacked weren't they? this was not the first such attack like this in China.

Americano
Americano

@Mantikos @RyanJ99   Actually millions have died in China because the people have no way to fight back against a totalitarian government.

pak152
pak152

@monstruss @JustinG really? I guess you missed this post for Myrna ""It's time to start a movement to outlaw the sale and manufacture, and importation, of bullets and ammunition."

JustinG
JustinG

@monstruss Maybe not, but that or some variant of it is almost always the very next suggestion in most of these folks' mindless rhetorical arsenal.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@JustinG Yeah, and there will be plenty of posts about how we will need to outlaw knives propane and cars because they kill people too. A stupid argument.

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