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America’s Craziest Sheriff Sends Armed Posses to Arizona Schools

Joe Arpaio has thought of less friendly uses for firearms in his recent past. Back in November, the sheriff decided to arm his deputies with automatic weapons to stop “illegal aliens” “attempting to escape” his county.
 
 
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An employee of the Project Y2000 firing range stands next to a display of handguns in El Cajon, California, on April 21, 2009. US firearm sales have sky-rocketed since the Newtown school massacre, as debate over gun control rages and enthusiasts fear cert

 

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will begin sending armed “posses” to patrol around Arizona schools today, in response to the shooting less than a month ago at Sandy Hook elementary school.

 

Arpaio made a name for himself by  abusing the civil rights of undocumented immigrants — and for  detaining a six year old undocumented child. Now he’s heeding the  NRA’s advice that every school needs a “guy with a gun” and is sending out volunteers “ with questionable pasts” to guard students:

Arizona’s 3TV reports that Arpaio’s volunteer force is comprised of around 3,000 members, some of which have criminal pasts.

According to CBS5, Arpaio’s office has provided a list of more than 50 schools in unincorporated Maricopa County that will be patrolled by the posses, which are in charge of providing all of their own weapons and equipment. The volunteers will not actually be posted on school campuses, but will instead monitor the areas around the facilities.[...]

The program is getting started as Arpaio prepares to be sworn in for his sixth term on Monday. The volunteer patrols will kick into full gear on Wednesday, and will be rolled out with a press conference.

Arpaio has thought of less friendly uses for firearms in his recent past. Back in November, the sheriff decided to arm his deputies with automatic weapons to stop “illegal aliens” “ attempting to escape” his county.

Annie-Rose Strasser is a Deputy Managing Editor at Think Progress.

 
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