Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio has responded to the National Rifle Association’s call to arms in perhaps one of the most misguided and foreboding of ways: he has rounded up 3,450 volunteers to arm themselves and monitor Arizona schools; the men are to be trained by action actor Steven Seagal, and their number includes sex offenders and domestic abusers.
No schools have requested the service. And with some of the the volunteers on board, the reasons are clear. Dominic Boulter, for instance, was arrested and convicted for attempting to seduce children. A 2009 article says that:
“Boulter began using an online service called Phonezoo.com in early 2005 to meet young girls between 13 and 17 years old. Boulter ultimately exchanged nude photos and text messages with at least eight underage girls from around the country. Boulter also suggested that he meet the girls in person to engage in sex acts and to get married, according to court documents.
During the encounters, Boulter told the girls he was 15 years old, 27 years old and 32 years old, according to the document.
Boulter admitted to detectives that he had sent harmful images to one underage girl and that he chatted with another via text message and Web cam as he encouraged the child to masturbate, according to court documents.”
If the schools don’t like it, Arpaio isn’t too sympathetic. “It doesn’t matter whether they like it or don’t,” he told ABC News. “I’m still going to do it. I can’t imagine criticism coming when they’re given free protection.”
The men will, after all, be trained by Steven Seagal, the action hero actor, who says “I’ve put hundreds of thousands if not millions of hours into my weapons training.” He wants to protect the children, “They are our most precious asset. They are our treasures and we have to protect them.”