Check out the article in todays Indy (red)Star,
as well as some of the responses.
Thanks for the slight spiking of my blood pressure with each of "noob"s' contributions on the matter! ;)
I had calmed down (a little) over this since we were essentially ignored by the governor and his staff on this issue.
Now I'm pi**ed again.
We need to start an ongoing, repetitive letter writing campaign directly to the governor as well as seek some sort of legislative relief. They may think this issue is settled, but it's far from settled until they do the right thing.
From the Indianapolis Star
May 23, 2007
Not all in legislature support gun ban
Statehouse security plan strikes some as unfair
By Mary Beth Schneider
May 23, 2007
Under security restrictions that take effect June 4, legislators will be able to bring their guns to the Statehouse, but constituents who have licenses to carry guns will have to leave their weapons at home.
Even some lawmakers aren't sure that's right.
"My thoughts have always been if you have a permit to carry a weapon you should be permitted to carry it in public places," said Sen. Jeff Drozda, a Westfield Republican who is among at least 18 legislators with gun permits.
Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, who also has a permit, said he doesn't believe in placing restrictions on anyone's right to bear arms. And, he noted, some gun-free zones, such as colleges, have proven to be anything but safe from violence.
Andy Horning, a Freedom resident who has run for office both as a Libertarian and a Republican, was outraged by both the new ban and the exemption for lawmakers, judges and statewide officeholders who work in the Statehouse.
"It's illegal," he said, noting that Indiana's constitution bars granting special privileges to some citizens and also says that "the people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State."
"That's dirt simple," Horning said. "What don't they understand?"
But Sen. Thomas J. Wyss, a Fort Wayne Republican who serves on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Council, which approved the new rules, said the measures are needed for a changing world.
The exemptions were "more of a compromise" to get agreement on the security measures, he said.
"Would I have preferred no weapons (for anyone)? Yes," Wyss said. "But it was decided we were tackling a big project . . . so that rather than getting into a tussle over a legitimately licensed legislator or judge, we were going to go ahead and allow that at this time. That could change in the future."
Kae Warnock, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Indiana is now the 20th state to implement some sort of screening for weapons.
While a handful of states, including Georgia and South Carolina, have had restrictions for more than a decade, most were implemented after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The restrictions, though, vary from state to state. Alabama, for instance, bars weapons only when the Legislature is in session, Warnock said. And California, while banning guns, allows people with concealed-carry licenses to bring weapons into the building. In Indiana, even visitors licensed to carry guns will be refused entry unless they leave their weapons in the car or take them home.
Warnock said states have been reluctant to implement security restrictions that bar weapons or limit which doors the public can enter. In Indiana, police identified 13 Statehouse entrances; only two -- on the east and west sides of the building -- will be open to the public on most days, with the south door open only during peak visitation times.
"Legislators believe that the Capitol is the people's house," Warnock said. "There has always been a belief that the doors ought to stay open so people can be part of the process."
But, she said, eventually most states will adopt the same kind of security measures that Indiana is enacting.
"At some point, there isn't going to be any choice," she said.
Dave Druker, spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state, said Illinois reached that point in September 2004, when a mentally disturbed Statehouse visitor shot and killed an unarmed security guard.
Now, guns are banned for everyone other than law enforcement, Capitol police are armed and visitors pass through metal detectors, he said.
He said it took a tragedy for Illinois to adopt these security measures.
"Hopefully, it can be accomplished in other places without that."
We need to contact those legislators right away.
Anyone who wants to help and is not on our Gun Owners of Indiana list, please contact me via e-mail (not pm) and I'll add you to the list.
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