Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and a champion of laws protecting the right to keep and bear arms in the state legislature, but he’s being criticized for the response he gave to a student who quizzed him about a bill that would allow teachers to receive firearms training, as well as allow for retired law enforcement officers to lawfully carry on school property in the state.
Lucas responded to the question with support for the legislation, and noted that the Supreme Court has stated that law enforcement has no duty to protect individuals, even “children who are being slaughtered.” The Republic newspaper in Indiana says Lucas created a “stir” when the student asked a followup question.
After Lucas answered Brewer’s question, the student had a follow-up question: “Do you believe the more guns that are being carried, including in this room, would make my classmates and I safer?”
Lucas immediately said “absolutely” and then told the crowd “I’m carrying right now. Does that scare anybody?”
Around 20 people, or roughly a third of those in the room, raised their hands to signal that it scared them. Several other people said “yes” without raising their hands. There also were a few people who said “no.”
After the event, Lucas said he was carrying a .50-caliber 1911 handgun at the Third House session, adding that he carries a firearm everywhere he goes — including in the Indiana House of Representatives chamber and in the Statehouse. Donner Center, where Third House was held, is a Columbus city parks facility.
Lucas is right about the Supreme Court ruling that police have no obligation to protect you as an individual. Just read the decision in Castle Rock v. Gonzalez, which was decided in 2005.
Jerry Maulin, a team leader who teaches second through sixth grades at ABC Stewart and took the students to Third House, said he was “somewhat disappointed” that the other lawmakers didn’t comment on the student’s question about gun legislation.
The purpose of attending the event, Maulin said, was for the students to learn that there are multiple sides to issues, but they ended up only hearing one side of the gun debate.
“I’m not surprised by (Lucas’) comments,” Maulin said. “I understand that it is probably his main issue. …I was somewhat disappointed that the other members (of the General Assembly) didn’t have any comment on it. They kind of let him dominate (the conversation).”
Brewer, through Maulin, said he felt Lucas answered his question.
“He said he thought Rep. Lucas answered his question. He felt like Rep. Lucas really likes guns. He also said he felt many in the room were startled when Rep. Lucas revealed he was carrying a gun right there in our meeting,” Maulin said.
“It was kind of startling when Rep. Lucas shared that he was carrying a weapon,” Maulin said.
“‘Children being slaughtered,’ to say that to school kids, I don’t know,” Maulin said.
It’s a hard truth, but it is the truth, and Lucas was correct in pointing out that fact, no matter how uncomfortable Maulin may have been with language Lucas used.
Unfortunately, many Americans would simply prefer to pretend that if we ban guns, there’d be no reason to carry a firearm for self-defense because bad guys would be disarmed right alongside America’s 100-million gun owners. I’m sure it’s a comforting thought for those folks, but it’s simply untrue. All you have to do is look at the crime rates in the two American cities that did have a handgun ban on the books to see that criminals will find a way to illegally obtain and possess firearms, while good people are denied their rights.
Washington, DC had a handgun ban in place from 1977 through 2008, when it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller decision. During that time period, the city’s homicide rate grew from 28 homicides per 100,000 people in 1977 to a high of 80 per 100k in 1991, before gradually declining to 31.5 in 2008, when the ban was struck down. After the ban on handgun ownership was lifted, the city’s homicide rate continued to drop, reaching a low of 14 homicides per 100k in 2012 before starting to rebound. The city’s homicide rate post-handgun ban has never gotten higher than 24 per 100k, which means it’s never been as high as it was when the city’s ban on handguns was in place.
Chicago, Illinois crime rates tell a similar story, with homicide rates spiking in the early 1990’s, while the city’s ban on handguns was firmly in place. Chicago’s ban began in 1982, and was lifted in 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the McDonald case that the city’s ban was unconstitutional. Since then, while homicide rates have risen and fallen, they’ve never reached the highs seen while the handgun ban was in effect.
They don’t teach these statistics in school, but hopefully Rep. Lucas gave students and teachers something to think about when it comes to their safety and security at school and at home.