Op-Ed Calls for Fewer Guns in Indiana State House in Opposition to Bill

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In Indiana, there's a bill in the works that would allow some people to lawfully carry firearms in the state house.

Not just anyone, though. It namely only impacts those who work in the capitol building itself such as lawmakers and their staffers.


That's not particularly great from a gun rights perspective because it takes on a "some animals are more equal than others" approach, but it still moves the needle in the right direction, which means that once this gets into place, it can be expanded to include other law-abiding citizens

And unsurprisingly, someone doesn't like that very much.

Senate Bill 14 would allow the Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Comptroller, State Treasurer and their full-time staff to carry firearms in the Statehouse. The bill intends to extend the same rights to these state officials as members of the General Assembly. The bill already passed out of the Senate and into the House. 

In my opinion, Senate Bill 14 is a showpiece bill pushed forward by lawmakers hoping to prove a point. There is no reason a lawmaker or employee needs a gun in the statehouse. Is a firearm really needed to discuss policy matters and attend to the business of the state of Indiana? There should be adequate security at the entrance and throughout the complex to prevent any need for self-defense inside. In fact, entrances are staffed by Indiana State Police Capitol Police officers, and visitors pass through metal detectors and screening devices. If there are concerns about safety inside the building, official internal security should be reinforced. 

Except much of the problem isn't about inside the building. People don't live in the capitol buildings, after all. They have to leave at some point, which means going out into the world where they might well be in needed, only to see folks disarmed because of where they work.


Of course, this is also why your average citizen who doesn't work there should be permitted to carry in the capitol as well, since they're just as likely to be the victim of some crime or another, but still...

What's more, the author seems to understand that's why this bill has been introduced.

To be fair, one of the authors, Senator James Tomes, R-Wadesville cited safety outside of the Statehouse and high crime rates in Indianapolis as justification for the bill. In January of 2024, for example, a man was shot and killed at a transit center just a few blocks away from the statehouse. 

The author then goes on to cite the long-debunked claim that gun ownership makes you more likely to be killed, ignoring that the study in question didn't differentiate between lawful gun ownership and criminals in possession of a gun.

She ended by saying this:

Though this may seem like a small issue in the larger gun control debate, this bill indicates the conservative majority’s desire to move even further towards deregulation of guns. Rather than expanding the right to carry in a government area, we should be restricting it. It is a shame, though not a surprise, that lawmakers look past the facts of gun use to serve a political agenda. 

The irony is that she's looking past the actual facts of gun use to serve a political agenda.

The truth of the matter is that RAND has been trying to find evidence that gun control works for years and hasn't been able to really find a strong link. We also know that there are serious problems with research on controversial topics, and guns definitely fall into that category.


So yeah, she's looking past facts to serve her agenda.

The truth of the matter is that people who go into the state capitol building have to leave. Those who go into it each day have to leave each day. That means they're subjected to the whims of those who are outside of it and can't take a constitutionally protected steps to protect themselves from those whims.

My issue with the bill is that it doesn't go far enough, but I'm a big fan of anything moving the needle toward more freedom and this is a step in that direction. It's not the final step, mind you, just one to take to show that it's not an issue.

And if the author doesn't like it, well...good.

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