This from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper:
A day after a man fired shots into the air outside the Texas Capitol, a renewed debate over bolstering security at the statehouse gained momentum.
With several lawmakers calling publicly for metal detectors and other beefed-up security measures, Senate and House leaders announced plans for a special working group to study increased security measures.
Even so, Gov. Rick Perry made it clear Friday that he’s not in favor of increased security if it means installing airportlike checkpoints.
“The last thing I want is the Texas Capitol to turn into DFW airport,” he told reporters after accepting a re-election endorsement from the Texas State Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association.
Perry said enough people in Texas have concealed-carry handgun licenses to deter violent criminals. “That keeps us all safer,” he said.
But wait….there’s more!
About a year ago, John Carona, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, called for increased security after a witness threatened him during a hearing and was escorted from the building.
Carona, R-Dallas, called for metal detectors at all public entrances to the Capitol, more surveillance cameras and more security personnel to be assigned to the seat of state government — which state officials at the time acknowledged was probably one of the few remaining state capitols without security screening devices at every entrance.
Capitols in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana all have metal detectors, officials in those states said. The Texas Capitol has a network of surveillance cameras supplemented with uniformed state troopers posted in all hallways and public areas.
I don’t know. Am I missing something here? A guy brings a concealed weapon into the state capitol building, has an altercation with staffers of a representative (a Republican, by the way) and goes outside and fires his gun five times into the air, and Perry worries about making the capitol as safe as an airport?
I was at the capitol last October for my son-in-law’s police academy graduation, and though there were a lot of uniformed troopers around, I doubt if any of them could stop someone from shooting people at random with a gun that was brought into the building—concealed legally or not. It gives me the heebie jeebies now to think that ordinary folk were packing heat in a governmental building while I was there. I felt safe with all the armed officers that were around attending the graduation ceremony, but their guns were visible and they are “ordained”, if you will, through much intensive training, to be allowed to carry them in such a venue. But what would have happened if some nutcase carrying a weapon had decided to open fire?
Now, some of Perry’s own fellow Republican party members are getting goosey about the wisdom of mixing guns and “gubmint.” Especially when the business end of a pistol is pointing at them.
One even called it “a warning shot—literally.”
Huh. Fancy that.