Niki Kelly, writing for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, has an article about a committee hearing concerning legislation that would restrict the property rights of schools by preventing them from restricting gun owners from keeping a gun in parking lots on school property. What struck me was the contentious posture apparently taken by some of the lawmakers toward testifying witnesses.
It got especially heated when Zionsville mother Shannon Watts, of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, testified. For every statistic she used, Lucas countered from a book he carried. For every statement she made on mass shootings, another lawmaker would refute. Lucas even pointed out her maiden name and read a list of her previous jobs to note her expertise in media and marketing. And Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, called her disingenuous for supporting background checks and other gun regulations but claiming to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. A representative from the National Rifle Association spoke in support of the bill, but no private citizens did.
Proponents of reduced firearm regulation don’t do themselves any favors by being unnecessarily confrontational. They will tell you that they are promoting self-defense and the constitution. However, they need to be aware that many proponents of increased firearm regulation see firearms as a force enhancer for blowhards who are spoiling for a fight. At this point in the process, Sen. Lucas should have his votes sewn up. Or at least he should have already educated his colleagues on the fence sufficiently that a witness like Watts is incidental to the process. At best, engaging her will do nothing. At worst, it will blow up in his face – making her more important to the process than he had any need to make her.
Also, are firearms still not permitted at the State House? Seems like a decent respect for consistency would make that the first place to drop restrictions.