Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, is offering legislation that will allow firearms in public buildings.
Under Olson's proposal, those with a concealed carry permit who can lawfully carry a handgun would be able to legally carry in any city, county or state public building. That would include courthouses, city and county meeting chambers, city halls and the state capitol building.
Predictably, the fear mongers raised concerns about lunatics entering courthouses and public meetings and opening fire.
Have you ever stopped to consider that we do nothing to enforce current gun prohibitions in public buildings? There are no metal detectors or police officers at the doors of nearly every public building.
All you'll find is a sign saying, "No firearms or weapons allowed".
Wow, that's some powerful deterrent. I'm sure any lawbreaker would stop dead in his tracks and rethink his actions upon seeing that kind of warning.
I'm not opposed to prohibiting guns in public buildings. But the prohibition must be enforced for the safety of everyone or no one is safe.
We act as if "no guns allowed" signs have some mystical property that will prevent anyone with a handgun from entering the building. Those signs offer absolutely no protection. All they do is make lawmakers and government officials feel better about public safety.
If government is unwilling to allow citizens to carry in public buildings, then elected officals must insure safety by installing metal detectors and hiring police. But they won't. It would cost too much.
I have no problem banning guns from public buildings, so long as we're insuring nobody has a firearm. I'm not willing to put my life on the line for a sign on the door.
Signs on the door won't stop a person intent on committing violence. They won't pay attention to them.
But I'll tell you who does obey the signs. The typical conscientious concealed carry permit holder who is a good, decent, law abiding citizen. They'll take their guns out of their holsters and lock them away in their cars.
That brings us full circle to Rep. Olson's proposal.
Her bill isn't going to result in more lunatics shooting up courthouses. There's nothing to stop those people.
But in the terrible event that it should happen, Olson's bill would mean that lawful gun owners won't be deprived of the right to defend themselves and others.
It's good legislation and ought to be passed.
Greg Belfrage is heard mornings 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter.