The Indiana Statehouse has become the latest place to go gun-free, sort of:
Pistol-packing tourists at the Statehouse soon will have to leave their guns at home.
Lawmakers and judges, however, will be exempt from new Statehouse security restrictions that go into effect June 4.The Statehouse -- which includes the governor's and lieutenant governor's offices, the legislature and the Indiana Supreme Court -- has been wide open, with no metal detectors and numerous entrances.Under the new policy, guns will be banned, and visitors will have to pass through metal detectors. Bags will be scanned by X-ray machines. In addition, visitors will be limited to two doors -- the east door, which faces Monument Circle, and the lower-level west door, which is the handicap-accessible entrance.
A ban on guns makes sense in certain places -- a courthouse, for example, on any given day is likely to have numerous people angry with the criminal justice system in one way or another; better just to have the law enforcement people armed. The Statehouse ban can certainly be justified in today's post-9/11 world.
What irritates is the exception the lawmakers carved out for themselves. What they are saying is the same thing most gun advocates say: It's a dangerous world out there, and I reserve the right to defend myself, being not the kind of person who would ever misuse my firearm. They seem oblivious to what it shows about them that they reserve that right for themselves but don't trust their constituents to be able to handle it.