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Metal detectors at the Capitol

After the gunfire incident at the Capitol last week, you’d think this wouldn’t be too controversial.

The day after a shooting outside the state Capitol, lawmakers on Friday suggested that metal detectors to the building entrances were imminent, a move Gov. Rick Perry suggested he would not likely support.

“I’m always up for looking at new ways to protect our citizens, but the last thing I want is for the Texas Capitol to turn into DFW Airport,” Perry said Friday after accepting endorsements by the Texas State Rifle Association and National Rifle Association.

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Detectors at the entrances were being considered even before the shooting, said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, chairman of the Senate Administration Committee.

“One of the things that we need to do is a better job of checking people before they actually get into the building,” Williams said Friday. “It’s an unfortunate part of the world that we live in. ”

Sen. Dan Patrick, whose office was visited by the gunman before the incident, and who creeped out his staff enough to make them alert the cops, expressed similar sentiments as well. Neither of them is an advocate for gun control, so I’m not sure what Governor Perry’s concern is. I mean, courts across the country have metal detectors because of an outbreak of courtroom shootings, of which Ellie Nesler was probably the most notorious. You can’t get into Houston’s City Hall without passing through a metal detector. It’s not exactly a revelation that people who pack delusions, grudges, and weapons will be drawn to government buildings, and it’s not a radical idea to think that maybe we should do something to stop them before they get inside. I suspect this is a fight the Governor will lose.

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3 Comments

  1. Zeke says:

    It’s a fight he’ll lose, but he’s playing a different game. Even if he loses, he wins.

  2. Brown Bess says:

    Actually, this is one case where I agree with Perry. Don’t overreact. One incident with no fatalities in how many years?

    It’s refreshing to go into the Capitol without being strip-searched and run through a line/metal detector. It’s open-government in the flesh. Don’t make it into DFW airport.

  3. Dennis says:

    Zeke nails it – it’s not the fight that matters, it’s appealing to hard core GOP primary voters. And Rick Perry does that very well, apparently unconcerned that most Texans don’t vote in the primary and may find his views a bit too radical in the November general election.