Can We Define “Liberty”–Before Someone Gets Shot?

For a bunch of lawmakers who just love to talk about liberty, the cowboys at the Indiana General Assembly seem to have embraced a very odd definition of that term. In their view, “liberty” means their right to make decisions for everyone else.

Funny, I thought that was a description of autocracy.

Case in point: A bill is proceeding through the General Assembly that will allow guns to be brought to schools and school events. The measure also says that no school board (public or private) can enact a policy forbidding legally authorized persons to have guns in their cars on school property.

The NRA must be so proud.

Ignore, for a moment, the lunacy of encouraging people to bring weapons to schools. Pretend that 26 children weren’t gunned down last year in Connecticut. Ignore the fact that gun violence is an epidemic in this city, state and country. Those arguments–while important– really are beside the point. (Although for a pointed and effective, albeit snarky, takedown of the “let’s arm the world” lunatics, you really should read this Op Ed about an Idaho bill permitting guns on campus..)

The real question is: Why in the world does the Indiana General Assembly get to tell public and private schools what safety precautions they may not choose to employ?

Municipalities have long complained about the lack of home rule in Indiana, but as the years have gone on, it has only gotten worse. The micromanaging and increasing high-handedness of the General Assembly is hard enough to stomach; the undeniable fact that campaign donors and special interests are all too often served at the expense of both sound policy and Indiana’s citizens is getting intolerable.

At what point do we ordinary Hoosiers demand some “liberty” of our own?


  1. The Indiana General Assembly gets to tell public and private schools what safety precautions they may not choose to employ because they have no understanding that their powers do have limitations. This same lack of understanding is how they rule our sex lives and women’s vaginas and choose to ignore the separation of church and state in all their actions regarding education based on their interpretation of selected Bible verses. There is no consideration for basic human and civil rights of the majority and logic and common sense was disregarded when the Tea Party, the NRA and GOP took bought and paid for control. The Supreme Court did away with the Civil Rights Act which gave everyone the right to vote; this action gave the Indiana General Assembly the power to remain in control from their lofty positions. They have forgotten the old adage, “Be nice to the little people on the way up because you are going to pass them on the way down.” Election days are coming; but will the people who are complaining about these issues now remember them at the polls? So far, they seem to have short term amnesia or have been too lazy to vote.

  2. Just think about the law passed a few years ago in Indiana that prohibits a business from prohibiting employees from bringing guns onto the employer’s property (if left in the employee’s car). The General Assembly has elevated gun rights above private property rights. More troubling is the fact the even Indiana Himeland Security said that this law needed exemptions for things like chemical plants or similar operations, but no such exemptions were included. And at least one Indiana legislator has, for years, been trying to get a law passed permitting guns in college dorms.

  3. An awful scenario is beginning to run through my mind: That dreadful rush onto the university basketball court last week where fistfights and really ugly stuff began to break out. Oh dear! Let’s DO add guns to the mix in that gymnasium/sports complex. Can you imagine the horror? Yes, I think you can.

    This week, sportscasters announced that a $25,000 fine is levied against a school when the arena floor is filled with fans and students following a game. It didn’t slow down the victors in Saturday’s upset games. Not one bit. I think we’re all witnessing the end of rushing onto the court when “our guys” win. Those same sportscasters pointed out that the winning players and coaches don’t leap over the scorer’s table and go flying up into the stands to celebrate with the fans. Of course, they don’t. That’s crazy! Descending onto the floor following a win is equally crazy!

    Guns don’t belong in the classroom, be it elementary or high school or university. Officers of the law on those campuses should carry the weapons, not John Q. Average Citizen with his new gun permit and that shiny new gun he bought during “guns-tax-free-weekend”.

    Newtown had a surge of gun purchases after 26 died at Sandy Hook. More crazy! The logic (or lack thereof) is to rush to the pawn shop or gun store after a shooting at a school, a mall, or convenience store, or movie theater, and purchase something to add to the misery. Nobody understands why that’s a good idea.

    Indiana isn’t the only place where we’ve totally lost touch with good ol’ common sense. It is happening everywhere!

  4. Liberty…schmiberty! The NRA and gun-dealers, with their “guns-tax-free-weekends” are the only ones who will have any liberty when all of this is over. Gun sales are sky-rocketing and they couldn’t be happier. The rest of us should prepare to hide! We’re like those little duck figures at the county fair shooting gallery.

  5. Can’t you get a carry concealed permit at 18 in Indiana? Does that mean 18 y/I seniors could legally carry in school?

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