Indiana Lawmaker Shows Gun to Students at Statehouse
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana lawmaker recently sparked controversy when he displayed a firearm to a group of high school students visiting the statehouse to discuss gun control. The incident was captured in a video taken by one of the students.
Advocacy Day with Students Demand Action
A group of five students from Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, Indiana, participated in Advocacy Day with Students Demand Action, an organization affiliated with Everytown for Gun Safety. During their visit to the state Capitol, they encountered state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, who engaged them in a conversation about gun rights.
A Startling Revelation
As the discussion progressed, Lucas defended the necessity of self-protection and highlighted the failures of law enforcement in preventing mass shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Uvalde, Texas. The conversation eventually turned to places where firearms are prohibited, with Lucas asserting that true freedom includes the ability to defend oneself.
A Controversial Moment
During the recorded interaction, a student off camera questioned Lucas about carrying a firearm. In response, Lucas revealed, “I’m carrying right now,” and briefly exposed his holstered handgun by opening his suit jacket.
After witnessing Lucas display his weapon, one student expressed feeling unsafe. The Associated Press attempted to reach Lucas for comment but was unsuccessful.
In subsequent Facebook posts, Lucas did not elaborate on his actions but described the conversation as a clash between facts, reason, and logic versus raw emotion. He expressed concern for those being indoctrinated to fear their best means of self-defense and questioned the reliance on the government for safety.
A Frightening Encounter
The student who captured the video, Alana Trissel, described the encounter as taking a turn for the worse after Lucas showed his weapon. Trissel felt unheard, scared, and alone during the discussion.
Gun Laws in Indiana
Indiana lawmakers and their staff are permitted to carry handguns in the Capitol and on complex grounds. A proposed bill aims to extend this right to certain statewide elected officials and their staff.
Further Conversations and Controversy
In the video, Lucas suggested that the students visit a gun range to learn how to shoot. However, Trissel interrupted to ask if Lucas had personally experienced the loss caused by gun violence. Lucas mentioned defending his family twice with a firearm but did not provide further details.
Feelings of Unheard Voices
After engaging with Lucas and other state representatives about gun control, Trissel left the Capitol feeling ignored and powerless.
Past Controversies and Positions
Lucas, a vocal advocate for relaxed gun laws, sponsored a bill in the past to establish a state-funded handgun training program for teachers. He has faced criticism for previous remarks and what critics called racist posts on social media.
- Statehouse File
- Shootings in Parkland, Florida
- Shootings in Uvalde, Texas
- Jim Lucas’ Facebook Posts
- Jim Lucas’ Facebook Post
- Indiana Capitol Gun Laws
- Jim Lucas’ Drunken Driving Arrest
- State-Funded Handgun Training Program for Teachers
- Racist Social Media Posts
Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2024-02-01 03:52:00
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