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Wow, I wish this were our level of debate. Col. Stollenwerk posted this over at PDO.

According to "Statehouse gun ban won't apply to lawmakers," The Associated Press, 25 September 2006 at ... 9/60925006 gun owners will soon no longer be able to carry their firearms, openly or concealed, when petitioning their lawmakers and observing or testifying at public meetings at the State House even though no citizen has ever done anything wrong with their sidearm in the State House.

Besides limiting the right of self-defense, Indiana lawmakers are establishing a "do as I say not as I do rule" that appears to have no basis in law and is a clear affront to Article I, Section 32 of the Indiana constitution which provides that "The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State."

Why are Indiana legislators now treated like royalty at the State House and permitted to retain their sidearms?

Senator Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, admits up front that his aim is to create a privileged class of Indianans (judges and legislators) to "minimize the people who might oppose what we were trying to do" and try to block the State House citizen gun ban.

But many states like Virginia allow citizens to routinely carry their sidearms at state houses - even to open carry them while testifying. Don't Indiana law makers trust their gun carry permit holders? We thought they did trust them - so much that lawmakers are eliminating the expiration of their permits!

The new State House citizen gun ban restricts the right of assembly and speech and ought to be tossed out. The open carry of firearms at public meetings is a form of free speech that ought not to be squelched without a fight.

Mike Stollenwerk/John Pierce
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