Gun control activists in Indiana are melting down after several high schoolers affiliated with Students Demand Action confronted Rep. Jim Lucas over the right to carry, only to learn he had a gun on him at the time.
The Muncie students were at the state capitol on Tuesday advocating for more gun control when they hopped on an elevator with Lucas. One of the kids asked Lucas if he carried a firearm, at which point Lucas pushed back his suit jacket to reveal his lawfully carried pistol and told the students “I’m carrying right now.”
Makynna Fivecoats, a 17-year-old student at Burris Laboratory School, recorded the exchange between Lucas, the students and a parent chaperone, Alison Case, The Statehouse File reports. During their discussion, Lucas flashed his gun to the teenagers.
A student next told Lucas that people carrying firearms do not make them feel safe but rather threatened, prompting the following exchange:
“OK, those are feelings,” Lucas responded. “I’m talking facts.”
“That’s what this is about; this is about feelings,” replied the student.
“People who want to kill you don’t care about your feelings,” Lucas said.
Gotta say, I’m with Lucas on this one. It’s not about feelings. It’s about our rights, and my right to protect myself and the people I love is not contingent on anyone else feeling icky about the Second Amendment.
After a video of the exchange was posted online, gun control advocates and Democrat lawmakers were quick to try to name and shame Lucas for his actions, but the state representative isn’t backing down. In a post on Facebook, Lucas said he fears for and pities “those that are being indoctrinated to fear that which is their best means of self defense,” adding, “People are also being indoctrinated to depend on government for their ‘safety,’ even when shown that government has clearly ruled that government doesn’t have the duty to protect us.”
Again, Lucas is on solid ground when he says that the courts have ruled police are not responsible for our individual safety, but gun control advocates are now claiming that the issue is far more complicated.
Jody Madeira, Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor, said the ruling from the Supreme Court is “much more complex” than Lucas suggests. She explained that a police officer’s promise to help can cause an individual to rely on that promise, which forms a special relationship and creates a legal duty to respond.
“It’s dangerous to undermine public confidence in the police and to increase public confidence in vigilante justice,” Madeira said. “If we all believe that the police won’t protect us and we all carry firearms, we’re just contributing to the problem because if everyone who reports to a crime scene trying to help is carrying a firearm, then no one knows who the bad guy is.”
It’s really not that complicated. In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court ruled that the holder of a restraining order cannot bring a due process claim against a local government for its failure to actively enforce the order and protect the holder from violence. An earlier case in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was even more explicit in stating that police have a duty to protect the public in general, but no duty to provide police services to any individual, even when they’ve called 911 to report intruders inside their home.
Madiera might object to those decisions, but that doesn’t mean that Lucas was wrong when he pointed out that law enforcement has no duty to protect any individual citizen. And given that fact, it’s up to us to protect ourselves; not through “vigilante justice”, but by exercising our fundamental civil right to keep and bear arms. That’s something that hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers do on a daily basis, and if the thought of concealed carry terrifies these students they should not only stay away from the state capitol but probably shouldn’t ever leave their homes.
Lucas spoke with The Statehouse File Tuesday and defended his decision to flash the weapon.
“I just wanted to show that everyday people carry, and they are out every day among people that they have no idea are carrying, who are doing no harm, who are not threatening anybody. They simply want to have the ability to defend themselves and their loved ones from people who aren’t stopped by laws who aren’t stopped by morality,” Lucas said. “And that’s one of the questions I asked them … to please give me a law that I could submit and hopefully pass that will stop people that aren’t being stopped by the hundreds of laws already on the books.”
The students said they were caught off guard when Lucas showed his weapon. Alana Trissel, 17, said her heart dropped to her stomach.
“It was though all of my previous arguments were just invalid because I knew that at any given circumstance, he could end the entire conversation by choosing to end any of our lives,” Trissel said. “I just knew that that conversation wasn’t really a conversation because there was nothing I could say. I just felt unprotected and unsafe.”
And yet, every one of those students walked out of that elevator completely unharmed, save perhaps for the self-inflicted emotional scars they now bear. Whether they realize it or not, the chances are good that they’re around and interacting with folks who are lawfully carrying a firearm on a regular basis. It’s not something that’s going to come up unless those gun owners are asked about it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Should Lucas have simply told the students he was carrying at the time rather than showing them the butt of his pistol? I don’t think it would have mattered either way, to be honest. It wasn’t the sight of the gun that upset the activists, but the fact that Lucas responded in the affirmative when they asked if he had a gun on him. If they freaked out over that fact it’s not Lucas’s fault. I blame the adults who’ve indoctrinated them to be terrified of anyone exercising their Second Amendment rights.