Juxtaposition: Indiana & Guns
Today, 21-year old Andrew Boldt was shot and killed at Purdue University. Police have arrested Cody Cousins in connection with his murder. The campus was locked down as a result of the shooting, with students told to shelter in place. For me personally, it was a harsh reminder that the campus lockdown my wife experienced at IU Southeast in December could have been much, much worse. I can only imagine what the students, staff, and faculty of Purdue must be feeling at the moment.
Purdue professor Julia Chester works with Moms Demand Action, a “common-sense gun reform” group. She described her personal experience of the 35th school shooting since Newtown:
“I was spurred into action by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Today, I experienced the terror of an active shooting first-hand. While I was working in my office at Purdue University, I was alerted that there was a shooting on campus and told to shelter-in-place along with colleagues and students. The fear and confusion on campus was palpable. No matter how many drills you’ve been through, panic takes its toll on logic. No matter how many doors you try to shut between you and the shooter, a bullet may find its way through.”
But the news about the shooting at Purdue wasn’t the only gun-related story from Indiana to come across my radar today.
First, Doug continued his series reviewing legislation introduced in this year’s state legislative session with a brief mention of HB 1018. Rep Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) introduced the bill that carries this description:
Prohibits a state agency, including a state supported college or university, from regulating the possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories…
Second, the Indy Star noted today that Rep. Lucas has also introduced HB 1048, legislation that would “let licensed gun owners have firearms on school property if they leave them locked and out of sight in their vehicles.” (That’s K-12 schools, by the way — not universities.) The bill originally included language reducing the penalty for knowingly bringing a gun onto school property from a felony to a misdemeanor, though — at least according to the Indianapolis Star — that language has been removed for now. (The General Assembly website still lists only the “as introduced” language for the HB 1048.)
Finally, last night the news spread that Indianapolis will host this year’s National Rifle Association convention. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal‘s Anthony Schoettle, the city’s tourism officials deliberately kept it quiet.
At the request of NRA officials, no local press release or other official statement was made about the trade show being held in Indianapolis, Visit Indy officials said Monday. The show is now just a few months off, with set-up scheduled to begin April 22, and the convention running April 25-27.