Oklahoma legislators need to have the ability to carry handguns to defend themselves from angry constituents and others who might carry out death threats and turn public meetings into killing fields, a House member said Tuesday.
“We don’t protect ourselves,” said Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw.
“According to the Constitution, the Second Amendment, I can carry in this building, that building, anyplace I want to go except if I do now I’m going to get in trouble, probably get arrested.
“How many people in here go to public events and public meetings and speak out in public either at the libraries, football fields, schools and places like that?” he asked House members. “Some of you may carry there anyway even though you’re not supposed to. But you probably do it because those are killing grounds. We have provided killing grounds for the bad guys to come and get us.”
For the record, the Second Amendment does not allow Bennett to bring a gun wherever he wants. As Justice Scalia explained in District of Columbia v. Heller, nothing in that amendment prohibits laws “forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”
Bennett’s colleagues rejected his proposal by a 55-32 vote, with state Rep. Steve Martin (R-OK) criticizing Bennett’s attempt to “start us down the dangerous path of giving ourselves really unjustified privileges that the average citizen doesn’t have.”