Legislators seek more security for the state Capitol | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Legislators seek more security for the state Capitol

Posted By on Sun, Nov 23, 2014 at 7:56 AM

SAFE ENOUGH: Legislators and the secretary of state's staff are talking about more security at the Capitol.
  • SAFE ENOUGH: Legislators and the secretary of state's staff are talking about more security at the Capitol.

Is it coincidental that a sudden interest in stepping up security at the state Capitol comes with the changing political landscape to solidly Republican?

Just asking. In any case, both legislators and officials in the secretary of state's office are suddenly talking about more security. The nominal secretary of state, Mark "Not the Race Car Driver" Martin, doesn't have much personal reason for concern. He appears at the Capitol only sporadically, spending a great deal of his time back home in Prairie Grove pursuing private engineering work. He's been in office four years and hadn't demonstrated strong feelings about more security until recently. Of course he's also been in office for four years without pressing for improvements in the state's dated election machinery, a concern of the office under the Constitution.

(PS: I'm still looking for details, but Martin's staff did shake up the Capitol maintenance department the day after the election, moving to fire three long-time employees, including a 14-year Capitol plumber for reasons that remain unclear. The plumber's dad appeared in a TV commercial for Mark Pryor, but that may only be a coincidence, too.)

If fear of security threats is high, perhaps it's time for a law to allow open carry at the Capitol. In fact, I'm not sure the law that prevents carrying of weapons in the Capitol is constitutional to begin with. What part of "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" don't lawmakers understand?

On a  less facetious note: If screening of Capitol visitors is a must, it has always been a problem that the elevator is in the ground floor vestibule, outside the screening station. If Capitol police aren't paying close attention it's possible to dash into the elevator without passing through the screening. I've been around long enough to remember when doors stood open on every side of the Capitol and there was a much smaller security presence. The worst damage was done by filmmakers who smudged the dome once with a fake rocket shot and, of course, by lawmakers doing all kind of damage to the body politic under cover of official legislative action.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: ISIS hacks Arkansas librarians

    • I dont really know much about hacking after so many tries i met cleverhacker.hack@gmail.com who…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • rKen$aw looking at red-light cameras. But for our safety dontcha know, not for revenue. "Arkansas…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • STATUE OF JOHN CALVIN ASSAULTED, TORN DOWN BY ANGRY MOB [Warning: Satire] http://babylonbee.com/news/mob-angry-armin……

    • on August 18, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation