Jamiesfeast – There is a video from high school that shows an Indiana politician flashing a gun at students who were visiting the statehouse to talk to legislators about gun control.
A student from Muncie’s Burris Laboratory School told The Associated Press that she and four other students were at the state Capitol on Tuesday to advocate with Students Demand Action, a group that works with Everytown for Gun Safety. Alana Trissel, 17, said that state Rep. Jim Lucas asked the students why they were at the Capitol and then started to support gun rights.
The group and Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, then talked outside the elevator, and one of the students filmed the conversation. The Statehouse File, a news website for student journalists at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, was the first to report on this.
In the video, Lucas told the students that they needed to protect themselves and talked about how police failed to stop a lot of deaths during the school killings in Parkland, Florida, and Uvalde, Texas.
Lucas said that people aren’t “truly free” unless they can protect themselves when talking about places where guns aren’t allowed. A student who wasn’t on camera asked Lucas if he meant to bring a gun. Lucas said, “I’m carrying right now,” and held out his suit jacket to show a handgun that was holstered. This happened just over six minutes into the ten-minute film. At first, it wasn’t clear what kind of gun Lucas was holding.
A student said off-camera, “Someone carrying a gun doesn’t make me feel safe.” Lucas then took off his jacket.
The Associated Press tried to get in touch with Lucas on Wednesday but couldn’t right away. They left messages for him on his Facebook page and with his press secretary. There were phone numbers in public records that were linked to his name that did not work.
Lucas didn’t explain what he did in public Facebook posts on Tuesday night and Wednesday. In his own words, the talk “was respectful, but it was clearly facts, reason, and logic vs. plain emotion.”
In a post on Wednesday, he said, “I fear for and pity those that are being taught to fear that which is their best means of self-defense.” In the comments section, he also linked to news stories about the Parkland and Uvalde killings. It’s also being taught that people should count on the government for “safety,” even though it’s been made clear that the government doesn’t have to protect us.
He said that when he showed the gun, the talk “went for the worse.” A student asked Lucas why he carries a gun, and he said, “to be able to defend myself.”
Lucas said that the group’s argument was based on feelings, but Trissel said that wasn’t true and that she felt like she was being talked over.
“Because a lawmaker showed a gun, I felt even less able to help,” she said. “I was scared. I felt by myself. “I was shy and scared to death,” she said.
The Indiana Capitol and its grounds are open to people with guns who work for politicians. This year, a bill was proposed that would give that right to some statewide elected officials and their staff.
Lucas tells the kids in the video to go to a gun range and learn how to shoot. Trissel then cuts him off and asks if he has lost anyone to gun violence. Lucas said he has used a gun to protect his family twice, but he didn’t say more.
Lucas finally starts to leave and asks, “Does anyone else have any reasonable concerns they’d like to address?” He left when the chat started up again.
Trissel said that she didn’t feel heard when she left the Capitol after talking to Lucas and other state lawmakers about gun control.
Lucas got a lot of attention last summer when he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drunken driving charges. Police said he drove his pickup truck through a fence on an interstate highway and then drove off. Lucas, who was first voted to the Legislature in 2012, was able to keep his job; state law only says that people with felony convictions can’t be elected.
Lucas is a well-known supporter of lowering gun rules. Last year, he authored a bill that created a state-funded program to teach teachers how to use handguns.
One news source in Indiana says Lucas told kids at an event in 2020 that gun control laws won’t stop mass shootings at schools and that he was carrying a gun at the time. Then, the story says, he asked if that scared anyone in the room.
He has been in trouble before for what some people called racist posts on social media.