(BrightPress.org) – A state lawmaker from Indiana showed visiting high school kids the gun he had holstered on his hip during a trip to the Statehouse while the children were there as part of a lobbying effort to push for more gun control. Many of the children complained they felt “threatened” by the presence of the weapon.
Republican Rep. Jim Lucas was elaborating arguments for and against gun control with high schoolers from Burris Laboratory School when he pulled aside his jacket to reveal the gun he had holstered on his waistline saying that he was “carrying right now.”
A student said the weapon did not make her “feel safe.” Lucas highlighted that her feelings were arbitrary. “I’m talking facts,” he replied. Lucas added that folks who want to do violence don’t care about your feelings.
The students were affiliated with Students Demand Action, a national platform for youngsters to connect them with lawmakers to lobby for gun control. The event was part of nationwide efforts for “Advocacy Day,” where every year adults encourage children to lobby lawmakers in favor of gun control.
Researcher David Riedman tabulated 55 school shootings in the state from 1966 to present. In 2024, there were 14 school shootings in the US with a total of 17 people being shot. It was unclear how many of them were killed. In 2023, 617 people were killed and 2,450 shootings were reported in Illinois, a state with very strict gun control laws.
The children seemed unable to consider the subject independently from their feelings. One 17-year-old girl said she felt “genuinely unsafe” after she realized he had a gun. She suggested she wanted to flee immediately. The children seemed unaware that lawmakers and their staff are authorized to carry in the Statehouse.
In comments to a local college paper, the teen said that she thought he was threatening them, despite the context. Lucas said he was simply demonstrating people could carry safely for self-defense.
When asked later, he suggested that adult conversations require the participants to be able to tolerate adult situations. He added comments on Facebook suggesting that children were being indoctrinated to fear firearms, which he said were their best means of self-defense. He also highlighted how the government doesn’t have a legal responsibility to protect citizens, so everyone should know how to protect themselves.
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