First, I dispute the claims by prosecutors that this measure is necessary to ensure their safety.
Second, the ability for one side but not the other to carry concealed weapons into a courtroom does much to skew that level playing field the criminal justice system is supposed to strive for.
Finally, the presence of additional guns in a courtroom will not make the room safer.
She mentioned the Brian Nichols case, about which we've talked here and here. He's the one who, as the defendant in an Atlanta courtroom, overpowered a sheriff, took her gun and shot and killed the judge a court reporter and another sheriff on the way to making his escape.
His story perfectly illustrates the final point of the Preaching to the Choir post. If I were a criminal planning a desperate escape, I'd go for the prosecutor's gun rather than the sheriff's. Right or wrong, I'd imagine the uniformed officer to be better trained and harder to take a gun from. The temptation to try and disarm the prosecutor might be a strong one to a desperate man.
The claim that more guns makes for more safety, to me seems ridiculous. And this applies to courtrooms in Kansas as well as the United States of America at large.
What's your opinion? Is this a good idea? Isn't the reason guns are prohibited inside a prison, even policemen's guns, because of the threat of a prisoner trying to take one away and make a daring escape? Isn't one of the benefits of this policy to remove the temptation? Shouldn't that apply in courtrooms as well.
Putting aside this long-standing argument about the benefit of guns for a moment, I'd say Sarah's second point is a clincher. Wouldn't you?
Please tell us what you think.