Having changed my major seven times in college, I came away with a lot of weird credit hours. But I honestly learned a lot in my Emergency Management and Disaster Mitigation course. For example, organizations and government entities should create designated safe meeting spaces and perform regular drills for typical disastrous events, like hostage situations, tornados, and extortion phone calls. City planners should surround entrances to important facilities with concrete planters and benches to keep buildings welcoming all while preventing potential attackers from being able to drive up near the structure. And, if you are an Oklahoma lawmaker, closing open stairwells and hiring armed guards to protect you and your colleagues from Oklahoma teachers…
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Leaders in the Oklahoma House are dramatically ramping up security at the state Capitol less than a year after thousands of teachers demonstrated peacefully for increased education funding.
House leaders have erected guard stations in hallways, banned public access to stairwells and hired an ex-police officer licensed to carry a gun inside the Capitol.
Passing through a public entrance into the building already requires going through metal detectors.
Metal detectors? My goodness, Fox 25 is acting like metal detectors alone are enough to prevent an attack by an Oklahoma educator. Do they not know just how many Oklahoma lawmakers were harmed during last year’s walkout?! Well, none actually. But by how many openly complained on social media and refused to negotiate with OEA during the walkout, I am guessing that the only hurt inflicted by teachers was on the poor old lawmakers’ feelings.
House Speaker Charles McCall denied the new security measures were prompted by the teacher walkout. He says they are aimed at enhancing the public’s experience at the Capitol.
Several House members said they were caught off guard by the changes.
Democratic Rep. Forrest Bennett expressed particular concern about blocking access to stairwells and called the changes “ridiculous.”
House Speaker McCall is right. The new safety measures will do nothing but enhance the public’s experience at our state’s Capitol building. Just think, if there’s enough barriers and guards between the general population and Oklahoma lawmakers, the only way they’ll be able hurt us is through the batshit legislation they pass.
Hayley has a minor in Emergency Management. Follow her on Twitter @squirrellygeek.