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September 05, 2007 04:22 PM UTC

Metal Detectors to Stay at Capitol

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Visitors to Colorado’s Capitol would go through metal detectors as part of tightened security developed after a fatal shooting outside the governor’s office.

Until the July 16 shooting, the Capitol had been one of the state’s most open government buildings, with visitors free to wander all three floors and to come and go as they pleased.

Gov. Bill Ritter said Tuesday he will ask the legislature this month for $1.6 million of emergency funding for metal detectors, X-ray machines, additional state troopers and quick-card access devices. Capitol employees and elected officials would have to use the cards to enter outside doors on the first floor of the statehouse.

“We’re taking steps to reduce the likelihood a dangerous person can bring a weapon into the Capitol,” Ritter said.

Ritter directed the State Patrol to assess statehouse security after a man was shot to death outside the governor’s office…

We view this as an unfortunate development, but we’re not about to question the State Patrol’s assessment of security needs. Many states already have these measures in place as a matter of course. A poll follows.

Will increased Capitol security obstruct the public's access to elected officials?

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22 thoughts on “Metal Detectors to Stay at Capitol

  1. they wouldn’t be temporary.  Glad I’m finished working down there. Could wind up in the capitol pokey if I forgot to leave my Swiss Army knife in the car……

    1. There will be some ‘Oh, woe, all is lost’ puff piece about loss of interest in the legislative process as indicated by dropping numbers of visitors to the Capitol, requisite with aptly placed quote saying that citizens claiming the inconvenience and indignity of being searched keeps them away is a sad excuse.

    2. there is nothing wrong with preventing ppl from coming into a place without weapons. Now, if they turn around and try to suddenly say that we can not see them anymore, that is a different matter. But just like homes, and businesses, they have the right to say that they want the place clean of weapons. Though I do have to admit that they get carried away with what they consider a weapon.

      1. …an event every 130 years does not a pattern make. 

        But a certain Republican leg can just zip right in the other doors with his pass card……and gun.

        1. the legislature is not searched? That DOES amaze me. I can see  if they have a line reserved for them to get through quickly, but I am surprised that they would exclude themselves.

          1. …and we all know that we can trust The Snooze, that the public will enter via the north and south basement doors (Welcome to the basement!) and the leges via the east and west doors.  Said doors will have swipe cards or similar, and presumably a bored, highly paid state police officer to glance at the leges.

  2. Fear, fear, fear.

    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.’

    James Madison

    1. they put up metal detectors. Big deal. It’s not like they have closed the capitol or restricted unarmed citizens access to the capitol in any way. It’s still open, monday through friday, 7:30am to 5pm.

      I don’t think James Madison would begrudge our elected leaders installing such minimal and unobtrusive security measures.

      1. I know I currently go out of my way to go to the City and County bldg no more than I absolutely have to because it is a hassle.

        I sometimes have joined in the tours of the Capitol because I love to hear each tour guide’s own take on the history. There are other times when the legislature is in se4ssion that I may kill time by watching a debate on the floor.

        I have always enjoyed the openness of the Capitol. I would prefer to see a more noticable presence of state troopers there than add the metal detectors.

        1. there is some kind of “express” entry for those who have to come and go all the time because of their jobs, it seems reasonable to have some degree of added security

          1. then everyone should have to go through them: legislators and all.

            We don’t know that some legislator won’t go off mentally, eventually. Or an employee. A violent domestic situation could take place. Etc.

            Just because it hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t.

        2. The capitol doesn’t see anywhere near the amount of traffic that the city & county buuilding sees. There are not a dozen courts, prisoners, people paying tickets etc. at the Capitol.

      2. Wasn’t it Madison who said something about gradual encroachments on liberty being the biggest threat?
        I’m not trying to be the conspiracy nut, but I can see this progressing to restricted areas and citizens having to state their purpose in visiting before being allowed in.

        1. Most people ask what you’re doing at the Capitol already. Don’t be so paranoid.

          Either way, Ritter was going to take some flak from the right wingers if he did nothing or did something. He’s either soft on crime, or acting like Big Brother. Spence would have changed her talking point to say she could just imagine a 4th grader being shot because Ritter did nothing to protect them while one a winter field trip to the Capitol

          1. I’d like to see fewer field trips.  From kindergarten through 8th grade, every teacher thought it was a novel idea to see both.  I should have applied for a job as a tour guide.

            1. Those are win-lose fields trips. Some children are extremely excited to see the State Capitol and meet VIP’s like Rep. Lundberg…but others (and I was one too!) drag their feet and start asking about lunch around 9am.

              What’s the best age for civic field trips? Should they wait till highschool when their are a little more mature and will have a better understanding of government?

              1. The field trips I went on as a Lawn Guy-land kid were to the NYC museums and Sag Harbor.  Probably my most remembered moment was in the bus in Queens.  Our teacher was Mr. Parkinson.  Some guy was sitting on the sidewalk holding a cardboard sign asking for help because he had Parkinson’s Disease.  Well, as 5th graders, we thought this beyond hilarious.

                (Dear Deceased Parkinson’s Dude:  It wasn’t personal, we were just ignorant kids.)

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