Oklahoma: House passes bill to prevent political violence

Kaye Beach

April 28, 2011

Senate Bill 287  passed the House Tuesday 69 to 23.

See House  votes

The Broken Arrow Ledger reports:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation that would make it a felony to willfully and knowingly enter a restricted area where state officials are being provided protection by the Department of Public Safety has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 285, by state Sen. Kim David and state Rep. Mike Ritze, would also make it a felony to enter a restricted area to engage in violence or disorderly conduct and specifically mentions the Governor’s Mansion.

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The bill says it ” shall be unlawful” to

1.  Willfully and knowingly enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds where the Governor, any member of the immediate family of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, or other state official being provided protection by the Department of Public Safety is or will be temporarily visiting;

2.  Willfully and knowingly enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds the use of which is restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national or state significance

Also unlawful would be to  “Willfully and knowingly, enter with the intent to impede or to disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions in or within close proximity to any building or grounds” or to “or to engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct in or within close proximity to any building or grounds”

SB285 version, votes, amendment etc.

Reading this bill, I would be afraid to get any where near the Governor! And this is likely, exactly the point. If  you want to make sure you don’t get into  trouble, stay the heck away from the Governor!  Nice. .

So much for access, but hey!  there’s always e-Government.  It is safe sanitary and makes those annoying citizens ever so easy to ignore.  Just hit “delete” and Buh Bye.. 

“I think it is important in light of the Arizona shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman to ensure the safety of public officials,” Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, said

The Arizona shooting  prompted a variety of  legislative proposals for the purpose of better  safeguarding officials.

Less than 24 hours after the Arizona shooting that killed 6 and critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords  Rep Robert Brady from Pennsylvania was promising to introduce legislation “making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.” according to CNN

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Video interview with Rep. Brady here.

Some legislators like Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, reacted by  focusing on language that they perceived as threatening;

A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform. The bill, titled the “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act,” was set to come up for a vote this week, but in the wake of Gabby’s shooting, it has been postponed at least until next week.

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One South Carolina legislator wanted to require Universities to turn over the records of “disruptive” or “threatening” students that drop out of school.  The article doesn’t say who the records would be turned over to but presumably it would be the police.

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Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’

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Other reactions were more predictable:

Carolyn McCarthy readies gun control bill

Arizona Shooting Prompts Bloomberg to Renew Battle Against Illegal Guns

Republicans too

Peter King, a GOP Congressman from New York, announced new anti-gun legislation in the wake of the Arizona shooting:

“Congressman Peter King today also announced that he will introduce legislation that will make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the President, Vice President, Members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary. In the United States, it is illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. Passing a similar law for government officials would give federal, state, and local law enforcement a better chance to intercept would-be shooters before they pull the trigger.”

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