Senate Judiciary yesterday heard and wisely killed Senate Bill 162, Senator Brock Greenfield's (R-2/Clark) bad idea to authorize legislators to carry concealed weapons in the State Capitol.

In advocating his bill, which Greenfield said he thunk up all on his lonesome without consulting with the Department of Public Safety whose troopers currently protect the Capitol, the senator from Clark offered this evidence of dangerous and arrogant lawbreaking by his colleagues:

...In my 15 years here I have come to learn that sometimes legislators break the law. Believe it or not, they break the law by carrying their concealed weapon into the Capitol, because for them, I guess they feel that their lives are paramount and that the law prohibiting us to carry is secondary [Senator Brock Greenfield, testimony on Senate Bill 162 before Senate Judiciary, South Dakota Legislature, Pierre, SD, 2015.02.12, timestamp 17:32]

Senator Greenfield is testifying to the fact that multiple legislators think they are bigger than the law. Senator Greenfield is testifying that he is aware of multiple instances of Class 1 misdemeanors putting the public and law enforcement officials at risk. (Luckily for Senator Greenfield, it's only a crime not to report felonies, not misdemeanors.)

Given that Senator Greenfield has alerted us to this criminal risk to public safety, perhaps the state troopers who protect the Capitol and all of the citizens therein now have justification to stop and frisk legislators. If people are bringing guns into the Legislature, law enforcement should stop them and punish them according to the law.

And legislators, if you can't get your priorities straight, if you go to work on the people's dime thinking the law is secondary to your whims and fears, maybe you're in the wrong line of work.