Despite the possibility of armed protests in all 50 state capitals, we have enough faith in our state's residents and our law enforcement to feel safe in our statehouse.
Some Missouri lawmakers have expressed concern that the security in the building needs to be improved, the Missouri Independent reported. This, after rioting at our nation's Capitol and an FBI warning of planned armed protests in all state capitals. Some of the planned protesters were part of extremist groups, the agency said.
Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Charles County, told the paper that issues with Missouri state Capitol security have a new sense of urgency now. He said the 34 members of Capitol Police do not have the equipment needed to secure the building.
But Capitol Police have already asked for help from several other agencies. That's a good start. We hope Capitol Police, presumably along with the Missouri Highway Patrol, Jefferson City Police Department and other agencies, will come up with a plan to keep people and property safe at the Capitol.
Gov. Mike Parson made a good point when he recently said: "I think our state's a little different compared to a lot of other states where you're seeing some of these, maybe some of these issues coming."
Our state is different. We've been fortunate to have large rallies/protests/lobbying groups advocating for liberal and conservative positions in the past, and they've done so safely. Some of the most divisive issues, such as abortion, have had people on both sides of the argument at the Capitol previously with no violence.
Second, Missouri's executive and legislative branches are controlled by Republicans. So groups protesting in support of President Donald Trump, we suspect, would be tamer. The Jan. 6 protests and rioting in Washington, D.C., were encouraged by Trump and others. Nothing similar has happened here in Missouri.
Missouri is a diverse state, with a mix of rural and urban as well as conservative and liberal. However, we've been able to compromise and otherwise resolve our differences peacefully in the past. We urge everyone, regardless of their political ideals, to continue this.