From the Beaumont Enterprise editors we get more fantasy thought and refusal to look at reality on the issue of courthouse security following the murders outside the Jefferson County courthouse.

In an editorial titled, “Courthouse shooting could have been much worse”, we are given this shallow argument: “The interior courthouse security that has been the subject of so much discussion really didn’t come into play Wednesday as the violence occurred outside. Yet if nothing else, the building’s security was able to help prevent any possibility of the bloodshed moving inside.”

If that’s the level of reasoning many accept as legitimate, it’s no wonder they also think government action will solve all their problems! The Jefferson County shooter did, after shooting folk outside, enter the courthouse but he was stopped, not by the metal detectors and paid guards, but by employees of Richard Construction who grabbed him and disarmed him – True-Texan civilians, not the courthouse security team!

The only Texas courthouse shootings I can easily find in the record that happened inside the building involved use of a police officer’s weapon taken from the officer so those don’t count as to the efficacy of TSA-style screenings. There are however, many shootings outside of our courthouses, in the record and easy to find, going back decades. (Several at the same Jefferson County courthouse!)

From this history we can reasonably infer that an expected, strong presence of armed officers,which exists inside courts has deterred in-building attacks. (It can’t be due to screening stations as those are relatively recent in most courthouses.) Such a presence outside, in the passive manner used by the DPS at the Texas Capitol, would likely do more to deter mass shootings than any interior screening station.

Given that, who is the thoughtful, intelligent sheriff, judge or commissioner? The one who advocates big spending on the inside with bothersome screening stations, where the problem doesn’t exist to any significant degree? (But is much more visible by the public and press and thus conveys a false sense of security making it appear as if officials are doing something substantive.) Or, the official who builds security systems and implements policies to address the area outside, where history shows the problem to exist?

Unfortunately, citizens are stuck with a phalanx of local government officials who are either not smart enough to understand this or, are more interested, much as are the Feds, in a show of security more than they are in providing such effectively.

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at