Lynchburg Council Discussing Security During Meetings

Lynchburg, Va- {}Lynchburg city council is debating over where to hold their meetings. They often meet in the school systems, which are gun-free zones.

Councilman Jeff Helgeson either wants guns allowed or officers there from the start.

Before the joint meeting at Sandusky Middle, Helgeson asked if there would be any security.The city manager said no but that they could call police officers patrolling in the area if something were to happen.

Helgeson said the number one role of the government is the protection of its citizens. He thinks that city meetings should be hosted at different locations, where guns are not prohibited, or there should be public safety officers at the events.

Mayor Mike Gillete said he does not see much of a problem with the way things are currently set up and that police officers are always quick to respond in case of emergency.

"It's the fact that you don't make a moment of opportunity for someone with an axe to grind, without allowing our citizens to protect themselves," said Councilman Helgeson.

"I don't think that we should restrict ourselves to areas that are outside of gun-free zones- gun free-zones make sense in certain areas. I think if a council member has concern about security and that could be a reasonable concern, then we should respond with having an appropriate security presence," said Mayor Gillete.

Helgeson asked to clear one thing up-- this is not about topics of contention being at the meeting; this does not affect the need for security. He said there could be numerous reasons that gun violence occurs, and innocent citizens are the victims of unnecessary gun-violence -- often for no reason.

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