The Other Barrett Brother
It looks like the other Barrett brother may be coming down with a case of "Clarke Derangement Syndrome" as well.
For those who aren't aware, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's younger brother John serves as the Milwaukee County Clerk of Circuit Court. No messing with the pressures of the private sector for the Barrett boys.
Anyway, in a test of the integrity of courthouse security, an undercover Sheriff's deputy was able to bring a gun through supposedly secure checkpoints at all six entrances into the courthouse complex. As a result, Sheriff Clarke has ordered deputies posted at all entrances and has directed that a more thorough screening be undertaken. This includes visitors now being required to remove their belts and shoes.
So, how does John Barrett respond?
He issues a statement talking about how "the vigorous screening practices" compound the already stressful situation of witnesses, litigants, victims and jurors all waiting in line together (to get into the building).
Courthouses can be very dangerous places. Typically, authorities do a good job anticipating and preparing for trouble in high profile criminal matters. However, there are many other so-called routine proceedings where emotions can run high - messy divorces, restraining orders, foreclosures, civil cases where one party is facing financial ruin. ... You get the idea.
The point is, nobody associated with the system should want somebody to be able to smuggle a firearm into the Milwaukee County Courthouse.
I have no problem if authorities believe it prudent to establish procedures allowing people, under certain circumstances, to bring firearms into a courthouse. I do however have a problem with people being able to bring weapons into the courthouse in violation of the rules and under the noses of building security.
Nobody likes waiting in line - or having to take off their belt to go through a metal detector. If these temporary measures help improve overall security and thereby stop some crazed estranged husband from shooting up a courtroom though, it seems a small price to pay.
As such, I think Sheriff Clarke deserves to be commended for implementing measures designed to catch people trying to illegally bring firearms into the Courthouse.
Even if the other Barrett brother is concerned about additional security compounding the "stressful" experience of waiting in line.