GOP Congressman: Safety From a Plexiglass Shield Around Congress

It almost sounds like a joke: Republican Congressman Dan Barton (R-IN) says he’ll submit a bill proposing to put a plexiglass shield around the House Gallery where members of the public sit. The shield would protect members of the House on the floor from projectiles and any other objects from being thrown, tossed or catapulted from the House Gallery.

Congressman Barton points to five incidents in the past one hundred years in which someone succeeded in firing a gun or otherwise trying to detonate something in the House of Representatives. Obviously, the recent assassination attempt at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life, in which six citizens were shot attending the congresswoman’s public meet-and-greet event, has spurred other members of Congress to examine their own security measures.

Reactions from around the web range from ire to snarkyness:

Does this plexiglass shield go with their gold-plated health care?

“How about building a plexiglass shield around us non-gun owners too! The GOP has courted the NRA forever and now the citizenry is armed to the gills. How about some help for us who are sick of feeling at risk just leaving our homes now??”

(In combination with Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert’s plan to arm members of Congress:) “Responding to Gohmert, a House GOP aide emails some priceless snark:

‘If you combine it with Dan Burton’s proposal to enclose the public areas of the House floor in plexiglass, at least Members can only hurt themselves and not the public.’”

The final comment? The Senate Sargeant-at-Arms, chief of security for the Senate and a former Chief of Capitol Police has this to say:

“And more cops, more jails, or more guns is not the only answer. Some people need to be locked up, and some people need to carry guns. I happen to think law enforcement are the ones who ought to do that…

[regarding the plexiglass shield] “There’s other methods we can prevent people from doing some harm up in those galleries.”


Photo by Lawrence Jackson ( via Wikimedia Commons


Zoya J.
Zoya J.4 years ago

I think they need it, to be secure from the bad attacks that they face daily now a days. Hope this plexiglas helps them.

John H.
John H5 years ago

Gee, with the guns they will all be carrying, they can just shoot back and see how many more innocent bystanders can be killed! One word . . . metal detectors! They are already in place, not much chance if security is as tight as it should be, of anyone getting through. Perhaps plexiglass shields could be installed at the town meetings--that's where they are at risk--of course that might become a campaign slogan--"we don't hide behind plexiglass, vote for us!" Perhaps Congress could waste less time repealing needed health care reform, considering guns for Congress, plexiglass for Congress, and so forth. I'm not sure they will actually get anything meaningful done in the House this year! Lots of Tea to go around, though. "Tea and Cookies in the Lobby". Now there's a catchy logo!

michael c.
corbin m5 years ago

Leave it to a conservative coward to propose an idea that protects hi OWN a$$ while leaving his political positions unchanged. Typical.

Past Member 5 years ago

it's actually pretty unnecessary...most of the time ...they aren't all in the gallery together...and there is very strict security to even get into the public areas....pretty unnecessary step.....and they could always connect together..for the few times they are together...via computer hookups.....

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

"These congress ppl aren't that special...the problem is they think they are. "

Special does not begin to describe their belief in themselves! They think they are the Lords and Ladies of the land!!

Frank D.
Francis Duffy5 years ago

yes a plexiglass age sounds good if one can be sure that they will be kept inside it for good!

Frank D.
Francis Duffy5 years ago

yes a plexiglass age sounds good if one can be sure that they will be kept inside it for good!

Frank D.
Francis Duffy5 years ago

yes a plexiglass age sounds good if one can be sure that they will be kept inside it for good!

Mary B.
Mary B5 years ago

Why is there so much confusion about what gun laws we already have? Or about congressional procedures in general? We need a source of clarity to explain in every day terms what things mean, and how they translate into ordinary life. If congress people want a sheild, let them pay for it themselves.

Doug G.
Doug G5 years ago

Politicians and lawyers are some of the worst people there are. Even used car sellsmen have more going for them.