Local Government Meeting Security

By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the gunman who took over a school board meeting in Florida two nights ago.

He tried, and failed, to shoot several people before shooting himself to death.

It may surprise you to know that in the last few years, Ishpeming’s City Council has had concerns about something similar happening at one of its meetings.

Ishpeming Mayor Pat Scanlon says it came up several times in the last term he spent as mayor.

He says on more than one occasion, plainclothes police officers were on duty at council meetings as the councilors debated controversial issues.

During the school board incident in Panama City, Florida, a school board member tried to knock the gun out of the gunman’s hand with her purse.

Scanlon says one thing about the U.P.’s regional culture makes this sort of event more likely — a lot more people own guns than average.