All year we’ve heard from various Texas lawmakers about their rights the 2nd amendment… even Governor-Elect Greg Abbott himself has pledged to sign the first Open Carry Bill that comes across his desk. If enacted open-carry legislation would allow gun owners to take their lethal weapons to virtually any public venue.
But apparently what legislators seem to keep forgetting?? The state capitol is also a public venue, and these guns ain’t just for show. From the Houston Chronicle, here’s a rundown about how legislators got a big dose of reality…
AUSTIN – The Texas House on Wednesday approved new rules that will allow legislators to eject hostile members of the public from their offices and recoup the cost of installing panic buttons to summon Department of Public Safety officers following confrontations between a handful of lawmakers and pro-gun activists on the opening day of the session.
The move, which was approved 137-5 in the Republican-dominated House, has some open-carry advocates worried the bad impression left by a small number of activists could endanger their legislative agenda.
“The chances of passing what they call ‘constitutional carry’ got more remote with yesterday’s shenanigans,” said former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who supports efforts to legalize the unlicensed open carrying of handguns in Texas. “That set the stage. That’s the topic of discussion now.”
On Tuesday, roughly 15 to 20 members of the group Open Carry Tarrant County visited several lawmakers’ offices urging them to support House Bill 195, which seeks to undo Texas’ 125-year ban on carrying handguns openly. Several House members, including Democrats Poncho Nevarez of Eagle Pass and Celia Israel of Austin, said the group hassled them or staff members.
In a video posted Tuesday online by Kory Watkins, the Tarrant County group’s leader, open-carry activists can be heard calling Nevarez “a tyrant to the Constitution” and telling him he “won’t be here very long, bro.” Nevarez, who repeatedly asked the group to leave, later said he was concerned for the safety of his staff, family and constituents and complained one activist “reeked of marijuana.”
Catch the video in question right here…
Yep that’s right… even TEACONs in the Texas legislature felt threatened enough by the vigilante group from Tarrant County that they quickly wanted to protect themselves with beefed up security and panic buttons. Which begs the rest of us to ask one question…
Where is our panic button??
If a couple of gun-toting guys can spook grown adults at the Texas state capitol, why on earth are Republicans in the lege pushing for any and every person in the state to be able to take their guns wherever they choose? No where in the bill does it say that the state of Texas will pay for all 27 million of us to carry around panic buttons and a security guard. I suppose the protection of lawmakers far outweighs protecting the rest of us?
Here’s the simple answer to this conundrum. Guns have a place, but that place is not in the public arena. The best way to keep Texans safe is to have fewer deadly weapons around, not more. Even without the threat of some mysterious criminal looking to do harm, guns, by their very nature, are dangerous. Children in the United States are 17 times more likely to die from accidental gun deaths than children in any other developed nation. This is not a talking point… it is fact. Why? Because the United States has more guns in public use than other developed nations. A parent could be the most responsible person on the planet, but when they have a young child, they should know that children pick things up. They touch hot stoves and irons. And if they see a gun, there’s a huge chance they will try to play with it. No matter how many people in Open Carry Tarrant County or other groups threaten, they are still a clear minority and do not represent the views of most Texans, as evidenced by swift actions from the Texas House.
As this legislature gets rolling, let’s hope that they remember one thing about guns. If you pass an Open Carry law for Texas, you pass it for everyone. All the panic buttons in the world won’t change that. It’s time for Texans to unite for common-sense policies, and say no to a Big Government legislature that would force all of us to be less safe.