Monday, April 7, 2014

Texas Open Carry Moves Forward

By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions
Esther 8:11

[Author's note: This post covers the second half of today's hearing; you can read about the Border Security component here.]

Texas State Capitol -- Open handgun carry in Texas moved forward in today's hearing of the Texas Senate committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Homeland security.  Considering that it's already legal to carry rifles and shotguns openly, expanding it to handguns faced little opposition from the Senators present.  The hearing was, nonetheless, fascinating.

Alice Tripp of the Texas Rifle Association spoke first.  She explained the history of handgun restrictions in Texas.  Texas handgun restrictions began as a Jim Crow law in 1880, which Democrats passed shortly after re-assuming power after reconstruction.  This created a situation where "Texas essentially lost the right to hold a handgun in 1880" until concealed carry passed in 1995.  Unfortunately, it's still not possible to have a visible handgun in Texas.  This leads to ridiculous situations such as being unable to pump gas while packing heat unless you wear a jacket.

Tara Mitchell of the National Rifle Association went next.  She explained how 30 states already have permit-less open carry.  She also elucidated that any open carry proposal under consideration would be subject to the same restrictions as concealed carry as concealed carry.

The most compelling testimony came from C.J. Grisham, President of Open Carry Texas.  An active duty member of the Army, Grisham is currently stationed at Ft. Hood.  Grisham detailed what happened on-base during the shooting, when trained members of our military were forced to take shelter because they couldn't defend themselves in gun-free zones.  As Grisham explained "when you disarm citizens, you empower criminals, whether it's on the world's largest military base or your local street corner."

Coming relief came from Hilary Rand of Mom's Demand Action, who claimed "A Newton sized massacre occurs every day in the U.S."  Not content with that questionable claim, Rand hid behind her ovaries because she "didn't want her children to look at a gun."  Rand called for further restrictions on rifles and shotguns.

The greatest example of gynocratic fascism, however, came from Francis Shenkken of Texas Gun Sense.  Shenkken opposed open handgun carry because women might be frightened.  She also made the bizarre assertion that "any child will be able to get a demonstration of firearms on the street."

Handgun restrictions are the last Jim Crow law Texas' books.  Today's hearing made clear that, at least in the Texas Senate, open handgun carry has bi-partisan support.  Supporters of open handgun carry outnumbered opponents by at least 30 to 1.  The difference between open and concealed carry is a piece of cloth.  There is nothing to fear from allowing our citizens to open carry their handguns.


In a related note, we also spoke with C.J. Grisham about a disturbing incident that happened to him last year at the Texas Capitol:

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