21 May 2014

Dear Open Carry Texas

From my Facebook page.

"Let's go to a restaurant/store/city and open carry. We'll get media attention!"
"This restaurant/store/city is awesome! They love guns! Look at our pictures!"
Public outcry. Media feeding frenzy.
Restaurant/store/city is forced to ameliorate the majority.
"Don't go to that restaurant/store/city! It sucks, and they hate guns!"

That pretty much sums it up. I wish y'all would stop helping. You're making gun owners look like extremist fools. 

You're doing NOTHING to help the cause of open pistol carry legislation in Texas, you're hurting the image of responsible gun owners in general, and you're FORCING businesses to make decisions that up until now, didn't affect gun owners. Now it affects everyone, even if it's not technically legal without proper signage. And for what? Because it's legal to open carry a long gun? Yes, we know that. It doesn't need further proof.

Do something useful for a change.

08 May 2014

Hillary Clinton Thinks We're All Lawless Thugs


Let's cut to the chase, and see what Hillary Clinton thinks of gun owners in the United States of America:
Clinton told attendees at the mental health conference that "at the rate we're going, we're going to have so many people with guns everywhere, fully licensed, fully validated" in settings like movie theaters where shootings have arisen over seemingly mundane things like loud gum chewing or cellphone use."That's what happens in the countries I've visited where there is no rule of law and no self-control and that is something that we cannot just let go without paying attention," she said.
You read that correctly. Never mind that in most states (such as Texas), concealed handgun licenses are required to carry a firearm, and classes are required, along with fingerprints, photos, and paperwork. The content of these classes? In a nutshell, "here are all the reasons why you never want to shoot someone." CHL holders are held to a higher standard of accountability because they know the laws of their states with respect to firearms and the use of deadly force, and should they ever have to use their firearms, they will be held accountable. Bad guys don't bother with such nonsense, and they are the reason that people like me choose to carry legally.
Once again, Hillary, like most anti-gun "progressives," uses a broad paintbrush to mingle responsible, law-abiding gun owners with common criminals. There's no distinction in her mind, and that's a huge problem for all of us.
The part that bothers me most about her recent quote is that in spite of acknowledging "fully licensed, fully validated" gun owners, she insists that we're nothing more that lawless savages, looking for a reason to shoot someone, presumably over "mundane things." If we have such disdain for the rule of law here in the United States, then why would we even bother going through the licensing process? Why would someone with such a criminal mind willingly provide their fingerprints to the government? Why would such stupid bad guys bother learning the firearm laws, and why would they bother learning the rules of deadly force? 
If all we are is a collection of criminals just looking for a reason to shoot up some public venue, why wouldn't we just buy our guns, thumb our noses at the authorities, and start shootin' up the OK Corral?  
Because we're law-abiding, responsible citizens who are concerned enough about our safety from the criminal element in our society that we're willing to submit to our legal authorities, comply with the law, educate and prepare ourselves. Hillary Clinton is worried about law-abiding licensed gun owners, when she should be worried about criminals.
I suppose I can understand her confusion, though. After all, she's a career politician, and it's easy to confuse her criminal acts with those who are mere common criminals. Maybe she's lost the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and just assumes that everyone else is as corrupt as she.
Heaven help us all if she decides to run for President.

25 April 2014

Open Carry Texas

Dear Open Carry Activists: You're Doing it Wrong.

Let's get this out of the way first: I think it's perfectly clear that I am about as pro-gun as anyone can be. You can just look at my Facebook page, and not have to scroll more than a page before seeing some sort of firearm in my hands. I'm a CHL holder, but even that irks me, having to get a license to exercise what I consider a Constitutionally-protected inherent human right. I would love to see open carry in Texas, in addition to concealed carry (I much prefer the latter, truth be told - it's the doubt in the mind of the bad guys that serves best as a deterrent), and I will support any legislation to that effect.

Lately, there have been grassroots Open Carry movements in several locales. There are videos galore of groups and individuals exercising their right to openly carry (typically long arms). Usually these videos are of encounters with various law enforcement officers, and depending on the attitude of both parties, the encounters tend to run the range of emotion and excitement you'd almost expect when law enforcement is called to investigate people openly carrying firearms.

This past week in Texas, there was an incident in Arlington involving open carry advocates distributing pamphlets with text of the Constitution and literature promoting gun rights. They were also openly carrying rifles and presumably other long arms. This presented a problem for a number of people, and now the Arlington City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits groups from handing out pamphlets on street corners. The unintended consequence of this action is that other groups will presumably be affected by this same ordinance.

While the Open Carry advocates mean well, they're going about this in completely the wrong way. Rather than using our legislative process at the state level to promote their agenda, they're taking the same route as the people who wave "Honk to Impeach Obama" banners from the overpass of a busy freeway. The only thing these people have ever accomplished is to slow traffic for people who just want to go home. 

They accomplish nothing, because they're doing nothing. Nothing from a practical perspective, absolutely nothing to change existing laws in a positive manner.

In fact, they are actually working against their own movement, because they're inciting the ire of local municipalities. And what is the result of this ire? Local ordinances imposed by city councils and other municipal organizations, which are typically comprised of their neighbors and peers. Their answer to "problems" like people who are otherwise legally exercising their First Amendment rights? Ban it. Make it go away. Make it illegal. They can do it, and they do, just the same as banning skateboards in supermarket parking lots.

Open Carry folks - stop helping by creating local sensations. Stop helping by going on the local news stations and looking like extremists. Stop helping by making a bunch of noise that does nothing more than slow down local traffic.

If you want to help, do it at the state level.  Pick up the phone, go online, drive to Austin, and visit with your elected representatives. It's their job to create legislation that will get signed in to law. State legislation can't be overruled by local municipalities, and that's what we all really want. Several states have recently signed this type of legislation into law, and we can do it here in Texas. Yes, it will take longer, but it can actually be done. Parading around and talking about it does nothing.

Save the energy you waste on yelling about your rights in public, and spend it on creating and supporting actual legislation.