Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 30 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Olmos Park City Council Repeals Open Carry Ordinance

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

News4SA.com:

The video has gone viral. Open Carry Texas President CJ Grisham and several other members were along the streets of Olmos Park protesting their right to carry a loaded gun.

Grisham and two other men were arrested by Olmos Park police, facing various charges including resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.

“He was legally carrying and they are drawing down on him like he is a terrorist, he had his hands up and he is backing away, which they will say he is resisting arrest, but doesn’t everyone back up from a threat,” said Open Carry Texas member Felix Cano.

Open Carry Texas says they were protesting a Olmos Park city ordinance that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on public streets. Thursday City Council voted unanimously to repeal that ordinance.

“The City of Olmos Park had from a long time ago put in place an ordinance that none of the current council members were involved with, regarding not allowing those two types of weapons to be loaded,” said Olmos Park City Council member Enzo Pellegrino.

Open Carry Texas says this was a victory for them.

“There shouldn’t be any more illegal arrests and throwing down Americans that are legally allowed to carry and putting other charges that don’t belong there,” said Cano.

“Open Carry Texas says this was a victory for them.”  Well I guess so.  It was indeed a victory for them.  I had followed this story from a distance, not knowing the back story behind it and not wanting to do the research necessary to understand it.

But this is the backstory.  It looks like the city of Olmos decided to engage in a little nullification themselves, being the little Napoleons they are.  Open carry is now legal in Texas, and while Olmos challenged that, Texas Open Carry decided to challenge Olmos.

Texas Open Carry won.  Good for them.  The city cannot make its own laws.

One Year After Open Carry In Texas, How Is It Working Out?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

We know it’s working out just fine.  That’s not what we learn from this most recent report.  The cited article is from “Everything Lubbock,” and what we learn from their LEOs is important and interesting.

Assistant Chief Jon Caspell with Lubbock Police recalls similar “buzz” about the law and questions for the police department.

“There really was a lot of talk about it and the potential it might have, but really we haven’t seen hardly impact at all,” Caspell said.

Both Caspell and Palmer said they really haven’t seen people around Lubbock excercising their right to open carry.

“Even walking around in public and teaching in classes  I really don’t see anyone really carrying that way,” Palmer said.

[ … ]

Palmer explained some insight he shares with his students:

“I also explain how disadvantageous it can be if you give away the fact that you’re carrying a gun to a potential bad guy, they already see you as a threat first rather than being able to be reactionary and maybe stopping something from happening,” Palmer said.

Another facet of the Open Carry law is that law enforcement can ask people they see openly carrying to show their license.

Assistant Chief Caspell said to his knowledge, everyone LPD has checked  with willingly hands over their paperwork .

“We don’t have any reports that we’ve had any difficulty for the most part, the type of person–generally speaking– that wants to open carry is someone that wants to enforce the law. They understand what the law is therefor the reasons behind it,” Caspell said.

Caspell said he can’t speak for other Texas cities, but he believes in Lubbock, the law has been implemented smoothly.

“Lubbock seems to be more of a gun-friendly community and because of that culture here we just haven’t seen a whole lot of problems. Maybe that phrase, “in like a lion, out like a whisper,” might be a good phrase here,” Caspell said.

He added that just because someone is openly carrying in a holster doesn’t mean they are licensed. Caspell encourages anyone who is suspicious of another person they see carrying a weapon to give police a call.

There are three aspects of this report that deserve comment.  First of all, I don’t advocate open carry any more than concealed carry.  I advocate carrying the way you feel the most comfortable and tactically suited to the situation.  But if there are never any open carriers, then this right will be seen as a permission that is rarely used.  That’s not a good outcome.

Second, I’ve stated before that you get to hide the fact that you’re carrying a gun to a perpetrator is the most hideously awful argument against open carry I can conceive.  It’s tactically absurd, inasmuch as if the perpetrator intends to perpetrate a crime, he’s going to regardless of whether you have a gun.  You will still have an opportunity to prevent it, and it’s more likely that you’ll be the first to engage the perpetrator.

That’s not a bad outcome unless you wish to see women and children perish before you do.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  I’m not knocking concealed carriers as cowards.  Much of the time I’m a concealed carrier.  I’m knocking those who knock open carry for the reason that a concealed carrier gets to wait to engage.  I don’t carry a weapon in order to wait to engage.  You don’t hear LEOs making the argument that openly carrying their weapon is a tactical disadvantage.  Let’s don’t look stupid by making that argument for ourselves.

Finally, this attitude by the chief LEO is disturbing and possibly illegal.  He has actually gone on record advocating that people call the police for a response when no law is being broken, or at least, when no one can demonstrate prima facie that a law is being broken.  I must remind LEOs reading this article once again that the Fourth Circuit had to slap down the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department over stopping someone for openly carrying a weapon and actually arresting him for something else.

“… where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention.  Permitting such a justification would eviscerate Fourth Amendment protections for lawfully armed individuals in those states.”

It simply could not be clearer.  Moreover, every stop must be a so-called Terry Stop, regardless of what Texas state law says.  In this way I see the Texas law as unconstitutional.  LEOs should not, and do not, have the right to stop merely to ask for identification unless they have good reason to believe that a law is being violated.  So says the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.  I said all of this before the Texas state legislature passed this bill, and they didn’t listen to me.  I would like to see this challenged in federal court, but before we ever get to that, I’d like to see constitutional carry in Texas in order to make this moot.  If Texas delays, as I suspect they will, then someone should challenge this in federal court.

Another Open Carry Fight Is Brewing In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

CBSDFW:

GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Tom Mannewitz has owned the Targetmaster Indoor Shooting Center in Garland since 1979.

He supports open-carry, which lawmakers approved in 2015, allowing people to carry handguns openly just the same as long rifles.

But Mannewitz said he opposes a new bill that would make licensing to carry a handgun, required education classes and fees optional.  I understand why people would like to have constitutional carry but I have to say I would vote against it. Not everybody should be carrying a gun. Not everybody has the right to own a gun. If the police have some way of determining are you licensed or not, I think that’s an asset to the law enforcement community,” he said.

We don’t think Texans should have to pay for the right to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, said the man who filed the legislation, HB 375, Republican State Representative Jonathan Stickland of Bedford.

Stickland said his bill would make the rules for handguns the same as they already are for long rifles.

What my bill is not it is not an expansion of who can carry. Under constitutional carry, anyone who is eligible for a CHL now would be able to carry. No one new would be able to carry.”

He said under his legislation, people would still need to pass a federal  background check when buying a firearm. But Mannewitz said he also wants the state to continue doing background checks for those who are carrying guns.

The state license costs $140 for the first time and $70 for renewal every five years after that. Once a gun owner reaches the age of 60, the cost of the license drops to $35.

Stickland though believes the cost of the required license and class can be prohibitive to people with lower incomes.  He said some gun shop owners oppose his bill because they may lose a lot of money if the gun safety classes are no longer required.

But Mannewitz said the income he generates from those classes is half of one percent of his gross revenues.

Democratic State Representative Eric Johnson of Dallas strongly disagrees with Stickland’s bill.

I have a real problem with the idea of unlicensed open carry.  It’s asking for trouble. It’s just beyond the pale. I have a real problem with open carry in large urban areas like Dallas,” he said.

As a result, Johnson has proposed his own bill, HB 291, that would exempt Dallas from open carry.

As I’ve stated before, the reason to oppose nullification at the local and county level is that little Napoleons like to rule over other people, negating duly enacted laws.  To my knowledge, there has never been a time when local or county nullification actually enabled liberties rather than curtailing them.  The advocates of exception for Dallas or other cities don’t really believe in pushing authority downward unless is suits their needs at the time.

As to Mr. Mannewitz, you really find out who your friends are when the issue invokes money, yes?  And as for the notion that Mr. Mannewitz earns half of one percent of his revenue from these classes, I wish I could believe that, but I doubt it.

There is something more going on, perhaps being a one stop shop and offering up their services to complete paperwork for a fee, or running students past counters full of guns in order to sell them to class participants.  Either way, progressives never sleep, and it looks like Texas is in for yet another open carry fight to bring constitutional carry to their state.

I told you this wasn’t the end of it when they passed that ridiculous law allowing permitted open carry.  Stay frosty folks.  The war isn’t over yet, you’re just in an interlude.

History Of The Open Carry Bill In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

Houston Chronicle, the history of the open carry bill in Texas from Texas Senator Joan Huffman.

There is also a misconception that the Legislature did not listen to law enforcement or care about their input on open carry legislation. It is true some police had objections and opposed the law, and most made it clear that if open carry of handguns were to become law they strongly requested that a license requirement remain and that a holster requirement be made part of the law. Texans must still be licensed and can only openly carry a holstered handgun.

I fought hard in the Senate to remove a House amendment to HB 910 that law enforcement groups strongly opposed. This amendment would have prohibited a peace officer from making a simple investigatory inquiry or other temporary detention to see if a person openly carrying a handgun in fact has a license. I worked with law enforcement to ensure the amendment was removed before HB910 finally passed. It was removed, much to our relief.

The permissive, licensed open carry of handguns has been the law for almost a year now, and I believe there has been little or no effect on law enforcement. In fact, it appears so far the right to openly carry is rarely exercised. I am currently conducting a written survey of the heads of law enforcement around the state asking about their experiences regarding the open carry of firearms. The Legislature will continue to monitor these important policy issues to ensure that public safety remains at the forefront of our discussion. The causes of these tragedies will continue to haunt us. But there is no benefit in blaming a law, a political organization, a political party or a person – other than the killer. I think we can all agree that the answers are much more complex than that.

Well, Joan wants to straddle the fence and keep one foot in the liberty pasture, with another in the collectivist field.  But it’s good to know just who was responsible for what, yes?  It supplies you with better optics when the enemy self-identifies.

Her assertion that the open carry bill has had little or no effect seems to be tied to the notion that this is a rarely exercised right.  The corollary is that if people actually exercise their rights, then it would be unsafe and the police would be adversely effected.

We’ve covered this before in the context of the Dallas shootings.  The fact that an open carrier had his picture posted on Twitter is completely irrelevant and didn’t hamper law enforcement in the least.  The officers who responded were fighting for their lives as they engaged in CQB with the shooter.  What Twitter did or didn’t say wasn’t even remotely part of their thinking.  That was all done by different officers, and by the way, if a shooter was going to kill multiple police officers, do you think he would post his picture on Twitter?  Really, people.  Do I have to come teach LEOs basic common sense?

As for what law enforcement wants, I couldn’t care less.  Communist Art Acevedo (who assisted and supported federal agents conducting forcible, random blood draws at a DUI check) won’t be happy until everyone is in shackles and chains wearing the uniforms of slave labor except his own department.

Law Enforcement Complaining About Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

News from Texas:

As the 2017 legislative session approaches, some in law enforcement are asking lawmakers to revise the open carry law.

During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers approved the open carrying of handguns by licensed Texans. As the 2017 session approaches, some in law enforcement are asking those lawmakers to revise the current law.

After the ambush in Dallas, their police chief, David Brown, mentioned that open carry complicated things at the scene of the shooting. He says law enforcement had a difficult time figuring out who was exercising their right to openly carry, and who may be a criminal. The executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas says they won’t push for a repeal of the law, but will make suggestions for changes to help law enforcement.

Brazos County Chief Deputy Jim Stewart says he supports revisions to the open carry law.

“The open carry is focused more on pistols, and in my personal experience, I’ve seen one person since the law went into effect openly carrying a pistol. I think these folks with the long guns, with rifles slung over their shoulders, that is of concern of me,” said Stewart. “That’s not covered under open carry. They’ve been able to do that for years, but particularly as we experienced in Dallas where the shooter was shooting with a long gun, how are they to know who the shooter actually was when you have so many people going around with long guns?”

Here’s a hint for you.  The bad guys are the ones shooting at you.  As a matter of fact, your officers went to the sound of the shooting without regard for tactical advantage.  That’s partly why so many perished.  The fact that some guy was seen in a picture openly carrying a long gun was investigated by other people, not the ones who responded to the shooter.  Your officers were pinned down, and a picture of someone carrying a rifle was the last thing on their minds.

You’re lying about this.  And that annoys me.

So After Six Months Of Legalized Open Carry In Texas, Is Blood Running In The Streets?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

KAGSTV.com:

In the first panicked hours following the ambush on Dallas police officers, the department released a photo of a man carrying a long gun as a person of interest.

But he was the wrong guy—and one who never broke any laws by carrying that gun.

“I also don’t fault Dallas police for immediately listing that person as a person of interest,” said Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officers Union. “Just like anybody else that had guns on the scene, they would be considered persons of interest. That’s just called clues in police work.”

The worklist for police has gotten longer as more people will be sporting pistols and handguns through the state’s open carry law, which took effect this year. And at any scene, it may require more resources.

“It may take another officer to be there to watch that person to make sure that person is not part of the problem,” Hunt said.

But the Houston Police Officers Union is more concerned about the public.

“The number of people who were gonna be calling, because they’re not used to seeing that,” Hunt said.

So far, it hasn’t seemed too problematic.

Since January, the Houston Police Department says out of the tens of thousands of calls a month, only 62 were weapon related.

And out of those, only 19 were actual open-carry situations.

Considering the shootings we have seen around the country, it’s possible people are hypersensitive to weapons. So for now, police can only hope that dispatchers will determine how serious the threat is.

“If we find out that someone is carrying and they’re allowed to be carrying we are allowed to disarm them during the investigation,” Hunt said. “And then give them their weapon back at the end.”

So I reckon the sky isn’t falling and the bodies aren’t stacking up in the morgue because of open carry.  So much for the hyper-dramatic hysteria by the gun controllers.

But on to something the article said about LEO interactions.  “If we find out that someone is carrying and they’re allowed to be carrying we are allowed to disarm them during the investigation,” Hunt said. “And then give them their weapon back at the end.”

You … have … got … to … be … kidding … me?  Is the Houston police department really doing this?  Seriously?  Previously I had said this about the practice of LEOs unholstering weapons from innocent citizens.

If you’re a LEO and you actually touch another man’s gun in the process of a stop, or you have a partner touch his gun, much less unholster it, “secure” it or anything else you think you are doing to it, let me be as clear as I can be.  You … are … an … idiot.  If your procedures have you doing this, then your procedures were written by idiots.  You can tell them I said so and send them this article.

You have no business risking NDs or taking possession of property that isn’t yours, even temporarily, and especially since you don’t know of modifications that may have been made to the firearm that would make it unfamiliar to you.

Don’t do it.  Just say no.  I wouldn’t walk up and presume to take possession of another man’s gun at a range or while in his home.  You have no business doing that either.  It’s weird, creepy, and unsafe.

It makes no one safer, and it makes everyone less safe.  So in light of this, I have two questions for the Houston PD.

  1. What basis in law gives you the authority to touch another man’s weapon if he isn’t being charged with any crime?
  2. Given that there is a step change downward in safety if you touch another man’s weapon like this, why do your procedures have your officers doing such a stupid thing?

Submitted.

Let’s All Blame The Dallas Shootings On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

The Dallas Morning News:

When rifle shots rang out in downtown Dallas during Thursday night’s protest, some of the demonstrators were also carrying rifles.

In the ensuing chaos, one of them was labeled a “person of interest” after police released a photo of him carrying an AR-15 rifle. Others were stopped and questioned by police.

It was not immediately clear Saturday whether any of those who were legally armed delayed or hampered the police response to the shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite. Dallas police did not respond to questions.

But Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said: “It’s logical to say that in a shooting situation, open carry can be detrimental to the safety of individuals.”

No Mayor, that’s not logical at all.  How is carry of a gun, concealed or open, a detriment to safety?  Please explain yourself.

Rawlings said Dallas police Chief David Brown told him that people running through the shooting scene with rifles and body armor required officers to track them down and bring them to the police department. Whether that was time that could have been spent trying to find and stop the shooter is something police will have to comment on, Rawlings said.

So let me get this straight.  So you assertion is that if open carry wasn’t legal, the shooter would have shot cops, continued to open carry for all to see, and that would have made it easier to find him, as opposed to say, a concealed carrier shooting, concealing his weapon, and making it harder for the cops to find him?

“There was also the challenge of sorting out witnesses from potential suspects,” Geron said. “Texas is an open carry state, and there were a number of armed demonstrators taking part. There was confusion on the radio about the description of the suspects and whether or not one or more was in custody.”

Okay look, you’re just trying to find someone to blame for this being chaotic rather than clinical, but such things are always chaotic rather than clinical, and open carriers didn’t cause anything or impede any investigation.  If an open carrier had been at the scene he could have helped to handle the situation, but apparently no one was at the scene who had access to weapons (concealed or open).

At least initially the shooter was in a standoff position, and frankly if he had wanted to maintain his effectiveness he would have maintained that standoff position and ensured means of egress.  He chose to engage in CQB and thus he showed himself.  I’ve told you guys time and time again, the most dangerous situation of a sniper’s hide with a “shooter’s rifle,” a scoped bolt action rifle that will shoot  << MOA.

That kind of weapon can be pre-deployed in a sniper’s hide with proper planning.  You’re thinking too small by focusing on guys running around the street and open carriers.  You need to expand your thought framework.

Texas Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago

KVUE.com:

Nearly six months ago, licensed open carry-gun owners in Texas were granted the privilege to carry their guns on their hip. Before the legislation’s passing, gun opponents feared it would cause problems for law enforcement.

So, has the public flooded law enforcement with complaints?

“As it turned out, we didn’t get any,” said Roger Wade, the spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

In preparation of open carry, the Travis County created a special code to track complaints, but hasn’t had any calls to start using it.

Oooo!  A special code for open carriers.  Because it’s so special and everything.

“People were scared of people walking up carrying guns. What they don’t realize is, is that there are a lot of people carry guns, you have no idea are carrying guns,” said Wade.

The KVUE Defenders checked with some of the largest law enforcement agencies in Texas: Austin and Dallas Police Departments, and sheriff’s offices in Hays County, Williamson County, Bastrop County, Bexar County and Harris County. All of the agencies report little to no complaints from the public.

“When the Texas legislature was getting ready to pass open carry last year, we heard a lot of claims from the gun control crowd saying it was going to turn into the wild, wild west, and that just hasn’t happened here,” said Lars Dalseide, spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.

It’s too early to determine if open carry has influenced violent crime in Texas. According to crime reports though, Oklahoma (-3.97 percent) and Tennessee (-3.92 percent) both saw violent crime slightly decrease after open carry became legal.

“These people are safe, responsible gun owners and they go through a lot of trouble to make sure they get the proper licensing from the state,” said Dalseide.

Gun rights groups say they’re not done. They plan to push lawmakers to pass legislation making gun ownership a constitutional right, which would allow owners to own a gun without a license.

Yes, constitutional carry.  This is a good next step.  As for the notion that the wild, wild West hasn’t obtained, I think someone said exactly that and predicted exactly what has come to pass.

Again, as a citizen of a traditional open carry state, I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here.  Nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Life will continue in the lone star state unabated, and the doomsday predictions of law enforcement and the progressives will go down as a monument to their hatred of the common man.

I’ll send the bill for my consultative services tomorrow.

“Unusually Zealous” Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Fusion.net:

Texas is starting off the new year with a bang: A statewide gun law that doesn’t make much sense.

“Unfortunately, this law was not written very well. It’s not very clear…I can read it one way, I can read it another way,” said Donna Edmundson, the city attorney for Houston, at a town hall meeting two months ago. The law—which will make Texas the 45th and largest state to allow citizens with permits to openly carry handguns—goes into effect on January 1.

But by the end of that hour-and-a-half session, which was also attended by the police chief and district attorney, very little had been resolved.

Now, as they anticipate anticipate an uptick in 911 calls reporting people walking the streets with guns, police departments across the state are still trying to figure out how—and if—they can enforce the law, which legal experts say is marked with gaping loopholes and ambiguities.

For one thing, legal experts say, it’s not clear if the law allows police to detain someone who they suspect is open carrying without a license. Some districts are training police to ask to see a license only if an individual is engaging in otherwise suspicious activity. Others say they are free to ask because there is reasonable suspicion that the person may be committing a crime—unlawfully carrying a gun without a license.

Even trickier for police officers is what happens when a citizen is asked and refuses to show proof of an open-carry license. According to the Dallas Morning News, there is no penalty in the law for license holders who refuse to do so:

[C]ase law in Texas could prohibit police from arresting that person, since the action has no penalty.

But if the person isn’t a license holder, the officer can arrest him for unlawfully carrying a gun. So at what point does an officer know enough — like the person’s identity and whether he’s a license holder — to determine whether to make an arrest?

In other words, as it is written, the new open carry law is nearly impossible to enforce, said Geoffrey Corn, a professor of law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “It’s kind of like a Catch-22,” he told Fusion. Carrying without a license is illegal, but there’s no clear way for police to investigate if the person does indeed have a license to open carry or not.

“The way it’s gonna end up is that police are gonna have encounters with people who are open carrying that are going to escalate, and that are going to lead to an arrest,” Corn said. “And then that’s going to lead to defense attorneys saying the whole thing was tainted, and that the seizure was illegal because he had right to carry.”

Originally, the bill had a “no stop” provision, which barred police from asking anyone for their open carry license. Law enforcement groups fought it, saying it would prevent police from doing their jobs, while endangering the public. In response to that pressure, the bill was rewritten in its current form.

“Traditionally, the way legislatures tackle hard problems is to leave it to the courts,” George Dix, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, told Fusion. “In this case, I suspect there was no politically acceptable language they could agree on, so they left it up to others to decide.”

The officials who pushed the bill through saw it as mostly a symbolic measure, he speculated. They weren’t necessarily concerned with how it would be enforced.

For all its problems, there is one thing abundantly clear with the new law: seeing someone on the street with a gun is not enough of a reason to detain them and ask for their license. Seeing someone with a firearm no longer makes them suspicious in the eyes of the law, even as regular citizens might be alarmed at the sight.

What a lot of police are worried about is not that there’s gonna be open carry, but that there’s going to be a deliberate effort to exercise that right in what I might characterize as an ‘unusually zealous’ way,” said Corn. “And there can be a lot of chaos in those circumstances.”

Deliberate, mind you.  Not accidental, but someone exercising a right deliberately.  Deliberately!  And not only that, but in an “unusually zealous” way!

So tell us Mr. Corn.  What does it mean to deliberately exercise a right in an “unusually zealous” way?  Be precise, please.  Legally precise.  And explain how that can be chaotic.

Or perhaps this is just some bullshit term made up for some bullshit article over something that won’t end up mattering a hill of beans to most people?  Which is it, Mr. Corn?

Texas Gun Law: Is The State A Model For Modern Open Carry?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

CSM:

At least in popular culture, Texas has always been synonymous with gun-totin’ cowboys, but until midnight on New Year’s Eve, the reality has been far different. Texas, in fact, has been one of the most restrictive gun-rights states in America.

Thanks to a new law, however, the state will be one of the most relaxed.

How relaxed? Police are discouraged from even asking about someone’s holstered gun. And if they do, they may not have much power to do anything if the person refuses to show a license.

The upshot is that the sight of civilians carrying visible weapons is about to become commonplace in the Lone Star State.

The lawmakers who crafted the legislation passed it in part as a symbolic measure at an unusual time in the United States. Even as gun control groups link America’s obsession with firearms to a slight rise in the number of mass shootings, the US public seems more enamored than ever with weaponry and the power it conveys. Black Friday this year saw the biggest gun cache ever purchased in one day – enough to arm a new military the size of the Marine Corps, as Bob Owens points out on the “Bearing Arms” blog.

Indeed, with notable exceptions in New York, Connecticut, and Colorado, the bulk of states have steadily expanded gun rights since the sunsetting of a 10-year assault weapons ban in 2004. But the new Texas law is Texas-size, given that more than 800,000 Texans are already licensed to carry concealed weapons. Their rights now extend to carrying openly in the halls of the state Capitol.

Given those trends, there’s a fervent debate about whether the new Texas law is a model piece of legislation for a changing America – or a walking disaster just begging for trouble.

To be sure, the law is strict in its own way, offering a model for regulation. Under the law, open-carry folks have to be licensed, a process that includes safety and shooting tests. They also have to show no prior psychological problems, and they have to be at least 21 years old.

But a major sticking point is how the law will affect policing in one of the nation’s most populous expanses. The fact that the law doesn’t provide any sanctions against those who refuse to show a license to a police officer has critics fearing that officers may be handcuffed in their ability to respond to volatile and potentially deadly situations.

Oooo … boogey man gonna getcha!  Hold me Uncle Bob!  I askeerd!  “Walking disaster.”  “Trouble.”  “Volatile and deadly situations.” Oooo …

Again, as a citizen of a traditional open carry state, I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here.  Nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Life will continue in the lone star state unabated, and the doomsday predictions of law enforcement and the progressives will go down as a monument to their hatred of the common man.

And no, it’s not a model for open carry law.  It’s a half way measure that still recognizes the state’s right to permit the carry of weapons, an illegitimate and bastard right that has no place in a free society.


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