Guns and Texans
A persistent idea promoted in these pages is that the function of the Second Amendment is to protect ordinary citizens from a tyrannical federal government.
A few questions:
▪ Which arm of the federal government is supposed to impose this reign of terror: the armed forces, the ATF, the CIA, Smokey Bear?
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▪ If the fear is of the military, why are we so comfortable funding it so well?
▪ What damage do we suppose your AK-47 or my 12-gauge shotgun will do to a tank, much less an F-16?
▪ Speaking of tanks and F-16s, who’s supposed to pilot these killing machines against the American people, the sons and daughters of the very ordinary citizens upon which the tyranny is unleashed?
— Bill Lanford, Haltom City
I wasn’t surprised that Texas legislators passed open-carry and campus-carry laws, allowing every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry wannabe to carry their guns everywhere, in spite of the opposition of almost every college, business and Texas resident.
But I was surprised that those self-centered Republicans would risk their own lives just to keep from losing their National Rifle Association campaign contributions and their coveted A1 rating.
Then I realized that most of those legislators don’t have much risk, living in gated neighborhoods, having panic buttons in their offices, dining in high-end restaurants instead of biker bars, having elaborate alarm systems in their homes and sending their children to gun-free private schools.
Tragically, after these laws take effect, it’s just a matter of time before guns bought for self-protection will be used by over-stressed college kids to commit suicide, or in deadly domestic disputes, or road rage incidents, or by disgruntled students to shoot their professors, or in accidental shootings by inquisitive children.
Then it’ll be too late, no matter how hard legislators try, to remove the NRA bloodstains from their hands.
— Sharon Austry, Fort Worth
Ninety. That’s the known number of military personnel killed in Iraq as of 2011 from negligent discharge.
Despite weapons training during basic training, field training exercises and rigorous pre-deployment training, 90 young people died from accidental shootings in Iraq alone.
So now some people want college kids who went through a not-so-rigorous, 12-hour concealed handgun class to carry a weapon on campus.
I have trained thousands of young soldiers and, believe me, campus carry is not the way to go.
— Sgt. 1st Class Fred Gregory,
Texas Department of Public Safety records indicate that whites hold 85 percent of Texas concealed handgun permits.
I suppose that’s a comfortable statistic if you’re in the majority, but maybe a little low from a Tea Party perspective.
So how would they react if the demographic were reversed? What if minorities made up the 85 percent?
Instead of laws to expand gun rights, like open carry, universal carry, campus carry and tax holidays for gun purchases, Republican state legislators would be tightening restrictions faster then you can say “voter ID.”
The gun activists can wrap themselves in the Second Amendment, but this is all about those in power, demonstrating power.
If strutting around town with an exposed handgun gives you peace of mind, I’m happy for you.
If all this gun stuff makes you uneasy, take comfort in the fact that Texas demographics are shifting. Nothing says power like the vote.
— Dale Daniel, Arlington
No more Bob Ray
Say it ain’t so! No more Bob Ray Sanders? The man we love to hate?
Even the haters must admit that Bob Ray is just the nicest guy.
I kept up a a dialogue with the poor, misguided soul and he, out of all y’all, would sometimes call back. He knows that I’m a subscriber, a citizen and a critic.
Y’all better replace him fast. Bud Kennedy might be next.
Actually, I still miss J.R. Labbe, Phil Record and, most of all, George Dolan.
— Lynn M. Holt, Mansfield
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