Gun rights activists rallied at the Capitol in Austin for the beginning of the 84th Legislature’s regular session, pushing for bills that would allow “open carry” of firearms. But the groups are not united on how best to achieve this goal. One bill would do away with handgun licensing, while others would not.
How far do gun rights go? Should government abandon all restrictions on gun ownership, or is some restriction reasonable?
The Second Amendment reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”
That implies that we need more regulations.
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— Elsie Koppa, Crowley
I am a concealed handgun license holder.
However, I disagree with the current effort of a few to carry guns openly.
They are going to make it harder to pass open carry.
I doubt that the NRA supports their effort.
I do not support open carry by any unlicensed person.
If open carry is going to happen here in Texas, it should be done through an endorsement to a concealed handgun license holder only.
— Tom Sonsel, Fort Worth
All citizens of this country, with exceptions (convicted felons, etc.), should retain the right to own guns.
However, we should all be subject to restrictions.
Automatic and semi-automatic guns are weapons for killing people, not wildlife.
As for open carry, it’s simply intimidation.
I don’t need somebody “protecting” me while at a store or restaurant.
Humans are impulsive and capable of making bad decisions even when unarmed.
— Bart Baker, Alvarado
I am a licensed, background-checked and trained CHL holder.
Why would I want to identify myself to the “bad guy” so he could take me out first, which is what every police officer will tell you happens?
It is my right to own a firearm, not to infringe on others’ rights or scare some mother with a baby at Taco Bell.
If Texas is determined to allow open carry, then by all means license, train and background-check in every case.
If a police officer cannot walk up and ask for a license, then you are risking every officer’s life every day, not to mention mine and yours.
— John Williams, Lewisville
Open carry should only be open to those who have a CHL.
Rifles do not belong in stores. They make customers very uneasy. Keep the rifles in the vehicles as intended.
Walking the streets with a weapon strapped to your waist only lets the bad guys know you are armed.
Let it be a secret and not become a target.
— Robert Juhler, Arlington
The Second Amendment should not be changed.
But the way some people practice open carry is to flaunt freedom and scare people.
In America, hard things can be changed with persistent campaigns. For example, now it is cool not to smoke.
Let’s start a campaign, something like: “Second Amendment for the common good.” Offer your idea for such a slogan that promotes responsible bearing of arms.
— Janet Crowell, Fort Worth
Our government is the most tolerant and open of any in the world where gun rights are involved.
Yes, there are onerous restrictions, but overall we enjoy our Second Amendment rights openly.
I see very little positive in this open-carry effort and view it as endangering gun ownership.
If the open carry folks feel this need so much, they should be required to have a permit and take a course similar to the one for concealed permit owners.
— Harry G. Karegeannes, Colleyville
There is no question a lawful citizen has the right to keep and bear arms in their private space, their home or automobile and while hunting in approved areas during proper seasons. Under certain circumstances a citizen may be licensed to carry a concealed firearm into public.
But a private citizen does not have the Second Amendment right to open carry into public areas. This is everyone’s space, not just theirs, and gun owners should recognize and respect this.
I have observed that some of these open-carry advocates don’t understand safe practices of gun ownership.
I personally am appalled at their seeming ignorance of firearm safety, despite their loud proclamations of having been properly trained.
— David Perkins,
With widespread availability, guns turn regular people into criminals from infants to grandparents whether accidental or intentional.
Now owners demand the right to parade them around town. That makes me feel really safe.
Unfortunately, it seems the only people who can empathize with families that have lost a loved one to gun violence are those closely related.
— Bob Ure, Arlington
All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, firstname.lastname@example.org.