Gun Law Fight Shows Texas GOP Might Not Be So Crazy After All
Wild. Untamed. Fiercely Independent. These are just some of the descriptors for the state of Texas and its citizens. There is a mystique that enshrouds the state, perhaps willfully perpetuated by the conflation of legend and myth. The state responsible for the Alamo, native sons like Lyndon B. Johnson and Lance Armstrong — and interlopers like our 41st and 43rd Presidents — clearly likes to play by its own rules. Texas is home to America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, and the state’s bluster extends across all facets of daily public and private life. From the state motto, Don’t Mess With Texas, to the Travel & Tourism Board’s tagline, Texas: It’s Like A Whole Other Country, it is evident that Texas does things a little differently.
One thing that would make Texas just a little too different is a recent bill that was put before the Texas Legislature called ‘Constitutional Carry.’ The concept behind constitutional carry is that any citizen can, at any time, brandish a shotgun, rifle, or handgun for any reason or no reason at all. The kicker behind constitutional carry is that it invalidates the need to obtain a state license or prove that you have been properly trained with the weapon. That’s right: this bill wants to usher in the days of the Wild West on the streets of Texas cities and towns. This controversial bill, proposed by Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), saw a little more controversy this week when ammosexual backers of the bill took to social media to threaten assassination if a Democratic lawmaker followed through on his promise to vote against it.
Bedford, TX, it should be noted, is not a small Texas town off a dusty road with a single stoplight in the center of town. Bedford is located in between Dallas and Fort Worth, is served by two major freeway systems, and boasts all of the municipal amenities you would expect for a sleepy bedroom suburb. So it would seem odd that a constitutional carry bill would be championed by a representative for a safe, small North Texas city. Stickland rode the Tea Party wave of discontent into office at the age of 30. He apparently loves the rough and tumble of Texas politics and plays the part well. In his last election, he went so far as to publish the home address of his opponent’s supporter. Dirty tricks and scathing critiques didn’t keep him from being re-elected last May. In fact, the Texas Municipal Police Association went so far as to label Stickland as “one of the worst State Representatives in Texas history,” citing as reasoning his total disregard for the safety of children. Now it appears Mr. Stickland also acts with a total disregard for the safety of his fellow lawmakers.
Earlier this week, Rep. Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez, (D-Eagle Pass) received and made light of threats made on his life via social media related to the new Texas gun law. The online cowards threatened to assassinate Nevárez if he followed through on his promise to vote against Stickland’s constitutional carry bill. The suggestion that he should provide his fellow lawmakers with signs that read “I’m not Pancho” triggered in one of his Republican colleagues an opportunity to show solidarity. State Rep. Drew Springer, (R-Muenster) took it upon himself to print and handout stickers to the assembled representatives that stated “I’m Poncho.” Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle wore the message with pride. Springer said:
“We should not let anyone threaten any of us. If you’re going to come after one of us, you’re going to have to come after all of us.”
It has seemed, especially over the last few years, that gun nuts, advocates, and lobbying groups could act with impunity. No matter what they would say or do, they would emerge from the argument seemingly unscathed. When Texas Republicans are taking a stand against gun activists, it may be time for other gun groups to sit up and take notice. We have witnessed a tactic that has gone a bridge too far. There are limits to what the ammosexuals can say and do, and the solidarity on display in Texas’ Statehouse this week proves that to be true.
Image courtesy LucyFrench123.
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Alan hails from the great state of Texas by way of Florida and New York. He began his news/OpEd writing career serving as the Community Editor of the Times-Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas while completing his Political Science/Spanish degrees. He later took his talents to a handful of online outlets where his writing focus was on Science, Health, and Technology. Addressing Politics, Foreign Policy, and Social Justice returns Alan to where his passions lie. Proud to be part of the inaugural team for Reverb Press, Alan looks forward to any and all feedback that results from his articles and features.