I tuned in yesterday for the part of the debate on the House floor over HB910, the House’s version of legislation that would allow holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry their guns openly, a.k.a. open carry.*
Tempers flared, and lapel pins were over-the-top ridiculous:
At one point, Rep. Joe Farias stepped up to speak, I believe to Amendment 10. Ultimately, he voted against HB910.
I don’t have the exact quote, and the video archive isn’t ready yet, but even though he opposed HB910, he said something during his comments that really troubled me.
He assured everyone that he supports the second amendment. That’s fine. I have no problem with that, although I’d assume we could stipulate that for all members and save the time spent saying it.
Then, however, he made the claim I’ve heard plenty of others trot out to establish their bona fides when it comes to guns.
He assured his colleagues that he actually owns a gun, a handgun, which he keeps in a drawer in his bedside table.
He also made a very weak and unfunny attempt at a joke, saying something along the lines of the fact that he kept it to protect himself from his wife … really not funny or appropriate, but that’s not my focus at the moment.
No, it is the fact that Democrats, who can be counted on, in most cases, to oppose gun lunacy bills, feel that they have to assure people that they themselves are gun owners, or even gun enthusiasts.
Just stop. Stop already.
First, you don’t need to have a gun to pass legislation relating to guns.
Second, you are perpetuating the myth that people need to be armed to protect themselves. This, for an overwhelming large percent of people almost all of the time, is not true.
We don’t have reliable statistics, of course, about gun violence, because the National Rifle Association has spent buckets of money lobbying against any attempt to do so, but I appeal to your common sense and lived experience.
When was the last time you were in the grocery store, delicately testing avocados to find the one that would be ripe in time for dinner, when you had to drop everything and squeeze off a couple of rounds because someone was threatening the lady at the cantaloupe display?
When was the last time you were sitting at home with friends, watching a movie, when you had to shoot someone who kicked in the door to your kitchen?
When was the last time you were at a museum and had to hide behind a full-scale model of a dinosaur while bringing down a nefarious character with a single shot to the heart from your snub-nosed whatever who had just grabbed a rare opal and a screaming 6-month-old from the Hall of Gems?
Are you always tense thinking about the gun battles that ensue every time you go to the bank to cash a check?
No, you are not.
Because random gun battles don’t happen on a regular basis at banks, grocery stores, picnics, t-ball games, church services, car washes, or anywhere else.
You can live your whole life in Texas, never own a gun or keep one in your house, and still be a-OK.
True, horrible crimes happen. Some people’s kitchen doors are kicked in, and some children are kidnapped, and some stores are robbed. Rarely, however, do more guns that belong to people other than law enforcement officers solve the problem.
Democrats, stop trying to assure people that you are Republican-Lite. Stop telling me and everyone else about your guns. You oppose these bills, which is the right thing to do.
People who never voted for you before are not going to start voting for you just because you claim to own a gun. You don’t need their support or approval.
It is OK to stand for something. In fact, it makes you a better politician.
Rep. Anchia spoke before the final vote with great passion and conviction. As I remember it, and I’ll go back to check the video archive once it is up, he didn’t mention his guns.
He mentioned his daughters.
Given the choice, are you going to stand up and assure people you are for guns, or are you going to stand up and assure people you are for the life, liberty, and happiness of children?
That should be an easy question for any Democrat to answer.
Why it isn’t is a big part of what is wrong with the party in this state.
**If you are trying to calibrate your level of concern over open carry, know that it is not as dangerous as terror and chaos carry, which some who fail to grasp the finer points of legal scholarship like to refer to disingenuously as constitutional carry.
Open carry, at least, requires people who just want to pump gas on a hot day while wearing their pistol on their hip be licensed to do so.
Terror and chaos carry, championed largely by people whose criminal backgrounds would not allow them to obtain a concealed handgun licence, would say that anyone, anyone at all, and in any place, any place at all, but especially playgrounds and grocery stores, could brandish their gun in peace.