Saturday, December 20, 2014

Texas Open Carry

When people think of Texas they imagine cowboys, big skies and a Wild West, six gun spirit. Something like this:

"Nearly every man we met with in travelling was armed with a knife, seven-shooter, and double-barrelled shot-gun," stated Brigadier General W.E. Strong, after patrolling Texas with a cavalry force in 1866.

Unsurprisingly, this didn't sit well with the occupying Reconstruction government and Texans were disarmed by the Act to regulate the keeping and bearing of deadly weapons of 1871, leading to the following complaint:

"The police and State guards are armed, and lord it over the land, while the citizen dare not, under heavy pain and penalties, bear arms to defend himself, unless he has reasonable grounds for fearing an unlawful attack on his person, and that such grounds of attack shall be immediate and pressing. The citizen is at the mercy of the policeman and the men of the State Guard, and that too, when these bodies of men embrace in them some of the most lawless and abandoned men in the State, many of whom are adventurers--strangers to the soil--discharged or pardoned criminals..."

Make of that what you will and note that today's ban on openly carrying sidearms in Texas is based on the 1871 Act. Government, it seems, doesn't like to relinquish control over its subjects.

But that looks set to change, with 6 Bills up before Texas' state legislature proposing a repeal of post-Civil War disarmament. Governor Greg Abbott has pledged to sign open carry into law as soon as the relevant bill lands on his desk. Until then, here's Sam Houston, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Texas, writing in 1835:

"[T]he Dictator required the surrender of the arms of the civic militia, that he might be enabled to establish, on the ruins of the Constitution, a system of policy which would forever enslave the people of Mexico. Zacatecas, unwilling to yield her sovereign rights to the demand, which struck at the root of all liberty, refused to disarm her citizens of their private arms. Ill-fated State! her power, as well as her wealth, aroused the ambition of Santa Anna, and excited his cupidity. Her citizens became the first victims of his cruelty, while her wealth was sacrificed in payment for the butchery of her citizens. The success of the usurper determined him in exacting from the people of Texas submission to the Central form of Government; and, to enforce his plan of despotism, he despatched a military force to invade the Colonies, and exact the arms of the inhabitants. The citizens refused the demand, and the invading force was increased. The question then was, shall we resist oppression and live free, or violate our oaths, and wear a despot's stripes?"

Gun rights,



LL said...

Free men don't need permission to bare arms, do defend themselves and those around them. Neither should they fear government intrusion into their homes by electronic or other means except through the mechanism of a search warrant.

These concepts were becoming arcane in America, made worse under the Obama regime. It warms my heart to see them return under the guidance of the States. And surprisingly under the aegis of the federal courts as well.

Those progressives who don't like the law can move to some place safe like Newark, Detroit or Chicago which have draconian gun laws.

LSP said...

Totally agree.

LL said...

Crime drops when criminals know that there is a better than even chance that the person that they want to rob is armed.

The one thing that progressives push and I agree with is that if you are going to carry a firearm, you should be proficient in its use.

Otherwise, we're on different sides of the planet.