By James England (via concealednation.org)
Carrying a concealed firearm into the Texas state capitol building is as easy as bringing your Texas concealed carry permit. Yet state representative Drew Springer is miffed he had to leave his concealed carry firearm in his car while visiting a deputy sheriff at the Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. So miffed, in fact, he decided it’s high time such nonsense came to an end. This is Texas, after all. They have a reputation to uphold . . .
Last spring, Rep. Springer proposed a House bill which would, in effect, eliminate the majority of gun-free zones in the state. Springer’s patch of electorate stretches across multiple counties – Amarillo to Dallas-Forth Worth. Included in that patch of ground are plenty of fantastic hospitals.
From KERA News:
“I’ve had both employees as well as visitors of their loved ones that have said we’re right here on the interstate, there’s a big sign that says hospital and people are coming off and trying to rob them of their drugs,” Springer says. “They feel vulnerable and they want the right to be able to protect themselves.”
While there seems to be plenty of proponents interested in maintaining their right to self-defense no matter the location, Dallas County Hospital District Police Captain Dan Birbeck adamantly disagreed with the initiative in his interview with Kera News.
Amongst his arguments against such legislation, he cited the number of psychiatric patients whom come to the facility seeking help – and those firearms may pose an additional risk that he feels is unwarranted.
The case precedent he used to support this claim was an event that happened at the Parkland Hospital where a prisoner whom was seeking treatment managed to overpower the deputy guarding him and take his firearm. He was eventually caught.
And then there’s also the shooting at the Veterans Affairs clinic in El Paso earlier this year. As the Washington Post reported:
The doctor who was fatally shot at an El Paso Veterans Affairs clinic on Tuesday had previously filed a threat complaint against his alleged killer, FBI officials said Wednesday.
VA psychologist Timothy Fjordbak, 63, was allegedly shot and killed by Jerry Serrato, 48, on the fourth floor of the El Paso Veteran Affairs Clinic, FBI special agent Doug Lindquist said. Then Serrato “actually went to the third floor, and that’s where he took his own life,” Lindquist said.
Quick question: how does enforcing a “gun-free zone” prevent future events like these from taking place?
It’s a central question lingering in the debates as this House bill makes its rounds in the Texas House of Representatives. If passed, it will greatly reduce the number of “gun-free zones” in Texas and allow concealed carriers more unfettered access to their normal (and emergency care) routines.