Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said on Tuesday that a bill to legalize the open carry of handguns in the Lone Star State was not likely to pass in the state legislature, reports the Austin American Statesman. “Second Amendment rights are very important, but open carry has not reached the level of being prioritized at this point,” Patrick said during a Texas Tribune event Tuesday morning. “I don’t think there’s support in the Legislature to pass it.” If Patrick’s assessment is true . . .
Texans will have to wait longer to enjoy the same kind of freedom to openly carry a handgun currently enjoyed by residents of states such as Vermont, Arizona or Pennsylvania.
Patrick didn’t mention the recent spate of protests led by open carry activists in Austin. However, it would amaze me no end if this didn’t play a role in the lack of support. Earlier in January, protestors rallied to support a bill introduced by State Rep. Jonathan Strickland. Those legislator visits features a meeting with anti-civil rights legislator Poncho Nevárez, who apparently asked them to leave his office “after they grew increasingly confrontational when he said he was not supporting the bill.”
CJ Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, as quoted in the Texas Tribune said that he was disappointed in the performance of the protesters:
“I just can’t believe the utter lack of professionalism, tact and, really, common courtesy that I saw today,” Grisham said. “It was intimidation, it was talking down, it was speaking over, it was childishness, and it did absolutely zero to even engage in conversation.”
I believe this is what is referred to as an “unforced error.”
There are times in politics when it’s a good idea to dig in and force a fight, consequences be damned. Particularly when basic civil rights are at stake. When you’re on the cusp of a win, however, it’s usually better to follow the advice of my dearly departed mother, a Texas native herself, who counseled that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.