Open carry activists didn’t win in Texas because of public opinion, at least not on the superficial and transitory image of public opinion that’s usually measured. It was won because the activists developed means and methods to communicate around the elite establishment, grew their own organizations and vision, and exerted raw political power to bend the government to their will. Of course, they had several advantages . . .

The facts were on their side. The Constitution is on their side. And the culture is on their side. Arrayed against them were big government elites, big media, and big educrats from the university system. They weren’t asking for much, just to right an injustice perpetrated a 160 years ago. To reclaim something that was their birthright. It cost no money and it was at no risk to the population.

It wasn’t done by politely asking politicians if they would “pretty please” restore their rights. I am not saying that proper manners aren’t effective. Used properly, they’re an effective tool. Activists in the political arena quickly learn to threaten political defeat very politely. That’s what has happened with the open carry activists.

Their long gun open carry marches, Facebook pages, and media coverage created tens of thousands of dedicated activists who were focused, knowledgeable, organized, and persistent. These are exactly the things that politicians fear in opponents. This is why the purported “public opinion” means so little.

For an ordinary person, an article about an open carry event is an interesting tidbit in an endless stream of news, entertainment, and images that enters and leaves her consciousness with virtually no impact. It makes no impression on the way that she votes a year from now. She may not understand the primary process, and isn’t particularly interested in it. The idea of studying the political landscape and searching for weak pressure points has never occurred to her.

But the same article will notify members of the gun culture that there is a way to restore their rights, that there is a movement, organization, and tasks for them to do. It creates activists, and activists matter.

Activists had strong impacts in the last election cycle. Many opponents of open carry were defeated in their primaries. Many others faced opposition that they hadn’t expected and had to overcome it.  Both candidates for governor felt the power of the open carry movement. Greg Abbott welcomed it and the Democrat candidate transparently tried to half-heartedly co-opt it. It’s easy to understand why. Open carry activists had created the biggest social movement in Texas since the Civil Rights days. In the last 18 months, they held over 2,500 open carry marches.

The army of open carry activists didn’t stop with marches and defeating opponents in primaries. They watched the legislative process, day-by-day at first. Then hour-by-hour as the elites attempted to use the system to delay the bill until it was too late to pass.   At the last, they were watching a live feed from the legislative chambers, and directing their outrage against offending legislators on the phone lines and email servers in real time.

It was the open carry of rifles that forced the politicians to act. Not by itself. But the carry was strong, symbolic, political, speech, an act that was the seed that grew into an army of activists. It was common for open carry marchers to be cheered by members of the public who saw them as a force standing for the Constitution. Their reach increased geometrically with YouTube videos and Facebook pages.

Ultimately they prevailed. Governor Abbott signed HB 910 into law Saturday. Licensed open carry of modern pistols will be legal on January 1.

Second amendment supporters and the open carry movement aren’t winning by creating and changing public opinion. That’s a positive, after-the-fact byproduct. They are winning by creating and exercising raw political power. One activist is worth a hundred passive voters.

Open carry, whether hand guns or long guns, is a combination exercise of the First and Second Amendment rights and should be doubly protected. I suspect that many who rail against open carry do so because they are uncertain if they have the intestinal fortitude to do it themselves.

It is, however, very effective. As Texans could legally open carry only long guns, they did so, creating a social movement that has shaken the political landscape.

Governor Abbott has signed their first open carry legislative victory. It will not be their last.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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105 Responses to How Open Carry Activists Won in Texas

  1. But I was told here and elsewhere that open-carry is going to give the gun-grabbers all they need to take away our rights and we shouldn’t do it.

    • No, there’s a huge difference between “Don’t act like an ass” and and what you said. In fact, you were told here that the attention-whoring clowns OCing rifles at Chipotle, Target, etc were counter-productive to the cause. So now Texans will still have to beg their government for a permit before they can do what most of the country can do without a permit. Yay, right?

      TL;DR: “The Chipotle Ninjas gave us a shitty version of OC! Yay Chipotle Ninjas!”

        • I’m certainly not “in the know” like you guys with your YouTube channels and blogs. As such, I knew nothing about the open carry movement until I read the first news story about Chipotle Ninjas. Then I wrote my reps.

        • @Chris: It may have gotten you to write your reps, but it got all the fence-sitters off the fence, and firmly against OC, and a bunch of them wrote their reps too – along with the people already against guns. That’s why Constitutional Carry died, and why this [very watered down] version almost died. Yeah, at least it’s something, but it would have been a whole lot more had misguided assclowns OCing rifles at restaurants and supermarkets not worked so hard to generate negative PR for the issue.

        • ksd23: “it got all the fence-sitters off the fence, and firmly against OC, and a bunch of them wrote their reps too – along with the people already against guns.”

          “Their long gun open carry marches, Facebook pages, and media coverage created tens of thousands of dedicated activists who were focused, knowledgeable, organized, and persistent. These are exactly the things that politicians fear in opponents.”

          The balancing of these two countervailing effects is critical to success. We PotG – who are not professional media magnates – need to get very good at optics and rhetoric.

          To be successful we need to be flamboyant. Bold images in marches bring the media coverage. The net effect must be to invite the participation of gun-rights sympathizers; and, that requires avoiding playing into the hands of the Antis. It’s not easy or obvious how – exactly – to get this right. So, we have to think about it, propose solutions and critique them.

          By way of illustration, how should we dress? How about:
          – dressing as motorcycle gang members?
          – dressing in period costumes from the Revolutionary War (Civil War in the South)?
          We have a 1A right to dress in either costume. How shall we decide between our alternatives? An easy test is to ask: What would Bloomberg have us do? What would better advance Bloomberg’s message? Would he have us dress as motorcycle gang members or as Revolutionary’s? If we can answer such a question then we have some insight as to what sorts of optics/rhetoric would best be avoided and what the remaining alternatives might be.

          Maybe we should dress as ordinary people from common walks-of-life. One marcher wearing a butcher’s apron, another a baker’s hat, . . . a doctor, a lawyer . . . Mothers, children with toy guns. 19th century sheriffs (boots, vests star badges).

          What venue should we choose?
          – town-square?
          – private property?

          If it’s a town-square type of venue then it’s clear that it is an accepted forum for political expression. If it’s private property it looks like it is an invasion of someone’s personal interest. It wouldn’t matter one wit if the Chipotle franchise is owned by the president of the Rod & Gun Club. No one can discern such a (supposed) fact from the imagery. It looks like the “Ninjas” have “invaded” the private property of the Chipotle restaraunt chain. A dispassionate viewer is apt to sympathize with the private party. (No matter that the R&G Club’s president deliberately hosts Club meetings in his restaraunt to drum-up business!)

          We need to make our Gun-Rights message clear. The objective is NOT to promote 100% of law-abiding citizens to OC. Instead, our objective is (or ought to be) to bring civilian guns “out-of-the-closet” in polite society. Citizens ought to understand the presence and rational for guns in society. If all carriers CC’ed then citizens would remain ignorant of the existence and benefits of civilian gun ownership and carry.

      • Look some activists made tactical errors but the fact is people showing up at chipotle carrying a long gun AND nobody getting shot
        Still proves our point. The fact also is that if it wasn’t for the activists we would not have had any victory. Things would have gone te same way they have for the last 10 years or so. And anything more than what we got was NOT considered likely by anybody even the NRA types.
        The fact is we told the republicans you either put up or shut up. And they did. If we could get this crazy about school choice we would have a voucher or tax credit system already.

      • Except that’s entirely false. There were ups and downs, sure, but the carry of long guns in multiple scenarios elevated the discussion. Stop looking for an easy scapegoat when the politicians are to blame.

        • the carry of long guns in multiple scenarios elevated the discussion.

          That’s exactly correct. It showed people how stupid their laws were that allowed LGOC but prohibited handgun OC. It made people aware that 44 other states allowed OC without issue, including all the states surrounding Texas. And it put pressure on the Texas legislature to do something instead of ignoring the OC bills like they have been for years.

      • YES! you took the words right out of my mouth! They still are “required” to get a permission for a right they already possess! Piss on this crap. The only REAL victory is abolish permits and conceal carry permissions for a full and unadulterated CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY!

    • Some of the antics of the OC crowd did indeed jeopardize their mission rather than help it.

      Fortunately they realized that they needed to do better PR and locked down the stupidity as best they could.

      More incidents like the Chipotle Ninjas and I doubt very much we’d be getting Open Carry. Fortunately, the movement did get a lot smarter after that and one other incident I no longer recall.

      Dean is right. You weren’t going to get popular opinion in today’s culture on your side, but there is still a need not to be so obnoxious that you get the general public to participate against you. You want to rally the troops without awakening the mob. Mission accomplished.

      • Yes, mission accomplished. Yet, it was a close call. Let’s learn from the mistakes in each incident and assemble a collection of best-practices do’s and don’ts so that each successive campaign is successful more rapidly.

        We do have to applaud the OC advocates for having the musket-balls to stand-up for gun-rights. A lot of the criticism of them is downright mean-spirited when – in plenty of cases – the demonstrators:
        – objectively did everything well; but,
        – allowed poor optics to play into the Antis’ hands

        E.g., I understand the “Chipotle Ninjas” were welcomed by the proprietor of the restaraunt and did nothing inappropriate; yet, through lack of media savvy, allowed the Antis counterproductive photo opportunities.

        Let’s all grasp the fact that most of us PotG are smart enough to get the message of how to do things better and that we are trying to achieve a commonly-held goal.

  2. How Open Carry Activists Won in Texas

    They hired Paul McCain for PR?

    It wasn’t done by politely asking politicians if they would “pretty please” restore their rights.

    Was it done by keeping quiet and not drawing attention to themselves and their kind?

  3. There were wins and losses. We could have had Constitutional Carry. That died when the OCT folks invaded the rep’s office and refused to leave when asked. This lead to the installation of panic buttons in the offices. The law does not take effect until 1 Jan 2016. That was a loss. The law should have taken effect last Saturday at the Governor’s signature. Why the delay? Two reasons: I fully expect that lawsuits are being prepared to overturn the law prior to 1 January. I also expect that Acevedo, “Police Chief” of Austin is training his officers in Austin to be aggressive in checking each and every open handgun carrier in every encounter for their CHL. The law allows them to do that.
    Second, I fully expect that there are some folks who weren’t really paying attention to the fact of the law’s start date and will open carry, be arrested and charged. This will serve the anti’s purpose very nicely as proof that we can’t be trusted to follow the law.
    I sincerely hope that I am wrong but I’ve never gone wrong by underestimating the fervor that the antis have in trying to disarm us.

    • We could have had Constitutional Carry.

      You were never going to have Constitutional Carry. Period. Rick Perry hated it, and the legislature did too. In fact, if it was up to Perry, you wouldn’t have open carry either.

      OC will be the law on Texas because advocates agitated for it long, hard and loud.

      • The real victory is that most of the Constitutional Carry crowd (and that includes most of the leadership of the open carry groups) are unfit to qualify for a concealed carry license and, thus, cannot legally open carry. Hopefully some of them will soon be getting extra time in jail. Good riddance.

        • OCT leadership cannot qualify for a CHL? LOL. Proof?

          Nice to know you are against Constitutional Carry.

        • OCT leadership can’t get a CHL? That’s funny concdering that we have all had our CHL for years. Maybe you should get your facts straight before making yourself look even more stupid.

        • @Jack Flag: All the more reason for him to be vocal about it. Texas really is violating his right to bear a handgun because there is no legal avenue available for him to do so. The choices for statists out there regarding people in his situation: 1) His right to bear arms is infringed; no OC or CC of a handgun. 2) He can OC without a license but cannot qualify for a CHL. 3) He can OC or CC without a license. Which do y’all want to see? Right now, even after licensed OC goes into effect, people in similar situations will be denied the exercise of their right to bear a handgun in public. If I were in his shoes, I would be extremely pissed off about it.

    • We could have had Constitutional Carry. That died when the OCT folks invaded the rep’s office and refused to leave when asked.

      Proof?

      I also expect that Acevedo, “Police Chief” of Austin is training his officers in Austin to be aggressive in checking each and every open handgun carrier in every encounter for their CHL. The law allows them to do that.

      I think so too. Hopefully, this will open the door to removal of the CHL requirement to exercise the right.

      Second, I fully expect that there are some folks who weren’t really paying attention to the fact of the law’s start date and will open carry, be arrested and charged. This will serve the anti’s purpose very nicely as proof that we can’t be trusted to follow the law.

      This is something that always bothers me. We have to prove to the antis that we can follow the law? This is an untenable situation as there could always be someone to violate a particular law somewhere. The issue is if we can trust agents of government to not violate individual rights. Trying to maintain a positive PR campaign 365/24/7 with masses of real people in the population is impossible. That’s a lost cause before it even begins.

      I sincerely hope that I am wrong but I’ve never gone wrong by underestimating the fervor that the antis have in trying to disarm us.

      This is one of the reasons why “hearts and minds” as a main tactic will fail. The POTG need to be mobilized to restore the exercise of the RKBA. There may be some non-POTG picked up along the way and some turned off. However, the main body will always come from those already with a heart and mind towards individual Liberty.

      • “This is something that always bothers me. We have to prove to the antis that we can follow the law?”

        Yes, unfortunately that will always be the case. Seeing as how we are, according to them, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, hairy-eared illiterates, or worse. They being the enlightened would be rulers of us all demand obeisance to them as a condition for our continued existence.

        Sad

        • It is sad but we don’t have to convince them. Besides, there is no convincing them. Only belligerents have rights according to the courts. We are at a point in the decline of our nation where if we do not assert our rights, steadfastly and forcefully, we will lose the their exercise. Begging permission won’t restore government restraint. We might end up with a diluted culture of privileges but the exercise of rights will be lost. Refuse to go to the back of the bus. Do so again and again. Massive numbers refusing to compromise on the simple right to keep and bear arms is one of the few tactics that will actually work.

      • Your quote of Mike Crognale: “I also expect that Acevedo, “Police Chief” of Austin is training his officers in Austin to be aggressive in checking each and every open handgun carrier in every encounter for their CHL. The law allows them to do that.”

        You replied, “I think so too. Hopefully, this will open the door to removal of the CHL requirement to exercise the right.”

        If they do, they may find themselves sued a few times for 4th amendment violations.

        Me, I’m tempted to go buy a black powder pistol from Cabela’s and start open carrying that (since that is legal now) and if anyone asks me, I’ll tell them it will be replaced by something more modern in January.

        • I agree with you on both counts. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that the Chief does encourage, or at least foster an encouraging environment for, harassment of OCers. Unfortunately, the license might open that door. While I think it is a 4th amendment violation, others might not view it as such on the surface. Also, a BP pistol is something that I would consider if I were in Texas because it ought to allow one to OC under the right and then run the “Am I being detained?” route. Find what is considered the exercise of a right under current law and work up from there, IMHO.

        • If Texas law enforcement begins harassing legal open carriers, that’ll put the lie to the fable that “cops are pro-2A.” We’ve already seen a lot of that here in Michigan.

        • Fine. Let’s draw-out the LEOs and see for whom they stand.

          LEOs are beginning to question whether their chain-of-command running up to through the chief, though the DA to the AG of the US and even POTUS. Are their superiors standing behind them?

          In front of them, the citizens of the precincts where they patrol. Do the citizens whom they protect and serve standing behind them?

          Now, turning to the PotG as a separate cut of the citizenry of their patrol precincts. Do the PotG stand behind the police?

          Plenty of us are skeptical of some cops; a few are skeptical of all cops. Cops and PotG each have to decide how they feel about the other group.

          I would hope that Texas LEOs take OC’16 as their opportunity to take a stand vis a vis the PotG. And, I also hope that PotG nation-wide anticipate that OC will be well received among Texas LEOs. If so, American LEOs will see that non-swarm gun-carrying citizens are the natural allies of sworn LEOs; the professional citizen-militia with the non-professional citizen-militia.

          If push-comes-to-kick-in-the-door each side of the conflagration will have a better idea of what to expect from the other.

        • How do you think it will go down? We had Texas law enforcement departments meet ahead of time, prior to pre-announced lawful OCT demonstrations, strategizing how they could arrest them and make it stick. Today we still have Texas LEOs stopping OCers, unlawfully demanding ID, and wanting to know why “you are carrying a rifle on my streets!”

          I’m not sanguine, but I’d like to be pleasantly surprised.

        • I’m not making any prediction here.

          Seems a reasonable question for LEOs and PotG to ponder.

          I’d hope that LEOs who think they have been abandoned their chain-of-command and by residents of the precincts they patrol might be looking for support from some other sector of the citizenry. I’d hope that PotG would take an open mind attitude toward the majority of LEOs; assume they are upstanding men and women who would be respectful of the Right-to-Carry. If my greatest hopes are realized then there an important alliance in support of the 2A might arise.

          I’m prepared to be disappointed. But, should this prove to be the case, forwarded is – how does the saying go? – forearmed.

    • There were wins and losses. We could have had Constitutional Carry. That died when the OCT folks invaded the rep’s office and refused to leave when asked. This lead to the installation of panic buttons in the offices.

      I disagree. You don’t have constitutional carry because of a handful of a few guys in one office wouldn’t leave. You don’t have constitutional carry because the people in office didn’t want it. This has something to do with that:

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_fMIDrVmr09Y/TTpAWWwJ0YI/AAAAAAAAAAU/z1u4CV6QHBw/s1600/image002.jpg

      But the solution isn’t to keep people from crossing the border. In many of those border counties, immigration is a single issue voter subject. Show them the positives of freedom and they can vote without immigration in their minds and not for the marxist party who currently supports it only to gain their vote.

      • I disagree. Do you recall, or did you hear the argument on the floor between Stickland and Pickett (I think). Pickett’s comments were something to the effect, “the way you people have treated us”. He was referring to the office invaders and the insulting statements and behavior.
        That said, I realize that I should have posted “We -probably- could have had open carry.” Left out that word.

        • Pickett’s comments were something to the effect, “the way you people have treated us”. He was referring to the office invaders and the insulting statements and behavior.

          He was treated far better than he deserved. His statement amounted to, “How dare those peasants defy ME!!!!!”

        • Of course. They are politicians. Heck – the constitutional carry bill was likely put in the pot to scare the lefties to vote yes on the open carry bill with permits.

          It is possible the non-sensible politicians wouldn’t consider the vote because their delicate sensibilities were offended by a very select few individuals. However, no sensible person is going to throw out ideas that effect millions of people because some (like 2 or 3 guys) offended them in their office. It is more likely they don’t want it and used those 2 or 3 guys behavior as a excuse to both make them feel bad about the encounter and also to not vote for the measure. My guess is they wouldn’t have voted for it either way.

      • “But the solution isn’t to keep people from crossing the border. In many of those border counties, immigration is a single issue voter subject. Show them the positives of freedom and they can vote without immigration in their minds and not for the marxist party who currently supports it only to gain their vote.”

        Havent seen that map in a while, although it looks eerily similiar to Nov 2014. I think a large part of the issue is that a lot of people immigrating from South American believe in some of these socialist/marxist things already and they are more than happy to align with our enemies Domestic. Someone linked an article in the comments this week about 3 out of 4 voting Left consistently, with the sheer numbers of influx, its hard to imagine that is not the winning long game strategy. I dont really know much in the grand scheme of things, but the comparison to Alaric sacking Rome comes to mind.

    • There is a big difference between Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham. and Kory Watkins, Open Carry Tarrant County. To quote http://www.dallasobserver.com “ Kory Watkins is like the kid who got a Zune instead of an iPod for Christmas.” The Open Carry Tarrant County leader is upset — very, very upset — that the Texas Senate passed a bill yesterday that would legalize the open carrying of handguns in the state. Watkins is mad because the bill, passed on a 20-11 party line vote, requires that open carriers have a license for the handgun they’re carrying in their hip or shoulder holster “ Kory Watkins is also the one who choose to intimidate a legislator in his office, resulted in each state Representative now has a “panic button” at Open Carry Texas empty holster rally at the Capital. Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham had already disassociated with Watkins group earlier in the year due to he and his groups tactics. Individual ninjas invading Chipolatas Restaurant did not help public or police perception of the open carry movement.
      C.J. Grisham with Open Carry Texas and the 16,000 volunteers worked hard and smart right up the very last moment when passed and went to the governor for signature. Whether Texas gun owners choose to OC or not, it’s good to have freedom of choice and I personally thank Mr. Grisham with Open Carry Texas for doing the heavy lifting that got us a long gone right back.

      • “Zune instead of an iPod for Christmas.”

        and he is mad at the world about it. Ice tea damn near met keyboard with that one.

        • Every movement has its cutting edge. Kory Watkins makes C.J. Grisham appear positively centrist, and that is a good thing.

          It is not what Watkins does that is the problem. It is not even what the media says about Watkins that is the problem, because very few ordinary people will pay enough attention to it for it to matter.

          The problem is that people in the gun culture pay attention, they see what the old media does to Watkins, they get fearful because of their fear of “public opinion” and they try to curry favor with the politicians by piling on Watkins and demonizing him.

          The gun culture could take a page from the left on this. The left has had a policy for a long time: No Enemies on the Left. If someone in the gun culture feels that they must criticize Mr. Watkins, it should be like what you see on the Left … well his heart is in the right place, but he should learn better tactics… or some such.

      • I said the same thing to Mr. Crognale in my reply. I don’t think he understands the difference between OCT and OCTC.

    • I don’t know where you come from, but hereabouts laws pretty much never take effect on the day they are signed. Usually it is the following September, IIRC. A delay til the following January is no big deal and I doubt it bespeaks any kind of kill-it-before-it-starts conspiracy.

    • “The law allows them to do that.” Well, only if you disregard the entire 4th Amendment and related case law, and take the fact that there is no mention of the issue at all in the passed legislation as some kind of explicit permission to do the something that isn’t mentioned.

    • Were we watching the same legislation? These clowns didn’t want to support an amendment saying the 4th amendment and probable cause exist. Constitutional Carry was never possible with this legislature. Claiming we didn’t get it because some idiot yelled at a guy who would never have supported it either is just being willfully ignorant of what we saw this session.

    • When you say “we” I assume you are from Texas. As such, you should know that some/much of the bad press, such as Kory Watkins and others showing up at State Rep. Poncho Nevarez’s office, came from members of Open Carry Tarrant County. Open Carry Tarrant County IS NOT Open Carry Texas. Kory et al are also part of the Cop Watch movement.

      • Yes, I’ve been a proud Texan for 18 years now. I plan to die here of extreme old age. I was thoroughly aware of Kory and his shenanigans. Unfortunately the antis use him and others like him to tar the rest of us.

        • You can’t live in fear of what the antis are going to say because they will never see it our way, so no matter what you do or don’t do, they will be against guns, or at least carrying guns in public. Fortunately, most people aren’t hard-core anti, but I agree that the antis get a lot of press.

          Even people who don’t favor OC should be happy for the OC movements of the past decade because they are the heat shields protecting CCers from MDA and others.

        • Sure seems like its straight from the Alinsky playbook, they will always do everything possible to demonize and radicalize us. If we dont give them examples, they will find something to mold into what they want or make it up entirely.

          Just to cherry pick and post one of my relevant favs (insight into the mind of the enemy):
          “* RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. ”

          http://www.bestofbeck.com/wp/activism/saul-alinskys-12-rules-for-radicals – a link with a few notes, Im neutral on Beck so if thats a negative Im sure there are numerous other pages.

    • @Mike…the delay to 01 Jan 16 was requested by DPS. I actually have some insight to why and it’s not an evil plot. DPS is one of the most administratively retarded agencies in the state. They asked for the time to make sure that they had time to provide CHL (soon to be open or concealed carry instructors) with standardized reference material. They just didn’t think they could do it in 3 months effectively. Nearly half of the non-badge wearing side of the agency are CHL holders, including the division that issues CHLs, so it’s not a ruse, it’s a simple matter of resources.

      For those that don’t watch the legislature routinely, the sausage making process isn’t pretty. And the Texas legislature is one of a kind when it comes to shenanigans. Constitutional carry died the first day of session…not because of Kory’s antics, but because the primary backers also tried to overthrow the speaker. You may not want to believe it, but you almost didn’t get open carry or campus carry and it had nothing to do with the merits of the issue. It had to do with the battle of wills between the House and Senate. If I told you that you have Speaker Straus to thank for both, you probably wouldn’t believe me…I find it hard to believe myself. BTW Pickett (D-El Paso) voted for open carry along with 5 moderate Dems, none of whom were among those pushing the Dutton/Rinaldi/Huffines amendment.

      • Standardized reference material? Isn’t that just called a copy of the law? What else more do they require?

        • If it were only that simple. Ask two people to read the law now and you’ll get five interpretations. Nothing at DPS is fast or easy.

      • “Tried to overthrow the Speaker”.

        It is not as though Straus is Emperor, or even King. He hands out quite a bit of money to Republican candidates in the primaries, from contributors that get most of their money from state contracts, or so I have read.

        He is the Speaker who got there by conspiring with the Democrats to take over the position.

        I would like to hear how he brought us open carry and campus carry. It seems to me that he was forced to do it because he was looking at a revolt of the majority of Republicans in the House.

        Please explain why the campus carry and open carry bills were bottled up in the calendar committee for so long, if Straus did not want that to happen.

        • He’s the Speaker, becasue all but 19 Reps voted to re-elect him. The 19 were primarily freshmen or sophmore Reps from the far right. Note that very few of those who voted against him had meaningful committee assginments or bill success.

          I’m not defending Straus or anyone for that matter, but there was more at play than the the gun bills. They were game pieces in the drama between him and Patrick and far right and center right. They were being held hostage for power consolidation and leverage purposes. There were other issues in contention between the houses and ideologies…ethics, tax breaks, school vouchers, the budget…etc…they were being held until he got some of the concessions his side wanted. Yes they were held in Calendars, and he could have stopped them cold there. He could have let them be derailed on points of order and didn’t, he could have let the clock run out on campus carry but didn’t…the point is that had he truly wanted them DOA they would have been…he promised no one OC or concealed carry…they were simply pawns in game of life. If the Speaker or Lt Gov doesn’t want a bill to pass, there’s a pretty good chance it won’t.

        • @Dean…if you find yourself in this part of the world, I’d love to sit down and discuss watching the battle unfold.

    • “We could have had Constitutional Carry.” How can you know this with the certainty you express? Do you have political insights that the rest of us lack?

      Why is Constitutional Carry the holy Grail as the next step toward the recognition of gun rights? If a State goes Won’t-Issue -> Will-Issue -> Shall-Issue -> Shall-Issue/Don’t-Need -> Vermont-What’s-a-CWP? does that mean it doesn’t count?

      Personally, I think that where-we-are is just about optimal for tearing-down the wall of “need”.
      – 40 States honor Right-to-Carry.
      – 33 States are either Shall-Issue (or at least Will-Issue) and they have this nice little card just like a driver’s license to show how “well-regulated” they are.
      – The remaining States mostly went from Shall-Issue -> Shall-Issue/Don’t-Need; i.e., they concluded that carrying guns wasn’t as important a public-safety issue as licensing drivers. And, then,
      – there are those (conservative) Vermonters who just never got around to bother with regulating carry at all. They don’t have any gun violence to make carry a public safety question worth considering.

      Voters in the Won’t-Issue States can survey the diverse approaches in their 40 sister-States and ask themselves why their own legislatures insist on keeping them among the minority (Won’t-Issue). Is there NO other model our (Won’t-Issue) State might consider modeling? E.g., NJ doesn’t have to jump directly to Constitutional-Carry; it could adopt:
      – Illinois-Carry (with 16 hours of training) as a first-step.
      – eventually, Pennsylvania-Carry (no training, $21, 15-mintues in-/-out of the Sheriff’s office).

    • It was not OCT that invaded Poncho (Panic Button)’s office. It was Corey W@@kins group of cop watchers of Tarrant County.

      • When agents of government are concerned enough about screwing over the People to install panic buttons in their offices, I’d call that a good start. They ought to be wary of legislating the exercise of rights out from under people. If they can do it with a straight face and not have any concern at all, that’s a problem.

  4. No you must mean texas just became more dangerous thanks to the tyrannical NRA & the gun lobby. States with lax gun laws have higher murder and suicide rates than states with stricter laws.

    And your precious open carry laws did not stop a NRA terrorist from attacking a police station.

    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with sensible legislation.

    • The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with sensible legislation.

      News flash. It is already against the law to kill people. Pretty sensible. Now you tell me why it isn’t working. Please also elaborate why legislating and signing another piece of paper is going to change that. Violence is instigated by people… Not by guns.

      • It’s single-bad to kill a defenseless victim;
        double-bad to kill her with a gun.
        It’s just fine to sit on her gun permit application while a violent felon butchers her in her driveway.

    • Having seen a few posts from “VivaLaSatire,” I’m pretty sure this one is serious. Poe’s Maxim definitely applies, but this yahoo’s comments look to me like serious stupidity, not satire.

      If this guy is actually one of the POTG, he’s doing some genius-level trolling in his home territory.

  5. “Their long gun open carry marches, Facebook pages, and media coverage created tens of thousands of dedicated activists who were focused, knowledgeable, organized, and persistent. These are exactly the things that politicians fear in opponents.”

    Lesson for all politicians. You serve at the pleasure of the people. Lesson for the people is you don’t move the needle with conversation or compromise when your liberties are in jeopardy.

    The same principles are applied with healthcare or immigration.

    • ” Lesson for the people is you don’t move the needle with conversation or compromise when your liberties are in jeopardy. “

      Well said.

  6. So, let me see if I understand – what you are saying is that this blueprint should work anywhere as long as you have a dedicated cadre of activists. I don’t agree. I think that venue had a lot to do with it. Texans are self-reliant, proud, and don’t think too highly of governments that tell them what to do. The OC movement found truly fertile ground in the hearts and minds of the people which led to the victories you had.

    But, I’ll tell you what – I’ve been wrong before, so here’s an opportunity to prove your point. Based on all of the “let’s not give up on California” posts I see here every time the question of gun rights in CA comes up, I’d say that there’s a decent number of vocal people who live in or near California and could become gun rights activists. Granted, you can’t open carry long guns there because the legislature passed a law prohibiting that during the last round of open carry protests, but let’s set that aside for the moment.

    Let’s pick a color – say neon yellow or orange and get a bunch of shirts with pro-gun rights messages printed on them. Get your activists wearing those shirts and start showing the local folks how organized the pro-gun movement in California is. You should be able to round up enough folks to make this interesting. Now, let’s see what happens. Go ahead. I’ll wait. No, on second thought, I won’t. I’d probably grow old.

    My bottom line point is that public opinion is going to place a good sized role in your chances for success. If the common folk generally support or are at the very least ambivalent, then you have a chance of success. If, however, many of the common folks are opposed to firearms rights like they are in places like CA, NJ, and DC, then I don’t care how much activism you have. You simply won’t get any traction.

    • Not quite true.

      I agree that in the situation you describe, activism aimed directly at getting a law passed (or really, a law repealed) won’t work.

      Activism has to take a different tack, and aim at changing that anti-gun culture. Somehow.

      I just wish I knew how.

      • With California, New York and New Jersey, it may require a national reciprocity act. When people in other states see that anyone from most other states can carry there, it could have an effect.

        After the first national reciprocity act, require that all states allow open carry as well as concealed carry for people with permits. The disarmists are in a shrinking minority of states on this. It could be done as an add on to obtaining funds for highways, with the nexus of freedom of movement and the Second Amendment.

        There is no reason why a person’s rights should stop at the border when he is visiting California.

    • There is some truth in what you say, but CA and NJ and NY and MD have never had a strong movement like OCT. How many rallies and protests did OCT organize? I forget, but it was over a thousand. Get 1,250 hard-core gun protests in CA or NJ or NY or MD and then you can compare.

      They were also willing to be falsely arrested and challenge the arrests in court.

  7. A nice retro and introspective. Now that a positive step has been taken through the exercise of political pressure, I would dismiss the “hearts and minds” angle so quickly. It can function as nice follow up to the political change and place a buffer in the way of the antis. Let’s face it. Another Sandy Hook or Aurora Theater or Sikh Temple situation is going to happen again. By working the hearts and minds, normalizing open carry, concealed carry, and gun ownership in general, you blunt that initial wave of emotion and desire to “do something.” Emotion is the anti’s main weapon. Hearts and minds can make it less effective.

  8. For the ones hoping some fool will start to open carrying too soon, remember currently we are all required to have a CHL license and if you look at the numbers, there might be a .02% chance of a law breaker. So I won’t lose much sleep on it.

  9. As a former Texan, and now an Okie…my take on this is pretty simple. Are the gun laws now, or upon 01 Jan 2016, better than they were before? I think so. Doesn’t mean that there isn’t a fight ahead, or other barriers to break down, but at least those with a CHL wont get hammered when they pump gas or reach for a box of cereal at wally-world.
    Up here in Okie-Land, we too have to have a license to OC…so I feel that pain.

  10. Can some please explain to me how it’s “open carry” if you still need a CHL?

    Almost seems redundant if you have to fullfill a licensing requirement to “open carry”. Isn’t the point of open carry the fact that you DON’T need a license?

    • “Open Carry” simply means you aren’t concealing the gun.

      The term doesn’t, in and of itself, describe what sort of permission the local government(s) might (unconstitutionally and immorally) want you to get before doing it.

      In many states (e.g., Colorado outside the City and Cesspit of Denver) Open Carry is indeed totally legal with no license, but it isn’t necessarily so elsewhere.

    • CHOtto, you do realize that you need a license to OC in 15 states, counting Texas, right? Only 30 states do you not need a license to OC.

    • While people often mean exercising the right to bear arms by doing so openly when they refer to open carry, it can also just refer to the mode of carry; not concealed. When a license is required, it is exercising a privilege, openly or concealed. Why it is important to have open carry, either privilege or exercisable right, is so that one doesn’t fall prey to nonsense charges or harassment for simply bearing arms openly, by intention or accident. Also, when people are able to bear them openly, the sight of firearms can potentially be normalized once again in our society. Licensed or not, I would prefer open carry to be legal. Of course, let’s hope that Texans don’t settle for only licensed OC. The goal is constitutional carry all the way around, no licenses required.

      • I think the argument for “privilege” vs. “right” is overblown; perhaps, even COUNTER-productive. We PotG ought to reframe the CWP to fit better (albeit imperfectly) within our conceptual Constitutional understanding.

        We generally accept the constraint of “registering” to vote. Does that make “registration” into a privilege depriving it of any vague claim to a right of citizenship?

        When I came of age, I did NOT have to register to vote in the precinct of my domicile, a small village. Was I free there but became stripped of my right when I domiciled in a large city? When I first voted in my current precinct I was compelled to show photo-ID; was I thereupon further humbled to the status of a subject of the DMV? Did registration or ID “infringe” upon my right-to-vote? Or, were these mechanisms merely modest formalities to establish my qualification (citizenship, domicile, age)?

        When I moved to PA I applied for a License to Carry Firearms. The “barriers” placed before me were – in order of significance:
        – a 20-mile round-trip to the Sheriff’s office;
        – a 14 minute wait
        – filling out a 1-page form and showing ID
        – $21
        – a photo
        – a State (including NICS) check

        To vote, I had:
        – a 10-mile round-trip to the poling place;
        – a 20 minute wait;
        – showing ID;
        – signature.

        What are the differences? The fee is legal as are the NFA stamp taxes and the excise taxes on guns and ammo (i.e., taxes adopted by the consent of gun-consumers for the preservation of wildlife). I like $20 fees better than $100 fees which are still better than $200 fees. It took a Constitutional amendment to end poll taxes. I can live with this; $21/5-years is trivial compared to my “investment” in NFA stamps and excise taxes on my guns and ammo.

        In both cases I’m subject to a background check to determine whether my 2A / voting rights have been lost. Admittedly, the NICS check is pretty rigorously applied (both in FFLs and in obtaining a CWP) whereas voter registries are merely spot-checked. Nevertheless, in principle, both are applicable to the qualification verification.

        Many States (other than PA) impose a (relatively modest) training requirement. Here, we are on dicy territory. Article I Section 8 provides (in part pertinent) “. . . the [States’] Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; . . . ” Arguably, the States are thereby empowered with the “Authority of training the Militia . . . ”

        The first of the 2 dicey problems here is whether the “Authority of training” means that the States are obliged to provide training at public expense vs. compelling training at private expense. Contemporary understanding of the Constitution was that the States could compel militiamen to arm themselves at private expense. Arguably, it would be not-far-fetched to consider whether that State power extended to compelling militiamen to train themselves at private expense.

        The second of the 2 dicy problems is that the Congress has never “prescribed” the discipline for militiamen. We seem to have a chicken-egg situation. Is the State’s power/authority to train predicated upon the prescription of Congress? Or, did the State hold the power of a state – prior to entering into Union with sister states – to authorize training and use it’s power to impose that training upon militiamen? Is the State limited in defining its own militia to conform to Congressional definitions? E.g., may the State construe females or the elderly to be members of its militia when they express the intent to bear arms in defense of themselves and others?

        What about enrollment in the militia? Federal law requires 18-year-old males to “enroll” with the Selective Service System. Does this law preempt a State from “enrolling” those who express the intent to bear arms?

        Albeit clumsy, perhaps the CWP schemes of the States might better be construed as organic (as-in originating in the state-hood of the several States) measures to enroll, train and qualify its militia members to fulfill society’s need for a “well regulated militia for the safety of a free state”. Rather than knee-jerk condemning the CWP institution we ought to recognize it as a modern fulfillment of the mandate contemplated by “. . . the [States’] Authority of training the Militia . . . ”

        Is the CWP the perfect manifestation of the founding fathers’ vision? Perhaps not. The States already have a system of enrollment by means of their driver’s licenses (and non-driver’s ID cards). The States generally do not exercise their authority over training in long-arms to the extent applicable to handguns. Hunters’ training would be an exception to this.

        Perhaps we should – instead – argue that certain provisions of State carry laws (excessive fees, excessive training, a “need” requirement) governing certification of militia members violate the mandate of the States to “train” their militia. Thereby, these States deprive the Union of the services of certified militiamen who should be subject to: “. . . calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

        Is this a legitimate avenue for the Congress to assert federal supremacy such that 10 Won’t-Issue States enjoy a free-ride on the backs of the 40 Right-to-Carry States in maintaining a “well regulated militia”?

        • tl;dr

          It’s not overblown and cannot be overstated. The right to keep and bear arms is somewhat unique, not only in that it warranted a specific, strongly worded constitutional protection, but because it is necessary to individual liberty. Take away just about all other protections and a people can still fight for their freedom. Having to gain ANY prior permission from government to keep or bear arms is a major danger to Liberty. Those who minimize this put freedom in dire jeopardy.

        • I don’t minimize the “prior restraint” aspect. You are ABSOLUTELY right that it is a really critical principle and one which we should use as an argument as often as possible. I don’t need a license to own a printing press or a microphone; I only need a license to be in the newspaper business or to transmit over the airwaves.

          On this point I think we agree.

          Is this point of prior restraint the only point? Can we think of nothing else whatsoever? Can we think about a given point in no other way? What if narrowness of viewpoint were to cause us to overlook an important line of reasoning?

          I’d argue that the right to own a rifle without any effective registration scheme is sacrosanct. I would argue so notwithstanding that:
          – there is not a word in the 2A or its history banning registration; moreover,
          – the obligation to present one’s personally-owned gun at muster was well established at the ratification.

          Maintaining no licensing or registration for rifles is necessary; albeit probably not sufficient. Whatever other regulation we have to deal with is, IMO, relatively less important.

          Where are we today in the fight to restore the RKBA? What do we have to do to continue the advance?

          At this juncture we have 40 Right-to-Carry States and about 10 States that defy the RtC. That the residents of these States – mostly high populations – are isolated from the practice of arms keeping and bearing is an important obstacle to overcome.

          We live with about 33 of these 40 with more-or-less onerous-/-benign CWP requirements; with a lengthening tail of States that are removing the mandatory requirements making CWPs optional for reciprocity purposes. Where should we put our energy? What would advance our cause the more? Another Constitutional-Carry win? Or, a Shall-Issue law in one of the existing Won’t-Issue States?

          I see the CWP convention as a vehicle for introducing a fissure in the wall against Carry that can work in our favor when beating down the Won’t-Issue States.

          We can cast whatever light we choose to aim at CWP. What light would best serve our purposes?

          You may be genuinely convinced that until a State abandons its CWP mandate it remains an affront to liberty and respect for the 2A. OK, so, what does arguing that position get us? A few more States that adopt Constitutional Carry?

          What if my argument served to make the uncommitted voter rather more comfortable with the idea of the Citizen-Militia[wo]man? Ah, yes; the CWP is sort-of-like the driver’s license – a system with which we are all perfectly comfortable. Ah, yes; the CWP is sort-of-like the post-Revolutionary practice of enrolling in the militia. The training requirement is sort-of-like what the founding fathers had in mind with training the militia. Yes, this is all in accordance with the plan laid out by our founding fathers who expected every young man to be trained-to-arms to defend his family.

          And, of course, technology advances. Perhaps someday we won’t really need a little “card” that serves as a “driver’s license”. The patrolman will simply retrieve our driving history in his squad-car and decide whether a warning would suffice or whether to write a ticket or haul-us-off to jail.

          Indeed, this sort of advancement is already recognized with respect to guns in several States. Should a cop have occasion to inquire after the 2A-ability of a person with a gun he need only check his database to see if he is a prohibited person.

          Eventually, training in the manual-of-arms will be so ubiquitous that – like driver’s ed – we can fairly assume that everyone is trained-to-arms.

          In the mean time, we can maintain that there is a Constitutional right for every member of the People – who is not a prohibited person – to buy and keep a gun in his home without prior-restraint. We can object to any measure of prior-restraint in proportion to the height of the impediment; obviously, Carol Browne’s case in NJ being the arch-typical example. What public safety argument can possibly be sustained for prior restraint of an adult 2A-able citizen?

          Nothing in my argument here compels us to march in-arms to Vermont to tell it’s legislature that they simply MUST adopt a CWP law. Nor is there anything in my argument that suggests we ought to dissuade the 33 Shall-Issue States from dropping consideration for Constitutional-Carry. Instead, I argue only for a ranking of priorities and an ability for we the PotG to look at the lemons we are dealing with in the most useful light.

        • “The right to keep and bear arms is somewhat UNIQUE, not only in that it warranted a specific, strongly WORDED constitutional protection, but because it is necessary to individual liberty. ”

          I disagree with “UNIQUE” and agree with “WORDED” in your argument.

          Each guarantee of liberty in the Constitution serves its own respective purpose and collectively they are inter-reinforcing. I don’t see any point in going down a path classifying right-guarantees as necessary/ancillary to individual liberty; what does that give us?

          With respect to each enumerated right is that the Constitution guarantees that right. The enumeration in the Constitution draws a bright red line that compels us all to pay attention. No greater nor less than the subject of the text nor its relevance to our age. (No matter that we nave had little occasion to consider the quartering of troops; it’s there. It is to be respected. One day we may have a compelling occasion to seek refuge under it.)

          If any Constitutional right can be deemed somehow “unique” in being “more important” or “more critical” then it follows that any Constitutional right could just as well be unique in being less important or critical. You and I may agree that the 2A rises above all others; but, once we have conceded the “uniqueness” point we are open – on a consistency line of reasoning – that we over-estimate the importance of our favorite right. Conceivably, the 2A is less important than the 3rd in our day-and-time (or whatever).

          You have called attention to the strong wording of the 2A; a point for which we ought to take advantage of. The texts of each provision of the Constitution are unique yet comparable. How does the text “make no law” compare to “not be infringed”? How do these texts compare to “in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law”? How about:
          – unreasonable searches and seizures?
          – otherwise infamous crime?
          – jeopardy of life or limb?
          – to be a witness against himself?
          – due process of law?
          – speedy and public trial?
          – impartial jury?
          – assistance of council?
          – for public use?
          – excessive bail?
          – excessive fines?
          – cruel and unusual punishments?

          Under these texts and the corresponding SCOTUS jurisprudence, how much leeway have legislatures to dilute the corresponding rights? Arguably, “make no law” and “not be infringed” leave relatively less play than most of the other snippets listed above. Where the Constitution leaves relatively more latitude for legislative or judicial interpretation, how tightly do our traditions and jurisprudence hold the legislature to the spirit of the right? To the extent that language is – as you put it “strongly worded” – do our traditions and jurisprudence call for commensurately less room for legislatures to toy with our liberties?

          Or, is there an appeal to be made that the 2A somehow “unique” and independent of comparison with any other right. Is this so because the “gun is mightier than the pen”?

        • Again, tl;dr.

          The right is unique; uniquely necessary, second only to the right to life itself. The amendment, not so much. Yes, there is shall not be infringed in the amendment but the meat is in the right because try throwing off tyranny without arms. Eventually, most have to go there. Speak all that you want. Be secure in your person and papers all that you want. But, when it comes time for fighting, and when one is truly oppressed it almost always comes down to that, you will require weapons of some sort. The more appropriately fierce and plentiful the weaponry held by your side, the more likely you will have an outcome you favor.

          That is the uniqueness of this particular natural right. There is a reason tyrannical governments will support other rights over the individual right to keep and bear arms. You won’t get much argument about protection of other rights by the ACLU for that reason. You won’t get much argument about protection of other rights from the UN for that reason. The statists of Europe will applaud some form of the right to speak but not the individual right to keep and bear arms for that reason. Our own home grown statists won’t stand up for a shall not be infringed individual right to keep and bear arms for that reason. They fear an unfettered armed population. They fear potential loss of control. They fear true Liberty.

        • “The right is unique; uniquely necessary, second only to the right to life itself. The amendment, not so much.” Yes; you are absolutely correct. Thank you for your patience in drawing out the distinction between the uniqueness of the natural right vs. the Constitutional guarantee.

          Speaking to the natural right, the value of the right is applicable only if-and-to-the-extent that the listener agrees that X is a natural right. Presumably, you and I are in strong accord on the legitimacy of the natural right of self-defense including against tyranny. Unfortunately, this is pretty deep thinking for the typical 21st Century American. He might not agree to the validity of the notion of natural rights. Or, he may believe that there is a natural right to speech but not arms; etc.

          Another commentator insightfully recommended asking a debate partner whether she believed as strongly in her right to defend herself as she believed in the right to express herself. If the popular culture buys into the notion of the right to self-expression perhaps it would subscribe to the right to self-defense.

          I was speaking to the guarantee of the Constitution. When you wrote of “strong wording” I thought that was your frame of reference.

          I think we are entitled to a presupposition of respect for the Constitution; subject to confirmation. We can ask: Do you agree that the Constitution is the fundamental law of our nation? If he does not agree then there is hardly any point in carrying on a discussion. If he agrees, then we have a frame of reference; what is “the right” that “shall not be infringed” upon? And, we can debate what would seem to threaten an infringement as contrasted with something else that would not constitute an infringement.

          I think it is a strong argument on our side to say that the language of the 2A is as strong as that of the 1A. Very little power is left for government to regulate speech, press, assembly or religion. In contrast, some other rights in the BoR are couched in more flexible terms. Even so, SCOTUS has often interpreted these flexible terms pretty strictly. Such a line of reasoning boxes in our opponents in the debate to explain why they are justified in expressing such contempt for the 2A relative to the 1A and relative to current jurisprudence on so many other rights.

      • Presumably, you and I are in strong accord on the legitimacy of the natural right of self-defense including against tyranny. Unfortunately, this is pretty deep thinking for the typical 21st Century American.

        You presume correctly and, yes, many are asleep.

        He might not agree to the validity of the notion of natural rights. Or, he may believe that there is a natural right to speech but not arms; etc.

        True, but opinions do not alter the underlying reality of the brutish nature of man and the necessity of the individual right to keep and bear arms.

        Such a line of reasoning boxes in our opponents in the debate to explain why they are justified in expressing such contempt for the 2A relative to the 1A and relative to current jurisprudence on so many other rights.

        You seek to debate with them the extent, nature, validity, etc. Frankly, I do not. As an individual human, I already know the necessity of my individual right to keep and bear arms. Any government under which I am to attempt living a law abiding life, pursuing my own happiness, either respects that boundary and I will defend and support it or it does not, in which case I seek to replace it. Debates are fine for those who choose them. I no longer debate. It’s mine. They can’t have it without taking my life as well. If the most crucial of rights, the individual right to keep and bear arms, is up for debate then our republic is no longer valid and it’s past time for a new nation.

  11. It’s well known in Texas (where I live), that Open Carry Texas and Open Carry Tarrant County nearly sank open carry legislation for Texans.

    I’m surprised it even passed given the ill-will, suspicion and just mean,nasty disposition they jammed into the process.

    This article is a sham. Who was paid to write this drivel?

    • Well known? Not likely. There has been OC legislation proposed for YEARS and it never went anywhere until OCT came on the scene. This smacks of the same nonsense that MDA and CSGV put out about “common sense” laws and act like if you don’t agree with what “everyone else knows” that you are wrong.

      Got any facts to support your assertion that they were going to pass OC this time around “just because” when it failed every other time? Or is this just like the unsupported “facts” put out by the anti-gun crowd?

      The legislature invited OCT to testify before it on open carry, for God’s sake!

      • No, it is very well known.

        The time was right for Open Carry in Texas. Previous legislatures moved in the open carry direction but never made it there.

        The best evidence is the non-criminal history of CHL holders and the years of reliable data showing CHL holders are a very responsible group.

        Had OCT been the reason for the passage of open carry, it would have been unlicensed open carry.

        Clearly, it is not that. Moreover, they almost sunk the whole legislation when they intimidated lawmakers in the Capitol building. Not a smart move, don’t you agree?

        OCT was “invited” by opponents to ensure the legislation was sunk. A crafty move by opponents, but not a deal killer.

        Legislation is about compromise and cooperation; OCT did not cooperate and bulldozed compromised out the door. Only the work of competent folks who know how to guide legislation through the lawmakers agendas saved the day.

        Had OCT prevailed in their ways much more, open carry would be dead in Texas for another 150 years. Thank goodness OCT failed in their extreme mission.

        Don’t think that a correlation of information is in any way linked to causation. That’s a leap you can’t make unless you disregard more facts and just plain commonsense.

        • I take no position as to the correctness of this foregoing assessment of OCT; different people will look at a given phenomena and reach different conclusions.

          Nevertheless, it is via critiques such as this brief example that we will learn what works and what has back-fired on us. We need some more detailed examples; e.g., Look what happened at the Amarillo Tacco-Bell on DD-MM-YY. These guys did this; the Antis did that; the Media published something else. What worked? What back-fired?

        • The time was right for Open Carry in Texas.

          Why? Because of this?

          The best evidence is the non-criminal history of CHL holders and the years of reliable data showing CHL holders are a very responsible group.

          Nonsense. You can make up anything you want but you have no data to back it up. Texas’ CHL law went into effect in 1996, nearly twenty years ago. In 1999 a study was conducted to see how “law abiding” CHL holders were. It was published in 2000 and the results from the first three years of “shall issue” were outstanding. The study was updated with several more years of data and republished in 2001. So fifteen years ago Texas already had two studies examining every CHL holder for five years and found no evidence of widespread abuse. In fact, it was found that CHL holders were 7-8 times LESS likely to commit a crime than the average citizen. Six years ago the stats were the same. Four years ago the stats were the same. Two years ago the stats were the same. But now all of a sudden THIS YEAR was special? Gimme a break.

          Previous legislatures moved in the open carry direction but never made it there.

          Really? How far did any of Lavender’s bills go? Previous legislatures didn’t move in the open carry direction at all. OCT showed the legislators and the public just how stupid Texas’ gun laws were, where you could OC a rifle but not a pistol, and that they needed to be revised to match other surrounding states with more firearms freedoms.

          Another component not to be ignored is that because of the efforts of OCT, and open carriers in other states, the NRA was forced, kicking and screaming all the way, to accept open carry and to advocate for it in law to save face lest they be shown for the compromisers (and some might even say quislings) they have been. I like it how the NRA rode in at the last minute and claimed victory from the rear. Still, the NRA swings a heavy bat and the fact that they were forced to advocate for OC in law also helped. But they would have never been forced into it had it not been for the severe backlash and beatings they’ve received over the recent past (and not just this year). Even as recent as the 2014 NRA Convention in Indianapolis the NRA told people not to open carry there. People ignored them, though. 2015 was the first year they didn’t tell people not to OC. They finally got smart enough to see the writing on the wall, and since they are supposed to be in the forefront of gun rights, they quickly ran up from behind and got in front after all the shooting had stopped (metaphorically).

    • I suspect that in this case, “well known” means “as reported in the old media”, such as the Texas Tribune and other old media outlets. Those are the same media who have been adamantly in opposition to restoring second amendment rights in Texas for decades.

      It is not surprising that they have demonized open carriers and tried to create the narrative that no one should actually demand their rights, because to do so will prevent them from getting their rights. The old media is good at creating “heads I win, tails you lose” scenarios.

  12. “Second amendment supporters and the open carry movement aren’t winning by creating and changing public opinion. That’s a positive, after-the-fact byproduct. They are winning by creating and exercising raw political power. One activist is worth a hundred passive voters.”

    This is relevant to many political movements today.

  13. As a native Californian who moved to ky the have had open carry demonstrations even at the capital. Only the gun owners of California can change the society there. Are you willing to walk down a street in a group carrying an empty holster? Are you brave enough to do it by yourself as one gentleman is doing at the St. Louis Zoo?

    California’s need to put on their big boy pants and big girl pants and go out and protest civilly and passionately for their gun civil rights. You protest everything else.

    • I moved to Kentucky for economic reasons. If I was still in California I would be the one person conducting an empty holster protest. I thought the Texans putting a banana in their holster was a great idea. It got media attention.
      In New Jersey there was just a protest in front of a state senators house by 2A civil rights protesters. New Jersey gun control laws got a woman murdered.
      Firearms Civil rights demonstrators outside of California, are setting the standard and leading the way to freedom. It takes a lot of time. Are you willing to invest the years it has taken Texas to get this far?

  14. I’m glad Texans finally got their open carry rights somewhat almost restored.

    It sure as hell took a long time. They were among the six remaining states (including DC) that didn’t have some form of open carry… CA, DC, NY, IL, SC, and FL.

    • Ironically, DC had utterly unlicensed Open Carry before Texas had even licensed open carry (it still doesn’t, gotta wait til January). Only over a weekend until they passed their won’t issue law, but there it was.

      As an aside I wonder if DC obeyed the judge who told them to issue permits RTFN.

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