Texas Gun Politics
By Mark Knapp, Firearms Lawyer
Originally published in SandpointPR.
Wendy Davis was a Democrat running for governor in Texas that supported the right to openly carry firearms- at least the right to carry for some Texans. If the truth be known, the state senator from Texas, who became famous as a champion for abortion rights in the Texas legislature, probably has views about firearms that are like most others in her party.
The fact that leaders in the Democratic Party tend to hate guns creates a big problem for Davis. Texans love their guns and don’t vote for folks that hate babies or guns. But Texas has recently had a series of open carry demonstrations in which people show up with rifles slung. The catch, however, is that Davis thinks the Second Amendment should not apply in cities, just on farms and ranches- and, of course, for sporting purposes.
“Obviously in Texas we have a culture that respects the Second Amendment right and privilege of owning and carrying guns — but we also, of course, have respect and understand the rights and privileges of property owners to make decisions about what’s right for them.”
“My position on open carry reflects my respect for both of those principles, and I believe that municipalities, school districts, hospitals, private property owners should be the ones that ultimately have a say as to whether this is right for them and their facilities,” she said.
Liberals constantly tell us that they believe in the Second Amendment but that it only applies to the state militias. Or that we have to have more “common sense” gun laws. Most states recognize that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains common sense by including similar provisions in state constitutions that make it clear that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that belongs to the people! The opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (not exactly a bastion of Conservative thought) stated in NORDYKE V ALAMEDA COUNTY:
“The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion. We should not be overconfident that oceans on our east and west coasts alone can preserve security. We recently saw in the case of the terrorist attack on Mumbai that terrorists may enter a country covertly by ocean routes, landing in small craft and then assembling to wreak havoc. That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway in an attack on any community before more professional forces arrived.
Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.”
Read the text of the Nordyke case.
Every day in the news we see situations all over the world in which city dwellers and rural folks alike are confronted with situations requiring the use of violence to stop violence. In the Ukraine, there have been armed citizens standing up against well-armed folks that claim they are not members of Russia’s elite military units.
There have been news reports that volunteers in Mexico have successfully taken up arms against the Knights Templar, a vicious cartel that has oppressed whole areas by cutting off the heads of law enforcement officers and any others that get in their way.
In Nigeria, whole villages have begged their government to arm the people against the Boko Haram that has kidnapped school children and terrorized people. Our own government has armed volunteers in places like Libya and Syria so that the people can defend themselves against corrupt regimes.
What about situations where the violence comes from groups that are allegedly sponsored by government but maintain some kind of plausible deniability like the “volunteers” in Eastern Ukraine that seem to be so well equipped?
Some of the Autodefensa volunteers in Mexico think the Mexican and even the U.S. Government assist certain cartels in order to advance the war being waged against other cartels. It is often not immediately apparent who perpetrates attacks. But it is historically demonstrated that governments do attack their own people for various reasons.
All these considerations raise the issue of why some liberals like Davis claim that the Second Amendment is only for rural areas and should not be applied in urban environments.
Liberals are constantly accusing government of every variety of perfidy. Moreover, Progressives invariably characterize Republican administrations as Nazi or Fascist! So why shouldn’t urban minorities be armed, especially with so much latent genocide supposedly lurking in the heart of the U.S. government?
At this point in the conversation, the astute Progressive intellect usually objects, saying something like, “But how do you expect to stand on your front porch with a deer rifle and defend against armored vehicles and attack helicopters?”
My reply: I am so glad you asked that question. Let me tell you about Finland’s two wars with Stalin’s mighty Red Army in 1939 and 1941.
Finland’s geography is much like North Idaho without mountains. It is covered with lakes and rivers and forests that became frozen killing zones for Stalin’s troops during the Winter War of 1939. The Finnish people worked in the woods, underground in mining, hunted and often got around on skis in the winter time.
After WW I, the Finnish government began acquiring Mosin Nagant rifles in anticipation of a confrontation with Russia. The idea was to arm troops with the same weapons and ammunition deployed by their potential enemies.
In short, when Stalin demanded that Finnish land be annexed to Russia, tiny Finland was ready to make sure it was not ground to pieces on the Eastern Front by the Red Army’s war machine; the Ukraine and so many other countries never came out of that experience until the 1990s when the Soviet Union supposedly ceased to exist.
Stalin’s troops came into Finland with trucks and armor which pinned down units near the roads. Finnish snipers decimated the Soviet personnel and then emerged from the woods to scoop up guns and ammunition. Pursuit was futile because the Finns vanished back into the wooded areas on skis.
Hostilities ceased with the Finns giving up very little land. But by 1941, Stalin resumed his quest to conquer tiny Finland. The result of the Continuation War was about the same as the 1939 Winter War. Finland had very little in the way of an army and Britain and the U.S. scared away any assistance Finland expected from her neighbors. Defying our Soviet ally made Finland our enemy!
Finland is still very much a nation that honors its heritage as an armed and fiercely independent people, like Switzerland and the U.S.A.
Stalin thought it would only take “one shot” to turn the Karelian Isthmus into the Northern terminus of the Eastern Front, replete with conscript troops and slave labor.
Senator Davis, we need all law abiding Americans to have legal access to firearms. The American heritage of firepower, the Gun Culture, encourages familiarity with weapons. The knowledge and understanding gained from easily keeping and bearing arms prepares all of us to protect what we hold dear. Not just a few white Texans that go to elite schools or live on ranches and farms! And despite our appreciation for your permission to carry openly, most of us still prefer to carry unobtrusively.