Joke’s on ME

After beating up a little bit on Scott Henson, proprietor of Grits for Breakfast, for his wrong-headed thinking about a fake news story coming out of the Supreme Court, I now owe him major props for doing the right thing and endorsing a gun law that would allow any Texan to carry a gun in his car (all necessary disclaimers about felons and court orders and blah-blah understood) without the requirement that he/she be travelling between counties, as it stands now.

I think it’s a crying damn shame that such a law was ever on the books in the first place, and I’m glad to see that there is at least the possibility that it can be rescinded. Let me tell you why. My father and my grandfather were small businessmen in what were cash businesses at that time – groceries and hamburgers. Each of them would, as a matter of course, have hundreds or thousands of dollars on their persons at just about any time, day or night. Maybe coming home from another 14-hour day, maybe going to the night deposit, maybe bringing back a change order. Each of them carried a pistol, usually on the front seat next to them, because it was dead-easy to figure out who James or Jesse were, and that they might have some significant amount of cash on them at literally any time, and to knock them over. Carrying that gun with them, and making sure everyone knew, kept both of them safe; neither one was ever carjacked or robbed of their day’s receipts. Back in those days, it was understood by the police that these men were on a mission of commerce, and they would let them slide with these minor infractions of the gun laws. Many’s the time they were stopped by DPD with that gun on the seat, but the cops either knew them, or they were smart enough to look at the printed deposit slip and the gargantuan wads of cash, and send them on their way.

Now, today, I am a (weekend) small businessman, and I often find myself in exactly that situation…hundreds or thousands (OK, one time it was more than a grand, but I’m working on it) in pure cash. I’ve got two options — deposit cash in the night deposit (not on your life), or leave it sitting in an uninhabited house until I get back on a weekday to make a teller deposit. I absolutely do not want to put it in my truck and tote it back to Dallas unarmed, because today, the coppers stop you and there ain’t no letting you slide. Even though I’m in the right, travelling between counties, the last thing I want to do is set off one of the many small-town Deppity Dawgs that are on my route home by having a .45 in the seat next to me. Cops these days are nothing like the benevolent LEOs that worked my dad’s and granddad’s beat. They scare me, frankly. But if this law passes, at the very least that means I’ve got two laws on my side, which might just cool off Patrolman Hothead enough to let me get on about my business.

Important to note, too, after busting on his ACLU affiliation: this law is most likely contra the ACLU’s official position. If they have one, of course…the ACLU has not been known to stick it’s nose into 2A issues. But…Scotty’s running cross-ways to his employer, and I respect a man that can take a position publicly that goes against his paycheck. That’s admirable.

So, now, Scotty — what do we, the big dummies, need to do to make sure this law is passed? Your advice is appreciated.

5 thoughts on “Joke’s on ME

  1. Well, the hearing is this afternoon if you wanted to come testify in favor, but otherwise unless you’re close enough to come to Austin and free to do it, it may be too late to do too much at the moment. If you want to watch the hearing, it starts at 2 p.m. or when the House adjourns, whichever is later; links to committee broadcasts are here:

    http://www.house.state.tx.us/media/welcome.php

    The committee will either vote the bill out or leave it pending (I’ll update). If they leave it pending, there’ll be time for folks who live in their districts to call committee members. The list is at:

    http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/220.htm

    LTEs in the local paper, local talk radio and such are a good way to do something if your rep isn’t on the committee, or, once it gets to the House floor, everybody’s Rep gets to vote.

    South Texas Democrat Chuy Hinojosa has the Senate companion, by the way. If it passes the House, HB 823 will be substituted for Hinojosa’s bill and heard in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, whose members are listed here:

    http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c590/c590.htm

    Also, for what it’s worth, ACLU of Texas will be testifying in favor of Keel’s bill today. Best,

  2. Scott,you can always do like I do and carry a deer rifle in your truck ( not in a gun rack, inappropriate unless you have cowshit on your boots) Occifer its for shootin’ varmints and hogs, really I swear! Hey it has worked for me in the past.Even deppidy dawg loves an N.R.A. member,(national roadhunters association)

  3. The committee left the bill pending because the hearing didn’t end until 10:30 and they didn’t have a quorum, so if one of these guys is your Rep., call them to support the bill.

    http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/220.htm

    BTW, the bill sponsor, Rep. Terry Keel, at the hearing had inserted wording that would have reinstated the “across county lines” standard for what is traveling. You’ll be happy to hear, Scott, that I suggested language in my testimony on behalf of ACLU of TX to re-broaden it, and Keel agreed to it. (I think the NRA gal there was as surprised as she was happy.) The language I suggested allows any (non-felon, otherwise legal-to-own-a-weapon, etc.) driver to carry a weapon in their personal vehicle if they’re not otherwise engaged in criminal activity.

    If you want to watch the hearing, it was the last bill up, starting at 9:55, and the link to the hearing file is here:

    http://www.house.state.tx.us/fx/av/committee79/50329p09.ram

    (The label on the link says it ends at 9:33, but the hearing ended at 10:33, so I think it’s probably an error and the bill is on there.) You’ll especially enjoy Sputnik’s testimony from the Motorcycle Riders Assn, if you’ve never seen his schtick before. Best,

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