Dear Ms. Pina,

I would never dispute your personal beliefs about guns and gun ownership. I also would never dispute your right to express your views in any forum or form you wish. I am a firm believer in freedom and yours is every bit as important as mine.

I am also a senior citizen. However, I do disagree with your views.

I am also very familiar with the Texas Penal Code Section 46.02, which was directly derived from the Act of April 12, 1871 when the Texas Code was overhauled in 1976.

The Act of April 12, 1871 was a Jim Crow law. Not in its wording, but in its intent and enforcement.

Let me give you an example: Many years ago, my grandmother and I were going through some old family photos when we came across a picture of my grandmother as a young woman going to a Saturday evening social. She was accompanied by her two older brothers, Alf and Keith. Alf, the oldest, had a Colt revolver tucked in the waistband of his slacks.This was in the 1917–1918 timeframe.

Since I was in law enforcement at the time, I was surprised to see this because I knew that carrying a handgun was a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in a county jail.

I asked my grandmother if Alf wasn’t worried about getting caught by the police or county sheriff and she laughed and said, “that’s just for Mexicans and Indians.”

Apparently Alf, a tall white man, had no worries about doing something that would have brought down the law on a Hispanic or Native American. This was also true for blacks.

It is perfectly legal in the state of Texas for me to walk down Congress Avenue in Austin carrying an AR-15 with a 100-round drum magazine in any fashion I desire as long as I am not threatening anyone with it by brandishing it in an aggressive manner.

In fact, I can walk down Congress with any rifle or any shotgun. I could even conceal the rifle or shotgun under a long coat, if I wished. I can carry it onto the grounds of the state capitol building or, if the legislature is not in session, into the capitol building itself.

I can also carry a sword, spear, halberd, Bowie knife, dagger, stiletto, or K-Bar Marine fighting knife. If I wish, I can even add a bayonet to my AR-15.

Should make for interesting conversations but there would be no legal grounds for an officer to even bother me. [Note: If I was actually enough of a jackass to actually do something like this, I sure wouldn’t object to an officer asking me why I was parading down Congress Avenue like a jackass.]

However, if I if I am out in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert in Presidio County and carry a cowboy-style, single-action revolver loaded with .22 long rifle snakeshot, I can go to jail.

I can legally do the same thing without a permit in 32 states and outside of city limits in Iowa.

Other than California and western Minnesota, Texas is the only state west of the Mississippi River that requires a permit to openly carry a handgun.

All because of a racist law passed 148 years ago.

No one says you have to like hunting although venison sausage is mighty tasty. No one says you have to approve of the farmer or rancher plagued by feral hogs who takes steps to thin the herds. Then again, no one says they have to agree with you. Feral hogs do a lot of damage and the AR-15 is one of the most popular “management” tools.

David Hogg and the March for Our Lives had an impact. Silly laws were enacted in a couple of states because one person under 21 used a legally purchased AR-15 in a mass shooting. That’s one person in 54 years. On the other hand, three states adopted constitutional carry and the Second Amendment sanctuary movement grew by leaps and bounds. I think you’re confusing hero-worship with impact.

IMHO, David Hogg has been successful because of one thing: he has never had to confront anyone who could call him out and make it stick; he has never been in a debate with a real opponent. He totes Michael Bloomberg’s water as faithfully as any Gunga Din.

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Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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