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"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Texas’ New Governor

Recently, we inaugurated a new Governor and started a new Legislature (the 84th) in Texas and the Legislative Session so far has been one thing after another.

We are starting again with new hope. The Republicans have been (once again) given a majority, but as far as we have seen, there are just as many “off beats” as ever in both Houses of the Legislature. One has already requested extra protection for himself and his family. Another wants everybody but members of her own faith to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to be granted an audience within her office. It goes on and on.

My desire is for the Legislature to get down to solving the problems we have and quit creating problems we don’t havenow, is that too much to ask?


Guns on Campus

“We believe what’s called for here is local control. If the Legislature opts to allow guns on college premises, all universities, public and private, should have final say over whether to allow them on their campuses.”

“At the larger campuses, where emergency response timing is more immediate, more guns on campuses would make the job of law enforcement officers more difficult. And the threat of having to identifying the “good guy” from the “bad” sets up the makings of potentially deadly errors.”

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo “warned that introducing weapons into the emotionally charged social atmosphere that sometimes occurs at colleges could expand the potential for violence.”

“No one should be forced to surrender their God-given, constitutional right to self-defense just because they set foot on a college campus,” Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown told the American-Statesman. “This bill is simply about ensuring that licensed, responsible and law-abiding adults have the right to protect themselves on the campuses of public colleges and universities.”

The foregoing is taken from: “Universities should control whether guns are allowed on campus,” the Editorial Board, Austin American-Statesman, 28 Jan 15


In a letter that Chancellor Bill McRaven (Texas University System) sent to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus:

“McRaven told the American-Statesman this month that he favors tightening, not loosening, the campus-carry law to bar concealed weapons altogether.”

McRaven made three points very clear:
(1)   “the sometimes-fragile emotions of college students could lead to an increase in accidental and self-inflicted wounds,”

(2)   “that campus police might not be able to distinguish between “the bad actor and persons seeking to defend themselves and others when both have guns drawn,” that securing weapons when they aren’t being carried”

(3)   (It) “could be difficult in high-density campus housing and that laboratory chemicals and equipment could create unexpected hazards in the event a firearm is present or is discharged.”

The above quotes come from: “UT chancellor Bill McRaven opposes guns on campuses,” Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, Austin American-Statesman, 29 Jan 15


Would a new school based policy lead to students selecting their college of choice by the school’s “Carry Policy”?

Can’t you just see it? Some guy interviewing an incoming freshman: “I go to Bodacious U. cause I can carry my Gun to class.”

As I read the above comments, I have to ask myself, “Are there currently campuses NOW where there exists a need for the students to be armed? A change to “college option” would most likely lead to a series of back and forth decisions by the college leadership: one WOULD, next WOULD NOT, next WOULD! Where would it stop?

Another question I ask myself: “Where have the proponents of “open carry” (like Mr. Schwertnar of Georgetown) been conducting their business that they so drastically need a gun for protection?” I would think the Legislature’s directed task should be to discover this narley place and get that problem fixed instead of arming the populous to take on the problem. Isn’t that their function and Constitutional Assignment?

I am sorry to say that I searched and could not find anything from Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System John Sharp nor Temporary President of Texas A&M University Mark Hussey.


Here’s where I think we should be headed:

Let’s cut some of the waste and corruption taking place over the past decade or so. Gov. Abbott has mentioned the Emerging Technology Fund as one possible place to start. The management of multiple agencies is another: no bid contracts run amok and appointments made without proper authority are another couple of places to look.

Funding our schools and the transportation infrastructure need to be priorities. Maybe the “war on women” deserves a look.

I don’t know enough of the particulars, but it seems to me that the border is a federal problem and funding should come from the feds to secure the problem. Spending a billion dollars to fortify the border when they can’t get the statistics proven doesn’t seem to be good fiscal policy. It sure will not eliminate the local, state and federal money (which we all contribute to) from being spent on education, health care, etc.

Mr. Abbott, I challenge you to fight the important battles and get the state on the straight and narrow and put aside the social engineering for a later time.

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