Tag Archives: open carry

Guns do have their place … really

As much as I have railed and ranted over many years about gun violence and the nutty notion that says that “more guns make us safer,” I want to acknowledge one positive element concerning laws that allow people to carry concealed handguns.

It’s really about the only positive thing I can say about this, so here goes.

I am a more polite driver, more circumspect at others who cut me off, or who nearly back into me in parking lots, or who otherwise drive recklessly, putting me and others at risk of serious physical harm.

Why? It’s simple. I do not want to antagonize a motorist who might be packing a pistol in his glove compartment, or under his seat, or who might be wearing a holster containing a six-shooter.

The problem with that niceness, though, is that I am reluctant to tell the driver in some fashion that he or she is putting me in danger. I am unaware of a way to do so while sitting in a motor vehicle yelling at someone else without pi**ing the other person off enough to do something foolish … such as shoot me!

OK, so I called this a “positive” aspect of gun ownership. On reflection of what I have just written, perhaps I should walk some of that back just a little. It’s not entirely positive, but it does create possibly a slightly more polite driving public.

To be clear, I am still frightened by the prospect of more guns on the streets, with more people being allowed to carry guns openly without having to take a rudimentary class to prove they know how to handle them.

I also accept that concealed-carry laws in Texas haven’t resulted in commonplace shootouts in the streets.

If these firearms make us a bit more reticent and polite, then that’s not a bad thing.


Where’s the ‘self defense’?

Another shooting broke out in south Dallas overnight. Someone was killed in an apparent drive-by incident; an individual fired a weapon at an individual and the cops are trying to investigate the cause of it.

OK. Now, let’s back up a bit. The Texas Legislature in 2021 enacted a law that Gov. Greg Abbott signed to make it legal for any yahoo in Texas to pack a firearm. No training required. Anyone can pack heat. Sure, they have to pass a background check and not have a felony conviction on their record.

The idea — if I recall it correctly — was to allow more guns on the streets to enable individuals to defend themselves against morons who open fire with these weapons.

What is disturbing and dangerous in the extreme is that damn few media reports we see and hear and read mention anyone firing back in “self-defense.” The shootings involve dipsh**s firing weapons while arguing with someone. We hear about the road rage incidents when someone pulls a gun and starts firing after being cut off in traffic.

If this open carry legislation is designed make us “safer” by enabling Texans to use these weapons to defend themselves and others, then why aren’t we hearing more reporting about it? I think I know why. It’s because it isn’t happening!

With that I want to offer a word of “thanks” to Gov. Abbott and the Legislature for putting us in even more danger … you morons!


Nervous about this new law

Texans are going to welcome a lot of new laws at the stroke of midnight.

I want to deal briefly with one of them. It’s a law they call “constitutional carry” of firearms. The new law allows anyone to carry a gun openly without ever having to take a test to prove they are qualified to operate this weapon.

To be clear, it does have some restrictions. A convicted felon cannot carry a gun; nor can anyone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.

Everyone else? No sweat. Strap on the six-gun and pack it anywhere you wish.

This law makes me nervous. It’s a product of the state’s Republican-heavy Legislature and was signed by our Republican governor, Greg Abbott.

OK, I’ll stipulate that I disliked the state’s concealed carry law when it took effect more than 20 years ago. I feared shootouts at intersections. They didn’t happen with the kind of regularity that I feared.

So, over time I came to accept the concealed carry law even though I never have endorsed it.

I am not sure I’ll be able to accept this “constitutional carry” law. I always have  though that the state’s concealed carry law was sufficient. It worked. Yes, we have too many guns out there. To be honest, the existence of the concealed carry law in Texas has deterred me from getting verbally abusive of drivers who cut me off, or tailgate me, or otherwise drive in a manner that makes me angry.

This idea of allowing anyone to pack heat without having to take a test and get a license, though, does cause me some anxiety.

Good luck, everyone. Be sure to behave yourself.



A curious exception to open-carry law

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Texas Legislature has approved a bill that allows any yahoo in Texas who wants to carry a gun to do so.

Yep. No need to take a test to prove competence with a firearm. No requirement for a license. Texas legislators say the U.S. Constitution is all the requirement anyone needs to pack heat.

Get this, though: The Legislature said you cannot carry a gun into the State Capitol Building, where legislators work! Hmm. Why is that?

I am reminded of the time back in the 1990s when a publisher with whom I worked in Amarillo questioned a state senator about a similar exception the Legislature sought when it considered its concealed-carry legislation. My boss, Garet von Netzer, quizzed the late Teel Bivins, an Amarillo Republican, why he and his colleagues won’t allow someone to “carry a six-shooter on their hip” when they walk into the Capitol. I don’t recall what Bivins said at the time, but von Netzer made a good point then … which is that if you’re going to allow Texans to arm themselves, then open it up to any venue in the state.

I only can presume that legislators have a secret fear of potential mayhem in the halls of state government when Gov. Greg Abbott signs this abomination into law.

What about those Texas pols?

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As we travel around the country and we tell folks that we hail from Texas, I get a certain question in various forms.

It goes something like this: What is going on in Texas, with those politicians down there?

One of the issues that drives the question deals with what they call in Austin “constitutional carry” of firearms. Gov. Greg Abbott is going to sign a bill that enables any Texan who isn’t a convicted felon to carry a firearm with any permit.

That’s right. Any yahoo who wants to pack a pistol on his hip can do so. There you go. More guns makes us a safer place, the politicians tell us.

My answer to the question is that I do not understand what rattles around in the noggins of those who think of such idiocy. I am left to utter a four-letter word or two to describe Gov. Abbott, a politicians I for whom I used to harbor positive personal feelings. Not any longer, man.

The political climate in the state where my family and I have lived for nearly 40 years is giving me the willies.

Permitless carry? Oh, boy!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas state senators and state House members are so proud of themselves. They should be ashamed.

They have struck a compromise that clears the way for enactment of a “constitutional carry” bill that allows Texans to pack heat without passing even a simple test to determine that they know what to do with a firearm.

They say they are protecting “law-abiding citizens'” right to carry weapons. As if the state’s current concealed carry law wasn’t enough? Get real, man.

Texas constitutional carry deal made, author of House bill says | The Texas Tribune

I find this legislation to be an abomination beyond belief.

Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign the bill when it gets to his desk. Big surprise there. Actually, it isn’t.

This is an absurd notion, making it easier for Texans carry firearms into public places.

It’s life in Texas, I suppose. I’ll just have to mind my Ps and Qs even more going forward.

Death in Boulder … oh, my!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Multiple people are dead in Boulder, Colo.

A shooting suspect is in custody. The cops aren’t telling the community and the rest of us how many fatalities they have found inside a supermarket.

I am left to wonder — hours after the event — what in the world are they waiting on before they inform the world about the magnitude of this latest monstrous act of gun violence in America?

So far, I hate to suggest this, but the authorities in Boulder are not serving the people they are assigned to serve.

I know they need to notify next of kin before giving us the names of those who have died. But … why not the number of fatalities?

Meanwhile, the rest of us are in shock once again at what has transpired.

A man walked in public reportedly carrying a rifle. Colorado, as I understand it, is an “open carry” state, meaning that one can pack heat in the open.

My question: Why allow someone to walk into a business carrying a loaded weapon in the open without some assurance that he won’t use that weapon in the manner that occurred today in Boulder?

So here we are. The nation mourns yet again.

‘Godless … hearts’ are a part of the gun violence ‘problem’

It didn’t take long for Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer to weigh in on what he said should not occur in the wake of the Odessa slaughter of seven people at the hands of a shooter.

The Tyler Republican said the state should not enact red flag rules, or ban high-capacity magazines or the sale or possession of AR-15 or AK-47 rifles, weapons of war designed to kill a maximum number of people in as little time as possible.

Oh, brother.

Schaefer is entitled to his opinion. I am entitled to mine as well.

I believe he is dead wrong. I also believe there are legislative remedies available to state legislatures and to Congress that can place additional restrictions on the purchase of these weapons without infringing on the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

The shooter opened fire when a police officer pulled him over on a traffic stop. He then went on a rampage through Odessa before police killed him in a fire fight after stopping him outside of a movie theater.

Schaefer launched a Twitter thread that has gotten a good bit of resistance from Texas and around the nation. One of his entries included this: I say NO to “red flag” pre-crime laws. NO to universal background checks. NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines. NO to mandatory gun buybacks.

Well, we know where he stands.

He added this item on the thread: YES to supporting our public schools. YES to giving every law-abiding single mom the right to carry a handgun to protect her and her kids without permission from the state, and the same for all other law-abiding Texans of age.

Texas already has lax gun restrictions. We allow residents to carry concealed weapons; they can carry them in the open. They can carry them on college campuses, in church sanctuaries.

This is the second mass slaughter in Texas in the past few weeks. I do not feel one bit safer now knowing that Texans can pack heat, giving them the opportunity to “prevent” this kind of madness.

Rep. Schaefer, we need to do something. Yes, “Godless hearts” are a problem, as Schaefer said. However, they are only part of the crisis that is enveloping the country.

More guns won’t prevent carnage … period!

I am quite certain we’re going to join this debate fully in due course, but I want to inject on this blog a thought I heard this morning in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton massacres that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Thirty people are dead, many more are injured in the wake of two senseless attacks by morons intent on doing harm.

The debate to which I refer? It will involve whether putting more guns in people’s hands will make us a safer society. This morning I heard from a Texan, former San Antonio mayor and former housing secretary (and current candidate for president of the United States) Julian Castro, who made a most cogent observation.

He told “This Week” host Jon Karl that the El Paso slaughter occurred in Texas. It allegedly was carried out by a Texan, who traveled from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to El Paso to terrorize innocent victims.

Castro noted that Texas is known worldwide as a place where its residents carry lots of guns; he noted we have concealed carry laws, open carry laws and campus carry laws in Texas. Yet the individual who opened fire in the Wal-Mart mall likely knew of the consequence of facing return fire from firearm-packing bystanders … but it didn’t deter him in the least!

He committed his hideous, heinous and horrific act anyway.

Do more guns make us safer? Well, let’s have that debate. I am willing to argue they do not!

Guns make us bite our tongue

WICHITA FALLS, Texas — A long time passed from when the Texas Legislature voted to allow open carry of firearms before I saw someone actually packing a pistol on his hip.

My wife and I were returning to Fairview today after spending some time in our RV in Amarillo when we walked into one of our favorite eating places in Wichita Falls. We wanted to grab a quick bite before heading on down the highway toward home.

A couple was disciplining a youngster a few tables away. The gentleman was particularly loud in seeking to get the boy to settle down. He has one of those annoying voices that we would have heard even if the eatery was packed wall to wall with customers.

I mentioned the grating sound of the guy’s voice to my wife, who then informed me, “Yes, and he’s carrying a gun, too.”

I shot a glance over my shoulder at the guy. Sure enough, there it was. In plain sight. Some kind of high-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Then it occurred to me: Just as concealed carry laws have made motor vehicle drivers a bit more circumspect with other drivers who cut them off in traffic — at least that’s my view — open carry laws damn sure would prevent someone from speaking out against someone who, um, is bellowing to a youngster.

I didn’t think of saying anything to this guy. But what if someone else on the other side of the table heard him and decided to confront him over the tone of voice he was using to calm the little boy down?

Having seen the firearm on this guy’s hip, I know I’d never say a word to the guy.

As for whether my wife and I will frequent this eating establishment in the future, that’s another matter altogether. I prefer to enjoy a meal in an establishment where guns are prohibited.