Texans Will Make A Big Decision On January 1st. Do They Want A Burrito Or A Gun?

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment gave Americans the Constitutional right to keep a loaded, unlocked handgun in their homes to use for self-defense, the pro-gun nation has been trying to push the notion of armed, self-defense beyond the home and into the street.  This strategy has taken two paths; on the one hand promoting concealed-carry licensing, on the other, bringing weapons into gun-free zones.  There’s nothing but anecdotal evidence supporting the idea that a gun can protect its owner from crime, but there’s plenty of serious research which shows the opposite to be true.

open               The latest effort to widen the scope of armed defense is about to be unveiled in Texas with the law allowing open carry to take effect on January 1st.  This law was the brainchild of a former Army Master Sergeant, C.J. Grisham, who parlayed an argument with a cop over how he was openly carrying a gun into a statewide movement which even made him briefly consider a run for the State Legislature until his campaign ran out of dough. Bottom line is that even though an earlier attempt to promote open carry in Texas was condemned by the NRA, those fearless advocates for gun rights in Fairfax, VA, eventually saw the light and lined up behind the bill that Governor Abbott signed into law.

Believe it or not, I’m really happy to see the open carry law go into effect in Texas, because I think the result is going to be exactly the reverse of what the pro-gun nation hopes to achieve.  First of all, the law has an opt-out procedure known as 30.07, which allows merchants to post signs at the entrance to their establishments stating that only shoppers who carry their guns concealed will be allowed on the premises after January 1st.  And I am frankly astonished at the extent to which major merchandisers in Texas have announced that they will not welcome folks openly carrying guns into their stores.

Take, for example, a company like Simon’s, which operates malls and discount outlets in 39 states.  They run 35 major shopping destinations in Texas, including such flagship locations as the Gateway in Austin, The Galleria in Houston (which includes the first Webster boutique outside of Florida), and the Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth.  Simon’s is opting out of open carry, and so are major food chains, like H-E-B, which has supermarkets in 150 towns, and national chains like Safeway and Whole Foods.  Opting out of open carry is also now spreading through the religious community, with the Catholic Diocese in Lubbock, Dallas and other areas posting notices that guns aren’t welcome on hallowed ground.

The public discussion over this new law has also given GVP advocates like Moms Demand Action an opportunity to engage store owners and other operators of public venues with their unique message about gun violence, as well as providing 30.07 signage and instructions for opting out of the new law.  Anyone who thinks that Shannon Watts and her ladies aren’t playing a visible role in promoting 30.07 at the grassroots level will be in for something of a surprise as more signage denying access to open carry continues to appear.

I believe that wearing a gun in a public venue does nothing to promote public safety.   And the merchants who have opted out of open carry evidently agree, with most citing concerns about guns endangering rather than protecting their customers, particularly in places where alcohol is served. In that regard I am particularly interested in the fact that Gringo’s Mexican Chicken and Jimmy Changas, two of Houston’s most popular Tex-Mex restaurant chains, will be going 30.07, because if gun folks like to do anything more than argue about the 2nd Amendment, they love to eat. And when all is said and done, I predict that consuming a burrito will turn out to be more important than wearing a gun.



4 thoughts on “Texans Will Make A Big Decision On January 1st. Do They Want A Burrito Or A Gun?

  1. This is a well thought out, well reasoned and well written post. I live on 5 acres in the country and though I don’t own a gun I am open to owning one but to be used on my property only target shooting or hunting for deer that my family and I will consume. When not in use my gun or guns will be locked in a gun cabinet without bullets in the gun or guns. I do not believe that I have any right to carry a gun off of my property and fully support some sort of limits on guns or bullets that are used in guns.

    To me owning anything requires the owner to be responsible, I don’t care weather it’s guns, dogs or automobiles. Without limits without accepting responsibility than we make innocent people victims even before they are harmed. Shoot (no pun intended) there are far too many law enforcement agents who are not responsible enough to be allowed to carry a gun, why then does the gun lobby and the malcontents think they should have extra consideration……………………….”as Walt Kelly said so long ago in his comic strip Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  2. This sounds like a compromise position where the concealed carry crowd can still carry but not display what they carry. The open carry people either cover up or don’t get to enter places where people get fearful of seeing guns. The mass shooters have spoiled things for the open carriers.

  3. Mike you have almost as much trouble with the truth as Hillary Clinton does. You make it out like the great state of Texas is plowing new ground with open carry when it is just joining 44 other states that have some form of open carry on the books. CJ was not pushing for open carry, his goal was constitutional carry for handguns just like we currently have for long guns in The Lone Star State. Unfortunately he fell short but the 85th Texas Legislature is coming up and in the interim the talks are already underway.

    I remember when concealed carry became a thing here and all those 30.06 signs went up all over Texas as the anti-gun fear mongers like you predicted. Then almost as fast as they went up, they came down and remain few and far between still today. I predict much the same for open carry as Texas joins those 44 other states, and just like those 44 other states seeing someone open carry a pistol will be pretty rare too. I am surprised you did not work in something about Mr. Colion Noir.

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