Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton appeared on Fox Business yesterday. Among the topics touched upon was the idea of an evolving Texas gun culture, triggered by the mass-casualty shooting in Las Vegas.
Besides a generic call for gun control from those too cowardly to say gun confiscation (their ultimate goal), some have discussed bans on bump-stocks (a tool the Vegas perp used to approximate automatic fire) and there is even rumored to be a bi-partisan bill on banning these devices to be submitted very soon. Paxton was asked if he thought public opinion could swing far enough to threaten the second amendment. The AG responded:
Absolutely. I don’t think it will be in Texas, but putting in place gun-control for criminals, people that are willing to kill people, to me seems like an effort not worth taking. People that are law-abiding citizens are going to follow the law, and they’re going to be the ones without the guns, not the people that are doing acts like this. I think there’s no law that we can put in place that would’ve prevented what happened in Las Vegas.
Second amendment Liberty is difficult issue to discuss when viewed through the pain and loss that surrounds a horrendous act like the Mandalay Bay massacre. It is for that reason the enemies of gun-liberty use such moments to push their agenda, trying to exploit the heartbreak of the occasion to cajole people into parting with freedoms that they might otherwise loathe to. And while it now appears that the Vegas shooter was an otherwise lawful gun owner, it’s important to note that mass-shooting incidents “account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths of all gun-crime,” and gun-crimes committed by those that legally purchase their firearms are also a small percentage. So, Ken Paxton is quite correct in his belief in the diminishing returns of further gun-control laws. Ultimately, criminals don’t obey laws, and it’s foolish for the law-abiding to be at their mercy when the statistics don’t justify it.
However, when it comes to the AG’s confidence that the second amendment won’t be threatened in Texas, I find that there is less reason for optimism. I appreciate his positive outlook, but how can he be so sure the steady incrementalism of compounded gun-control legislation aimed at removing our freedoms will end at the border of Texas? Texas has a fiercely independent spirit, but let’s be honest, we’re not allowed to govern ourselves like was intended under the U.S. Constitution. Rather than acting as a sovereign state, we only exercise what parts of our sovereignty that are to the liking of a federal judge, bureaucrat, or a Washington politician. The governor and the AG can brag about the dozens of times they’ve challenge an overreaching federal government, but since they have a success rate that’s like one in 7, it’s hardly something to crow about!
This abysmal record isn’t because Washington is in the right and Texas is wrong, mind you, it’s because we agree to pretend with Washington that they have the authority to make such rulings. Effectively, we let them get away with it. For all the Governor’s talk on how “‘The irony for our generation is that the threat to our Republic doesn’t come just from foreign enemies, it comes, in part, from our very own leaders,'” at the end of the day, Abbott and his government will back down, tuck tail, and submit to Leviathan, trusting that the system will one day be corrected when there is really very little evidence on which to base such a belief.
If we really want to govern ourselves, if we want to be in charge of our own gun-policy, the only way to do that is reclaim our independence from the federal system, as is our legal right. Paxton and Abbott must be aware of this, but how long will they wait and what are they waiting for? How much longer will we let D.C. get away with it? When Washington moves on gun-rights, the government in Austin better be prepared, because it’ll be easier to find Bigfoot than a Texan who is not clamoring for independence.
Come and take it.