Shockingly Wrongheaded

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    Thanks to CJ Grisham and Richard Briscoe for their testimony against anti-gun Rep. Rafael Anchia’s HB 1168 that would create a useless Texas law to copy an unconstitutional, counterproductive, and useless federal law against carrying firearms in an aircraft operating area.

    HB 1168 has now passed the House with only 8 heroic votes against and is being heard in the Senate State Affairs hearing tomorrow morning (May 9) that starts at 9 am.

    I plan to testify against this unconstitutional, counterproductive, and ridiculous bill. Here is what I plan to say:

    Testimony Against HB 1168
    State Prohibition and Criminalization of Firearms in Airport Operation Areas
    by Tom Glass and Texas Constitutional Enforcement

    This bill is shockingly wrongheaded and useless for three reasons:

    1) It will have no impact on the likely perpetrators and denies the background-checked workers on the front line the ability to respond to the threat. It is completely ineffective against the very insider threat it purports to try to solve.
    2) It violates both the Texas and U.S. Constitutions
    3) It puts Texas in the position of following the feds in wrongheaded practices, rather than enabling Texans to run Texas with effective, real security solutions.

    First, why is it completely wrongheaded practically? – Because of several principles we should have learned over these last 18 years:

    Criminals and especially terrorists and crazies do not follow laws against carrying weapons in an area – A law merely criminalizing the carry of arms in a particular place does NOTHING to stop criminals and terrorists. Without effective screening (which it appears we do not have in the area in question – otherwise, why is a small group of law enforcement asking for this bill?), the bad guys will not obey this law and it will have NO effect.

    A decentralized threat requires a decentralized response – the Airport Operation Area is a chaotic, large, area, with multiple vehicles entering it. There is no 100% effective search being done of all potential ways that weapons can enter the area. Even if there were, we know that flagged weapons in baggage can be quickly accessed by bad actors with the right tools. There is no way to effectively insure weapons cannot be brought in and accessed in the area in question. The solution that works is to allow the background-checked workers who are on the front lines in this area to carry. Another way of stating the principle is:
    More guns in the hands of distributed good guys stops the damage that committed bad guys can do.

    Gun free zones do NOT protect against insider threats – Insider threat is the very threat being used to justify this ridiculous proposal. Ask the 30 people wounded at Fort Hood by Major Hasan and the families of the 13 people he killed whether a gun free zone protects against insider threats.

    Second, neither the Texas Constitution nor the U.S. Constitutional protections of the natural right to bear arms have an exception that allows this bill. The background-checked workers who are on the front lines have a natural and constitutional right to protect themselves and airline passengers and employees who are at risk. This Texas bill piles on in the federal violation of that right.

    The attitude of the proponents of this bill is that if there is a practical reason for violating the Constitution, we should. Forget Ben Franklin’s warning about not putting security above liberty if you wish. The beautiful thing about the natural right to bear arms is that it IS practical. There is no tradeoff between liberty and security here. Instead, protecting liberty protects security!

    Finally, Texas, as a sovereign state which is the master of the feds, should be deciding how we provide security in Texas. And Texas certainly should not be following the feds when the have implemented wrong-headed and unconstitutional laws. We should be leading the way in practical and constitutional solutions.

    Please REJECT HB 1168 and its dangerous, wrongheaded, and unconstitutional approach.

    The Butcher Shop
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