As the start of 2015 approaches, so does our state's biennial circus, the regular session of the Texas Legislature. This session, the 84th, will feature the usual bickering over just how far social services can be slashed without turning Texas into an anarcho-libertarian hellscape and the inevitable crushing of any Democratic dissent. It will also feature discussion of a number of bills so stupid that they deserve a special shout out.
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HB 413: the Second Amendment Preservation Act Tarrant County Republican Craig Goldman is intent on protecting the Second Amendment from federal infringement. Mr. Goldman, please listen closely: Second Amendment protections are more robust in 2014 than they have ever been. Gun rights groups have ensured that no gun control proposal, no matter how modest, is met with anything less than vitriolic opposition. No one is coming for the assault rifles and the constituents you're kowtowing too hold so dear. Stop wasting everybody's time, please.
HB 315: Relating to the issuance of "In God We Trust" specialty license plates and HB 138: Relating to the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. Separation of church and state is for godless morons like Thomas Jefferson and should not be imposed on the good people of Texas, according to state Representatives Dan Flynn and Richard Raymond.
HB 195: Relating to the carrying of handguns; providing for the open carrying of handguns; removing the requirement that a person who may lawfully possess handguns obtain a Concealed Handgun License in order to carry a handgun lawfully in the state of Texas, and conforming changes. Bedford Representative Jonathan Stickland's Wild West-inspired gun bill is the most craven appeal to the ammosexual crowd on the legislative docket. Like so many other bills, it calls for virtually unlimited open carry of firearms. Stickland takes things a step further though, calling for the elimination of concealed handgun licenses.
HB 483: Relating to the establishment and administration of a state bullion depository; authorizing fees. Undeterred by his similar bill's dying before being voted on during the 2013 legislative session, Southlake Representative Giovanni Capriglione, a Republican, is again pushing for the creation of the Texas Bullion Depository. The depository would basically be Texas' very own Fort Knox, housing gold belonging to the state's university system. By taking deposits and issuing deposit receipts from non-government entities, the depository would also create the necessary shadow currency for when Texas inevitably secedes from the United States.