Anticipating what will be one of the hottest button issues of the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature, advocates for the right to carry assault rifles into fast food establishments and handguns wherever they damn well please gathered at the state capitol in Austin yesterday to manufacture gun parts on a 3D printer and harass elected representatives.
Kory Watkins and company brought petitions and called elected officials tyrants. Watkins, one of the leaders of Open Carry Tarrant County, brought his kids along as well, teaching them early that a state that doesn't allow you to Yosemite Sam cosplay whenever you want is not a state worth living in.
Specifically, the firearm fetishists were at the capitol to support House Bill 195, a piece of legislation proposed by Bedford Republican Jonathan Stickland that would allow for anyone to carry any handgun or rifle they want openly, whether they have a carry permit or not.
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In previous sessions, this sort of thing would have been amusing, if a little aggravating. This year it's both, but it's also threatening. The Texas Senate has a longstanding practice called the two-thirds rule. Basically, it's a procedural mechanism that requires two-thirds of Texas' 31 senators to consent to a vote on a bill. In a chamber as lopsidedly Republican as the Texas Senate has become, it gave the minority a modicum of power. This year, the Senate is led by newly elected Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a longtime opponent of the two-thirds rule. If the rule is not put in effect this year, Republicans -- who have a 20-11 advantage in the senate -- will be able to do whatever they want, whether it's ridding us of the scourge on anti-discrimination ordinances or returning the state to its outlaw roots.
You can check out the rest of Watkins' day on his Facebook page.