|Matt in California 1998|
Our Matt went to the States for the first time, just after his graduation from university before he started his new job. He was staying in California at the invitation of an American friend he had made during a trip to Morocco. They spent 4 weeks travelling along the Pacific highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles and briefly into Mexico.
What has this got to do with gun laws you might ask?!
It was his first introduction to American life and culture, and with it the ease at which people were allowed to bear arms.
We met him at the airport on his return and no sooner had he got through the door and begun to open his cases than he, literally, chucked a load of magazines all about guns, on to the carpet and said
" Take a look at that lot!"
The fact that people actually could openly go into a store and buy one, off the shelf, as it were, never mind keeping one in the house, completely incensed him!
The minute I read the that piece I could hear him going on about it!! It was still early as his plane landed soon after 6,00a.m.!
He never liked it and I guess any argument with him on the subject would end in stalemate!
Once he got wound up he was wound up big time!
So I'm posting this full article here as I have to say it had the same effect on me so many years later.
We have been to the States three times now, and we have always felt safe, and never noticed any firearms, except those that the Police carry themselves. And we have met the most kind and generous people.
This is a cultural issue for me.
Read it and think...................everyone is entitled to an opinion.........and Matt's voluble reactions still ring in my ears!
Texas may be synonymous with pistol-toting cowboys, but for more than a century the Lone Star State has banned its residents from carrying handguns in plain sight.
That restriction is set to end with a new law that will make it legal to carry a pistol in a holster in Texas for the first time since Billy the Kid was making a name for himself in the wild west.
It has long been legal to walk around Texas with a rifle in hand, as long as the manner in which you do so is not “calculated” to alarm others. Since the 1870s, however, Texas has prohibited the open display of handguns, imposing an outright ban that today exists in just four other states.
Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, has promised to change that and will sign into law a bill that will permit the “open carry” of handguns.
“It’s a thumbs up for law-abiding citizens,” Debbie Riddle, a Republican who represents part of Houston, told Fox News. “Everywhere there is a denial of Second Amendment rights, crime is through the roof. It’s a deterrent. If someone is going to rob a convenience store and there are other people inside with guns on their hips, they might think twice.”
CJ Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, a group that campaigned for the law, said: “Criminals aren’t afraid of prison, they’re afraid of getting shot.”
Members of his organisation made their views felt by holding rallies at which they carried rifles – a strategy that even met with rebuke from The National Rifle Association.
“To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary,” the NRA said. “It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.”
Texas is also on course to allow concealed weapons on college campuses for the first time. Opponents have suggested that allowing guns in college settings notorious for hard drinking and raucous lifestyles is a mistake. “I have concerns about introducing guns in a university environment already fraught with stress and often fragile emotions,” said José Rodríguez, Democrat state senator from El Paso.
However, a further ten states are weighing similar moves, with supporters arguing that allowing guns on campus grounds would deter rape.
Michele Fiore, an assemblywoman in Nevada, told The New York Times in February: “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”
The Texas law will allow private colleges to ban guns. State-funded colleges will be able to establish “reasonable” gun-free zones but not to issue blanket bans on firearms.
Andy Pelosi, executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus, said he was disheartened by how lawmakers had turned “a deaf ear to the wishes of higher education officials, faculty, students, parents and campus law enforcement, who together made it crystal clear that they didn’t want guns on college campuses”.