Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Today I am thinking about constitutional carry and how there are so many people that are clamoring for permits or licenses for all firearm carry. I am personally opposed any license requirements.  The idea of requiring a permit to carry a handgun is akin to asking permission to practice your religion.  Would you tolerate that?  So, I think that we can open this conversation up with a run down of some of the Bill of Rights.  Let's dive in.
Amendment I (1): Freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If we take the 1st amendment and break it down we will see a few things that are completely unacceptable to license or require a permit to exercise  The 1st amendment protects our freedoms (given to us by God) to practice the religion of our choice.  Should we have to get a permit to go to church?  How about the freedom of speech?  Would you tolerate having to get a license to speak or write what is on your mind?  I think you would be in a real tizzy about that one...  While there are limited permit requirements for marches and other protests they are based on locations just like a parade.  Could you imagine what would happen if we were not allowed to protest openly about <insert you issue here> without a license?  I don't support all of the reasons people protest but I will absolutely support their right to protest.
Amendment VI (6): Rights to a fair trial
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Rights to a fair trial should require a license too if we use the same logic as the folks saying we need handgun permits.  Could you imagine that only paid permit holders have the right to a fair and speedy trial?  A license to be able to be confronted by witnesses against you or having witnesses in your favor?  That is preposterous!

These examples may seem far fetched but I think we can draw some pretty close parallels with the upcoming proposals the Texas legislature will take up debate on in January. Several open carry type bills are have been filed but nothing less than a constitutional carry option should be accepted.

Please feel free to drop your comments below and we can have an adult debate but I ask that you keep it civil and no name calling.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Freedom to Carry in Texas

I have had many discussions recently on our beloved Facebook where the uninformed are just up in arms about open carry, freedom to carry or constitutional carry (all the same thing) in Texas.  Jonathan Strickland authored HB 195 to go before the 84th Legislature in Texas.  This bill was filed on the first day it was possible and will hopefully be put to a vote very early in the legislative session.  If the bill passes with 2/3 majority in both houses and is signed into law by Governor Elect Greg Abbott it could go into effect immediately  If it does not garner a 2/3 majority in both houses but passes and is signed into law, then on the 91st day after the close of the 84th legislative session we could have this freedom to carry openly or concealed.  This would be a cause for celebration!  That means that the 708,048(calendar year 2013) active license holders will not be taxed when their current license expires and there are countless others who will not be taxed as they decide to carry how they would like.

Now, many of you may say "oh my stars, what will we do when Bubba is behind me at Starbucks and he has a pistol on his hip?!?!?"  I say you should order your coffee.  Bubba is not the one you should be worried about.  You should be worried about the criminal who is not openly displaying his firearm and is going to follow you to your car and try to harm you.  Make no mistake, there will be criminals after a freedom to carry law is passed that are prohibited by law from possessing a firearm today and will be prohibited in the future as well. READ THE TEXT OF THE BILL. LISTEN - they don't follow the law today and they won't tomorrow either.  Criminals are just that, criminals.  Law abiding citizens should not be punished because of the acts of criminals.  Law abiding citizens should be judged on their own individual actions.

She looks like a threat, right?
"But Steve, what about not having any training requirements?"  Now that people will not be required to spend hundreds of dollars on a license and fingerprints and other fees they will have some money to take training.  If mandating training to carry firearm is the answer then we should mandate training to prepare us for parenting, driving, cooking, swimming, using machine tools, buying a house and oh yeah, being married.  That is not the governments job!  The government has no right to delegate itself as a  nanny over us like that. Eleven states already have laws on the books where no training is required and everyone is just fine. Check these - AL, DE, GA, ID, IN, MD, MS, NH, PA, SD, WA.  The training question is a good one though.  Most responsible people get training for many of the things they like to do that is outside of their areas of expertise, but it is not mandated.  This law could open a new market for CHL instructors to expand their businesses to include additional training which people may be able to afford since they aren't being taxed by license requirements.

"Wait a minute you said they wont have to get a license!"  That's right there will be no requirement for a license.  The license comes into play if you want to carry in another state that has a reciprocity agreement in place with Texas.

So look, there is a lot more to discuss in this debate and I would love to have an adult conversation with any of you who can clearly articulate your position without getting mean and nasty and name calling.  I will not hesitate to delete your mean spirited comments and block you from further commentary.  I would also like to hear from any of you who think I have missed some key elements or have additional information you would like to share with my readers.

Until next time!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

When I say, I am a Christian

I have read this poem,When I say, “I am a Christian” many times and it has always resonated with me by showing me that being a Christian isn't about being perfect.  It is about accepting Jesus as my personal savior.  I don't look like the typical Christian, many times I don't sound like the typical Christian and often I don't act like a typical Christian.  I have found that Jesus loves me just the way I am at this moment.  I know that the Holy Spirit speaks to me and many times I don't listen and I pay the consequences.  The point of this post is say up front I make tons of mistakes.  If you are looking for an religious scholar who is always Godly you may be in the wrong place.  If you are looking for a guy that writes about his personal experiences, failures and successes and opinions (right or wrong/good or bad), to help you learn how to handle the cards that life deals out, then you may have landed in the right place.  Take what you think is a typical Christian and open your heart and mind and realize that Christians don't all look sound or act the same.  The Good News is, we are all loved the same by a most AWESOME God! What are we going to do with that love?

When I say, “I am a Christian”              
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on
When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache
which is why I seek God’s name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved
Author Carol Wimmer