A History of Violence in the Texas Legislature
February 1, 2015 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Texas Monthly: "Advocates for open carry legislation had spent the first day of the new session [Texas's Eighty-fourth Legislature] demonstrating outside before taking things indoors, targeting specific legislators at their offices. ... This image of an angry crowd bitterly clinging to their guns and a base understanding of the Constitution did little to inspire sympathy among the public, fellow gun rights groups, or, it would seem, our legislators—the very next day the House passed an amendment, 137-5, “to be able to install panic buttons and eject hostile members of the public from their offices.” Jeff Winkler looks at the history of violence at the Capitol.

Shocking murder! Robbery and foul assassination! A dying man's last words of forgiveness! And more.

Winkler sums up his findings thus: "Examining the research revealed that if anything can be gleaned from history, it’s that cowering in the Capitol would be news to the past members of the Texas legislature, who didn’t respond to angry constituents by hiding behind their resolutions and the Department of Public Safety’s Capitol security unit."

The Amendment, available here (.pdf), notes that members who request panic buttons may reimburse the Committee on House Administration in monthly installments. There is no word on whether Texas legislators consider singing a hostile act.
posted by MonkeyToes (34 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
* signing
posted by boo_radley at 5:09 PM on February 1, 2015


Hey, we're Texas. What can I say?
posted by jim in austin at 5:09 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Read the constitution" - God, what an asshole.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:14 PM on February 1, 2015


> "Read the constitution" - God, what an asshole.
How do you not just retort "Fucking you first, asshole" to that?
posted by boo_radley at 5:19 PM on February 1, 2015


Nope, boo_radley, singing. In a state Capitol. Background here. The proposed amendment makes me wonder whether protest singing would be considered grounds for expulsion.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:21 PM on February 1, 2015


It should be noted that a REAL Texas legislator would have reached under his or her desk and produced a 12 gauge, double-barreled coach gun loaded with buckshot and leveled it at the petitioners' genitals. Two can play that 2nd Amendment bullshit game...
posted by jim in austin at 5:31 PM on February 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I swear it's something about the bad feng shui of the halls in the Texas Capitol building that makes all those dillweeds even more looney.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 5:37 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Somewhere, Molly Ivins is chuckling.
posted by delfin at 5:48 PM on February 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


Do not fear, Citizens! The Texas State Legislature will allow you to carry your guns into the chamber, but will confiscate tampons so that you cannot turn them into dangerous projectiles and throw them at legislators. You will still be able to defend yourself against these dangerous cotton missiles!

GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, TAMPONS KILL PEOPLE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:13 PM on February 1, 2015 [33 favorites]


This shows conclusively that the conservative as you can get short of a brain syndrome Texas legislature is not actually participating in the mass psychosis of the gun nuts, and is only using them for political advantage.
posted by jamjam at 6:33 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is that what a well regulated militia looks like?
posted by adept256 at 6:33 PM on February 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


Loving the shout-out to my former workplace, the Texas Legislative Reference Library. w00t! Solid research skills and a sense of humor are your best weapons. Even in Texas.
posted by pantarei70 at 6:35 PM on February 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


How do you not just retort "Fucking you first, asshole" to that?

You might want to reorder your wods.
posted by srboisvert at 6:50 PM on February 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


How do you not just retort "Fucking you first, asshole" to that?
Because the guy has a gun.

And when that guy says "You trying to touch me? That would be one wrong move bro." Remember that the guy acting in a confrontational manner and making verbal threats has a gun and could kill you in seconds. Fear for your life shouldn't enter into political debate. That legislator was far calmer than I would have been. I probably would have been shaking in fear.
posted by Foam Pants at 7:09 PM on February 1, 2015


Foam Pants: "Fear for your life shouldn't enter into political debate."

What ticks me off about open carry in legislatures is that it has been SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS since British Parliament declared the carrying of weapons in the legislature forbidden in 1313.

People who want to carry guns into Congress or state legislatures are trying to drag us kicking and screaming back into howling barbarism and strong-arm rule that we outlawed literally 700 years ago and the avoidance of which is one of the major purposes of the rule by law! Why have a legislature if you're just going to stab/shoot/threaten people into submission? You can do that with an absolute monarch!

Uggggh, it's so historically ignorant, and so anti-democratic, it ticks me off.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:27 PM on February 1, 2015 [58 favorites]


GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, TAMPONS KILL PEOPLE.

Tampon gun? Make it happen. We have 3D printers and stuff now.

What part of an organized group invading the legislature building and threatening politicians with weapons doesn't necessitate the intervention of the army? How is this not an armed rebellion / act of terrorism? Because they didn't pull the triggers?
posted by Jimbob at 7:32 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tampon gun? Make it happen.

Here you go, no 3D printer necessary.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:06 PM on February 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


You shove the tampon into the wound, even if they don't seem physically wounded.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:08 PM on February 1, 2015


What, white Christians, terrorists? I understand the individual words but I just can't make any sense of what you are suggesting.
posted by idiopath at 8:19 PM on February 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd heard about that business with the representative getting threatened because he wouldn't commit to vote for open carry. Supposedly that incident and the video have killed the open carry bill for the session, which is a "couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of assholes" moment.
posted by immlass at 8:42 PM on February 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


People who want to carry guns into Congress or state legislatures are trying to drag us kicking and screaming back into howling barbarism and strong-arm rule that we outlawed literally 700 years ago

Of course they are....have you seen what this group is doing with science in this state?

As if the Enlightenment never happened, yo.
posted by pantarei70 at 8:48 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


As if the Enlightenment never happened, yo.

It's hard not to believe this is the whole point.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:30 PM on February 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ugh, that video terrifies me. The contrast between the implicit threat of all of the "Don't touch me"s and "Are you gonna touch me?" with "I am being nice!"

You're not being nice if you're implicitly threatening someone while carrying a gun. Don't pretend.
posted by vernondalhart at 1:51 AM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


The gun is am innocuous talisman that represents America, like the flag or a $20. It isn't something that is used to harm people. In fact, guns are the opposite of harming people. If Jesus had his way, he'd come back and make sure he got shot instead of crucified because he'd rather Christians wear guns than crosses. Thinking a person is threatening you just because they're angry and shaking their gun is something only an insane person would think. Unless it's a toy gun and that person is 12 and black because that's a real danger.

#merica
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:57 AM on February 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


What ticks me off about open carry in legislatures is that it has been SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS since British Parliament declared the carrying of weapons in the legislature forbidden in 1313.

"Once I unholster it you shall taste the firey wrath of my hand bombard for your intemperate and uncouth legislating, Lord Walmsley... curses, my pantaloons hath fallen down."
posted by XMLicious at 5:12 AM on February 2, 2015


I forget the original source of the quote but it was used by Molly Ivins; something to the effect of "If you think the Texas legislature is bad, you should see the folks who elected them."

Well, now we are seeing those folks.
posted by TedW at 5:34 AM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


But what if you brought in a ring of power?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:58 AM on February 2, 2015


That article cjorgensen linked to is horrifying. Idiot America run amuck.
posted by TedW at 7:26 AM on February 2, 2015


My understanding has long been that Midland/Odessa/Kermit/Andrews, TX : Texas :: Texas : U.S.

Though I'll admit to being a little surprised at cjorgensen's article anyway.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 9:04 AM on February 2, 2015


Is that what a well regulated militia looks like?

I realize you are being snarky and flippant, but I would like to answer this in earnest-and I am probably as close to a second amendment absolutist as exists on metafilter.

It is NOT what it looks like. The phrase well regulated doesn't mean restricted by law. In the vernicalur of the day it meant to make regular-it means well practiced and disciplined and James Madison used it advisedly. The second amendment was a heavily influenced by the outcome of Shay's rebellion.

These actions are neither, and in fact show a distinct lack of discipline.

The online gun community and every loud voice in the movement has come out against these actions and the 'open carry' movement has pretty much lost all credibility with the leaders of the gun rights movements because of this foolishness.
posted by bartonlong at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2015


The FACT is that America is 4th in total gun deaths, worldwide - following Thailand, Colombia and Nigeria. It's an abomination.

America also leads in per capita murder rates by gun among all developed nations.

Add to that that there are 300million+ guns in America.

What gets me is that much of this penetration of America by guns has been enabled by profit-making weapons manufacturers - yet, we somehow don't include gun manufacturers within the group of corporations (like oil) who create harm in our culture.

The NRA leadership is basically a whoring group of losers who take filthy lucre from their gun manufacturing overlords. With that money they intimidate cowardly legislators.

Guns in and of themselves are not bad things, but gun culture in America has been tainted by corporate greed and the sheer, bumbing ignorance of an every more increasingly ignorant voting populace.

Last, assuming that the US military ever went rouge (there's about a snowball's chance in hell that that would ever happen), what chance to these would-be militia nutcases have?
posted by Vibrissae at 10:48 AM on February 2, 2015


There used to be a time when armed protesters marching into a state legislature would be front-page news that got the NRA and conservatives like ol' Saint Ronaldus Magnus ("There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.") all excited about opposing open carry and actually tightening gun control in place all across the country.

I wonder what the difference is?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fashion? Tattoos?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2015




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