I live in Texas where the very idea of gun laws cause heartburn. We like our guns. My father collected them and my co-workers discuss their firearms in the break room. In the novel x0 my telepathic hero Lola has a gun in her purse and has to consider whether her new powers will render her unable to use it. Guns show up in my next two novels as well.
In spite of the disposition of my home state, and the behaviors of my fictional characters, I am an advocate of reasonable gun regulations.
According to the blog of the Houston Chronicle a state gun law scorecard was released yesterday (Dec. 9) which showed that in the last year 21 states have created or expanded gun laws while 25 other states, including Texas, get F’s for failing to provide the most basic safety restrictions.
This didn’t surprise me, but it prompted me to learn more. Thanks to a website called Texas Gun Laws I found out that in Texas
- There is no waiting period for purchasing a firearm
- There is no state registration of guns
- If you have a concealed handgun license you may carry as many hidden revolvers as you like
- You can get a CHL now with four hours of instruction and a proficiency exam at a shooting range
- You can keep a gun loaded and within reach in your car, and a school campus cannot prohibit you from doing so.
- You may carry a gun while drinking but not while legally drunk
- Machine guns, suppressors and other assault weapons are perfectly legal
- There is no limit to the number of rounds the magazine for your gun may hold.
- Background checks are required by federal law and Texas leads the nation in running them. No check is needed for sales between private citizens or at gun shows
- Texas averages about ten major gun shows a month
That’s a lot of firepower out there folks, in a lot of inexperienced hands. Additional changes have been proposed to allow concealed weapons to be carried into a bar and into places of worship, and to allow weapons to be holstered so that they are visible.
Accidents happen. Stupid things get done. Tempers flare, people show off, children get curious. Is this sort of world we really want? Not me. I like my heritage and my freedom, but I also like my peace of mind. The idea of a whole lot of barely trained people strutting around with assault weapons does not make me feel safer.
How does one fight the sort of paranoid movement that wants the most dangerous of guns readily available? Luckily there are other kinds of weapons in this world and other ways to fight.