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Thread: "Divide and conquer" begins for the 2013 Legislature

  1. #1
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    "Divide and conquer" begins for the 2013 Legislature

    Divide and conquer is a well known and historically respected tactic. We don't generally expect those nominally on our side to do the dividing. But:

    Welcome to Texas.

    I've said here so many times that I can't count, that no pro-gun bill will see the light of day in Texas unless it gets the blessing of the NRA and/or TSRA (especially the latter). TSRA has repeatedly said they don't oppose open carry, but it's not one of their priorities. At the same time, just the mention of open carry has been blamed for failure of TSRA-backed bills (most notably 2009, when no OC bill was even introduced, but OC was blamed for the failure of campus carry legislation). Opencarry.org was referred to as a bunch of carpet-bagging Virginians trying to interfere with Texas, even.

    Here we go, all over again. Charles Cotton is the former executive director of TSRA, and long-time legislative coordinator of the group (a much more powerful position). He was pushing for concealed carry (concealed only) in the 1980s, a good 10 years before it ever passed. He's the owner of the major gun forum in the state, one that has "CHL" in its name. In other words, if he's not the gatekeeper by title, he's the next best thing: the gatekeeper who doesn't have to acknowledge his role.

    TSRA has long had priorities of:
    1. Parking lot carry
    2. College campus carry
    3. Anything but open carry

    So, here's the division, launched right off the bat for the 2013 legislative session:

    http://texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=129&t=60117
    "If only one bill could pass, would you prefer it to be campus-carry or open-carry?"

    Of course, there won't be just one bill passed, nor just two bills introduced. There will be multiple bills introduced, both pro- and anti-gun. But for some reason, in the eyes of TSRA and/or Charles Cotton, it all boils down to campus carry (which has massive organized and well-funded opposition), versus open carry (which has no opposition at all other than those who are already anti-gun, and the concealed carry lobbyists).


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles L. Cotton
    Anyone who has been around for even one prior Texas Legislative Session has probably read discussions about using political capital to pass or sometimes block legislation. I have previously pointed out that every time we file more than one high profile and/or controversial bill, it provides an opportunity for a Senator or Representative to vote for one and not for another, then argue, "well, I voted for your _______ bill!"

    With that background, if you could see one and only one of the two bills pass, which would you choose? Please don't tell us we can pass both, or we should try to pass both; that's not the purpose of this poll or thread. I'm trying to gauge our Members priority ranking between campus-carry and open-carry. This poll will be open for 30 days.

    Chas.

    Just to make it clear, OC advocates are being asked to make themselves comfortable lying in the bus lane while the driver gets his rig started:

    http://texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=734990#p734990

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles L. Cotton
    Last session's bill was a train wreck! It unnecessarily opened massive sections of the Government Code and Penal Code to anti-gun, anti-carry amendments. The worst part was the amendment to TPC 30.06 that would make it apply to both open and concealed carry. If the OC bill this session has the same provision, it will be DOA.

    Chas.
    There you go: the gatekeeper has declared OC "DOA". He's not an elected official of any kind, not even in the TSRA. He's just the guy who knows what's best for you.

    For the record, I'm a member of TSRA. I can't make a difference, but I belong just to shut up those who claim I don't have a right to complain if I'm not a member.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Divide and conquer is a well known and historically respected tactic. We don't generally expect those nominally on our side to do the dividing. But:

    Welcome to Texas.

    I've said here so many times that I can't count, that no pro-gun bill will see the light of day in Texas unless it gets the blessing of the NRA and/or TSRA (especially the latter). TSRA has repeatedly said they don't oppose open carry, but it's not one of their priorities. At the same time, just the mention of open carry has been blamed for failure ofTSRA-backed bills (most notably 2009, when no OC bill was even introduced, but OC was blamed for the failure of campus carry legislation). Opencarry.org was referred to as a bunch of carpet-bagging Virginians trying to interfere with Texas, even.

    Here we go, all over again. Charles Cotton is the former executive director of TSRA, and long-time legislative coordinator of the group (a much more powerful position). He was pushing for concealed carry (concealed only) in the 1980s, a good 10 years before it ever passed. He's the owner of the major gun forum in the state, one that has "CHL" in its name. In other words, if he's not the gatekeeper by title, he's the next best thing: the gatekeeper who doesn't have to acknowledge his role.

    TSRA has long had priorities of:
    1. Parking lot carry
    2. College campus carry
    3. Anything but open carry

    So, here's the division, launched right off the bat for the 2013 legislative session:

    http://texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=129&t=60117
    "If only one bill could pass, would you prefer it to be campus-carry or open-carry?"

    Of course, there won't be just one bill passed, nor just two bills introduced. There will be multiple bills introduced, both pro- and anti-gun. But for some reason, in the eyes of TSRA and/or Charles Cotton, it all boils down to campus carry (which has massive organized and well-funded opposition), versus open carry (which has no opposition at all other than those who are already anti-gun, and the concealed carry lobbyists).





    Just to make it clear, OC advocates are being asked to make themselves comfortable lying in the bus lane while the driver gets his rig started:

    http://texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=734990#p734990



    There you go: the gatekeeper has declared OC "DOA". He's not an elected official of any kind, not even in the TSRA. He's just the guy who knows what's best for you.

    For the record, I'm a member of TSRA. I can't make a difference, but I belong just to shut up those who claim I don't have a right to complain if I'm not a member.
    The really ironic part is that he bans all open carry advocates from his forum for having a difference of opinion. His poll is rigged to favor his intended result, simply because people that would vote OC can't be members,
    .

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    I maintain a strong interest in this subject even though it only affects me when I'm in Texas.

    One thing with which I agree with Charles Cotton is that the best route to "open carry" in Texas is simply repeal 46.035(a),(h), and leave housekeeping issues for the next legislative session.

    Yes that leaves some ambiguity remaining imbedded throughout other sections of Chapter 46, as well as miscellaneous other codes- BUT.....

    Intentional display of a handgun by a CHL holder would NO LONGER BE A CRIME in Texas.

    This simple measure makes NO MENTION OF "OPEN CARRY" - because the issue need not be open carry.

    The issue is more accurately described as whether Texas should continue to maintain a policy of imposing a criminal penalty that is only applicable to persons who have undergone a criminal background check, and having been determined not to pose danger to public safety have been issued a State license authorizing them to carry a handgun- even inside the State Capitol.

    There is no need for this provision in the penal code. Section 42.01 - display of a deadly weapon in public in a manner calculated to cause alarm sufficiently addresses potential criminal concerns and is applicable to every person.

    Housekeeping can be undertaken in 2015 to tidy up references to "concealed handgun".


    Section 30.06 need not be messed with, and no premises needs to post a "gun-buster sign" when a 30.06 sign serves legal notice that handgun carry is prohibited.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 12-10-2012 at 11:54 AM.

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    Sadly, he's taken to attacking even me on it, since he's run out of other targets on his forum. It's depressing that this is the kind of leadership most of texas blindly follows.

    I think we're going to see him suddenly change his tune in about two months, and claim it was his plan all along.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    I would recommend that no more fuel be added to the smoldering embers of legislative sessions past.

    We should (myself included) refrain from posting counter-productive personal comments. We can set a higher standard. There can be unity on repealing 46.035 (a)(h).

    The "30.06 issue" that is the premise that OC in Texas will result in an explosion of 30.06 signeage is the driver behind the passionate , core of the opposition.

    Assuming that a fairly comprehensive bill ( long, complicated, confusing ) - similar to HB2756, and the Oklahoma measure is the initial proposal - I recommend Plan B - simple repeal of 46.035 (a), (h) - be offered as a minor housekeeping measure to address the issue I described previously. There is consensus on that approach.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 12-10-2012 at 08:56 PM.

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    So why haven't the Open Carry advocates in Texas organized themselves and built their own support base instead of abdicating the lobbying to NRA/TSRA?

    It really doesn't take as big a following as you might suppose. Get organized, target a prominent anti-OC legislator, concentrate your efforts on replacing one legislator at a time. Put all your work into one legislative district at a time. It will amaze you what 50+ people knocking on doors in the week before an election can accomplish. When you succeed, hold a press conference to make sure the rest of your legislators have no doubt as to why their buddy was booted.

    In the time you have fought with TSRA, you could have sent a very clear message to the legislators that if they oppose OC, they are next on the chopping block.

    This is the exact tactic that we used here in Utah to get shall issue and most of the other gains we have made in the last 30 years. Through our work we have made the NRA all but irrelevant here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    So why haven't the Open Carry advocates in Texas organized themselves and built their own support base instead of abdicating the lobbying to NRA/TSRA?
    That's what we're doing. That's the whole reason behind the formation of the LSCDL. What my small part as an individual is worth, I don't care how much crossover there is between the LSCDL and the NRA or the TSRA or whatever RA or OA is out there. Let's let it all go. Victories of individual lobbying bodies don't matter in the long run. The only thing that matters is the expansion of our rights as citizens.

    From what I understand, we (the LSCDL and citizens of Texas at large) want is freedom to carry firearms and an effective means of self defense as a part of life, the right of such is recognized by our constitution. I am still a member of the NRA, and I am still ready to hear guidance from their leadership. Let's find a concerted push to recover our rights in our own home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanmills View Post
    That's what we're doing. That's the whole reason behind the formation of the LSCDL. What my small part as an individual is worth, I don't care how much crossover there is between the LSCDL and the NRA or the TSRA or whatever RA or OA is out there. Let's let it all go. Victories of individual lobbying bodies don't matter in the long run. The only thing that matters is the expansion of our rights as citizens.

    From what I understand, we (the LSCDL and citizens of Texas at large) want is freedom to carry firearms and an effective means of self defense as a part of life, the right of such is recognized by our constitution. I am still a member of the NRA, and I am still ready to hear guidance from their leadership. Let's find a concerted push to recover our rights in our own home!
    I've been trying to follow Texas for the last year and a half since my daughter and her family moved to Houston. I don't know how I missed it, but this is what I've been looking for.

    There is not an awful lot I can do from here, but I will support you in any way I can. I have been deeply involved in the RKBA restoration movement here in Utah for the last 30 years, so I do have some insights on strategies that work.

    Once you get your foot in the door by waking up the legislature you can take back your rights one bite at a time. Don't get caught up in the all or nothing mind set, it will just cause frustration and failure. Make your presence known in the legislature and take what you can get each legislative session. The more time your supporters can spend face to face with the legislators and in the hallways and galleries talking to everyone possible, including the media, about the RKBA issues, the better. Become a fixture on capitol hill.

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    I found lonestarcdl.org and tried to join but the PayPal link is not set up correctly, it just takes me to my PayPal account login.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    Don't get caught up in the all or nothing mind set, it will just cause frustration and failure.
    If you don't have an "all or nothing mindset", you find yourself reaching a level of self-satisfaction with the status quo, and stopping the push for full restoration of our 2nd amendment rights. We've had concealed carry since 1996. Cotton and his ilk keep talking about "baby steps", yet advances in our rights beyond concealed carry are virtually non-existent. I'm going to be cynical and angry until we have unlicensed constitutional carry in Texas. Elimination of 46.035 is NOT enough, because I'm still forced to pay state-sponsored extortion for my carry rights. If I can legally own a gun, I should be able to carry said gun. I see no gray areas in the argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsimmons View Post
    If you don't have an "all or nothing mindset", you find yourself reaching a level of self-satisfaction with the status quo, and stopping the push for full restoration of our 2nd amendment rights. We've had concealed carry since 1996. Cotton and his ilk keep talking about "baby steps", yet advances in our rights beyond concealed carry are virtually non-existent. I'm going to be cynical and angry until we have unlicensed constitutional carry in Texas. Elimination of 46.035 is NOT enough, because I'm still forced to pay state-sponsored extortion for my carry rights. If I can legally own a gun, I should be able to carry said gun. I see no gray areas in the argument.
    When was the last time you went out and knocked on doors urging voters to support a pro-gun candidate? Your anger does no good without action, and stubbornness demanding it all in one bite will only choke you.

    Elimination of 46.035 is a good first step, then open carry everywhere you go to get the public accustomed to seeing LACs with guns. It will reduce the opposition to further relaxation of restrictions.

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    I found lonestarcdl.org and tried to join but the PayPal link is not set up correctly, it just takes me to my PayPal account login.
    I fixed the registration form. I've been doing a lot to the website so there might still be a tweak or two to do yet. Suggestions and/or help are welcome. Contact me through the contact form if you have any.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    It really doesn't take as big a following as you might suppose. Get organized, target a prominent anti-OC legislator, concentrate your efforts on replacing one legislator at a time.
    Anti-OC legislators are not the problem in Texas. The problem is in even getting a bill heard by committee, much less through to the floor for a vote. Most bills die in Texas without being heard; that's just the nature of how things work when the body meets for 140 days every two years.

    I salute your efforts in Utah, but I have to point out that the states are somewhat different. Texas has 150 reps for 25.7 million people, or a district average of over 171,000. By comparison, Utah has 75 reps for 2.8 million people, just 37,000 per district. Walking and knocking is far more effective in smaller districts. Your proposed 50 dedicated people couldn't cover even a single Texas district effectively during the campaign season.

    Progress in Texas will be made, and is being made, by getting gun owners to show their dissatisfaction with the status quo as practiced by the recognized pro-gun power brokers in the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    When was the last time you went out and knocked on doors urging voters to support a pro-gun candidate? Your anger does no good without action, and stubbornness demanding it all in one bite will only choke you.

    Elimination of 46.035 is a good first step, then open carry everywhere you go to get the public accustomed to seeing LACs with guns. It will reduce the opposition to further relaxation of restrictions.
    I urge everyone I talk to (a lot of people during the day) to promote not only the 2nd Amendment, but the entire Bill of Rights. Again, I'm not interested in "steps" that ease restrictions because THAT doesn't involve outright recognition of my 2nd Amendment right. I have the right to keep *and* bear. The state does NOT have the authority to restrict that right for legal gun owners, nor require payment for them to exercise it. That's extortion. I fail to understand why I'm not getting an "amen" from the chorus, because it really *is* that simple. If we get constitutional carry, that will resolve all of the other pro-gun issues (campus carry included, so Mr. Cotton can finally get some sleep), and 30.06 won't be affected.

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    I believe campus carry (concealed), and optional open carry (where not prohibited) CAN both pass during this 83rd Session.

    16 years ago Section 46.035 (a) was enacted to quiet concerns that the proposed CHL program would result in an epidemic of irresponsible behavior by licensees.

    The record has proven otherwise - not due to the 46.035(a) provision, but the high standard of behavior demonstrated by CHL holders.

    There is a school of thought that tends to merge the campus carry effort with the optional open carry effort - operating under the presumption that "open carry" on campus will be the result. Nothing could be further from reality.
    The two issues are separate, and distinct.

    Institutions of higher learning in Texas have the right and prerogative to establish CONCEALED ONLY policies on campuses just as Colorado universities have done since Colorado enacted campus carry.

    I encourage those in Texas seriously interested in addressing these two important issues to endeavor to form a workable consensus, and then consider making a reservation at a motel in Austin for a couple of nights so that you can visit with your legislators at the Capitol and advocate for both issues.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 12-13-2012 at 06:54 PM.
    "Extremism ALWAYS brings about its own destruction " ( Sir Edmund Burke)

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Anti-OC legislators are not the problem in Texas. The problem is in even getting a bill heard by committee, much less through to the floor for a vote. Most bills die in Texas without being heard; that's just the nature of how things work when the body meets for 140 days every two years.
    If there were enough pro-gun legislators, the bills would make it through committee. The need is to convince legislators to make it a priority. The quickest way to make it a priority is to replace those that don't.

    I salute your efforts in Utah, but I have to point out that the states are somewhat different. Texas has 150 reps for 25.7 million people, or a district average of over 171,000. By comparison, Utah has 75 reps for 2.8 million people, just 37,000 per district. Walking and knocking is far more effective in smaller districts. Your proposed 50 dedicated people couldn't cover even a single Texas district effectively during the campaign season.
    Simply a matter of scale. If you have more people you should be able to put more people on the street. And remember, you don't have to hit every house, only a majority of voters.

    Progress in Texas will be made, and is being made, by getting gun owners to show their dissatisfaction with the status quo as practiced by the recognized pro-gun power brokers in the state.
    No better way to drive home the message than to replace those who are not getting the message.

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    Okay, rpyne. I certainly won't stand in your way while you show us how easy it is to replace Texas legislators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Okay, rpyne. I certainly won't stand in your way while you show us how easy it is to replace Texas legislators.
    I don't waste my time and money on those who refuse to help themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpyne View Post
    I don't waste my time and money on those who refuse to help themselves.
    No one has asked you for either.

    Texas is not Utah. "Just replace the anti-OC legislators" is a simplistic reply, when we have not even reached the stage of identifying who is or isn't pro- or anti-OC.

    So far, we've had one OC bill, in 2011. It passed the committee, but died along with hundreds of other bills without a floor hearing as time ran out on the session. Who should be targeted for replacement?

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    I see that in what is no doubt a good faith effort to accommodate discussion about OC on the CHL forum, the owner has created a special OC subforum.

    And then at the same time, he created a special user group, and placed in it all those who "cannot discuss this issue with civility", and members of that group are banned from posting in the OC forum.

    History tells me those he deems "incivil" are all OC supporters, while his CC sycophants can say anything they want. The double standard there has been laughable for years, and not just when it comes to OC, but about any opinion he doesn't share.

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