The Official Newsletter of the
Texas Citizens Defense League Ó
February, 2007[/b] http://txcdl.org email@example.com Edition #1 Page 1 of 2[/b]
A BIG Texas “HOWDY” to all of the members of the TCDL! First of all I want to thank you for all the dedication and support you have given to TCDL. You all represent the foundation of a grass roots organization that will be at the forefront of promoting and safe-guarding our 2nd Amendment rights in Texas. As a spring-board for TCDL our first challenge is the decriminalization of Open Carry of hand guns in Texas. This issue has many facets and has garnered a wide range of support. Our basic premise is that Texas is behind the times in allowing its law-abiding citizens to openly carry their legal firearms. More than three-fourths of the other States in the Union allow their citizens some form of open carry. At the very least this will allow Texans who carry concealed to be free from worry should their firearm inadvertently become exposed or who worry that their chosen method of concealment is inadequate or “printing.”
Let me give you an example. Last week my wife and I went to Cracker Barrel Restaurant for dinner. The weather was cool so I had on a light jacket which concealed my Colt Government 1911. As we were being seated I removed my jacket revealing my weapon worn strong-side in a tan leather G&G holster. The restaurant was packed. The waitress and several other customers could not help but see that I was carrying a firearm. No one said a word or hardly gave us a second glance. No one called the police. The waitress was polite and we got good service. After we ate I didn’t bother to put my jacket back on. My wife likes to look around in the Cracker Barrel shop. So I walked around for about a half hour, surrounded by other patrons, with my jacket slung over my shoulder, while my wife shopped. Again, no one gasped with horror or ran for cover because I was armed. No one said a word to me or gave me dirty looks. As I paid for the items my wife had picked out the store manager stood behind the counter and gave me a smile and asked how our dining experience had been. The checker was polite and said “thank you for shopping with us Mr. Williams, have a nice day.” When we went outside I put my jacket back on and my big 1911 was now, once again, concealed. Now - are you asking yourself “is this guy nuts or dreaming or just making this stuff up?” Absolutely not! The fact of the matter is we were in a restaurant in Arizona! Arizona is a Gold-Star Open Carry State! It is the legal right of law abiding citizens to carry firearms openly in public in Arizona and to carry them concealed with a permit.
Do you see the point? We believe this scenario could and should be a reality in Texas. The only way it’s ever going to happen is by all of us working and pulling together to make it happen! Your membership in TCDL says that you believe it is possible and you are willing to support this cause.
Since the creation of TCDL membership and support has soared. I have to admit that we suffered from some initial rapid growth organizational set-backs. To be successful any movement like this takes loads of time and dedication. At this point all of the officers of TCDL work other full-time jobs. This does not mean that the cause is not near and dear to our hearts. What it does mean is that, to be successful, TCDL needs all the help we can get! Since Texas is so big - the organizational plan of TCDL is to divide the State into regions. Each region will have a presiding director. This will give members better access on a local level and facilitate local promotional activities. There are currently several openings for leaders. Many of you indicated in your membership applications that you would consider serving in a leadership capacity. This is now a plea [/i]for you to step forward. The organization needs you and your fellow Texans need you. If you are interested in serving, please contact TCDL by email. I will be happy to discuss with you the requirements and answer any questions.
What can individual members do right now? [/b]
First of all you can talk it up! Everyone comes in contact with friends, family and co-workers that are like-minded. We need as large a membership as possible. In politics – numbers count! For TCDL to be a force to be reckoned with we need a huge following. At last count there were approximately 500 TCDL members. New memberships roll in everyday. Refer everyone to the TCDL website. Start discussing and debating the open carry issues. As always – if you or anyone has questions please refer them to the TCDL email address and we’ll be more than happy to respond.
Secondly – educate yourself. That’s what I had to do. I did an extensive internet search and talked to as many people as I could find. I read everything I could get my hands on. It helped that I lived in Arizona. I joined the local gun club and actually experienced Open Carry and talked to others that do – every day. One of the very best places to start is at http://www.opencarry.org. This is a national forum where you can read and discuss all the issues surrounding Open Carry. There is a special group for Texans and many of the TCDL members are also members on opencarry.org.
Thirdly – don’t be discouraged. You will run into some who are less than enthusiastic about Open Carry. That’s OK. The BIGGEST challenge is EDUCATION. People typically fear what they do not understand.
Fourthly, brain-storm and send me your thoughts and ideas. We are all in this together. Many TCDL members have experienced Open Carry before. These members are your resource. I will post your questions and let the members respond. Once regional districts are established you will have a local person you can address and meet with. In the future we will hold local group meetings and have guest speakers. There are many activities you will be asked to participate in if you are able.
How ‘bout a contest?[/b]
Everyone likes to win something – right? So how about this? For the remainder of February TCDL will give the top three (3) recruiters a free copy of: The Texas Gun Owners Guide[/i][/b] by Alan Korwin. See it at: http://www.gunlaws.com/tgog.htm. Mr. Korwin is a TCDL supporter and the premier authority on Gun Laws in the US. He has graciously donated copies of his latest book to TCDL for promotional purposes. At the end of February I will tally the number of referrals and post the winners in the TCDL Newsletter. When you refer someone have them apply online from the TCDL website and be sure to tell them to write in the comment section who it was that referred them so I can give you credit.
I already made an appeal for members to serve in a leadership capacity. If you feel you cannot do so at this time but you feel you have some other skill or talent that would be useful in promoting TCDL – please let me know.
Currently TCDL does not charge a membership fee. The purpose of this is to build numbers. This is in no way about money. But with growth also comes added expenses. Recently, one member graciously made a $100 donation! His comment was that although he was not able to do a lot - he could help financially so others could. Any donations would be most welcome and will be used solely for the promotion of TCDL activities. Once leaders have been identified a board of directors will be formed. Our bylaws are currently being written and we will soon be incorporating as a non-profit organization.
The TCDL Newsletter will be sent out at the first of each month. From time to time there may be special alerts of political action that needs your urgent attention. Please watch for these as well. With the recent shift in government our gun rights will be more and more under attack. It is absolutely necessary that we stick together and diligently work to preserve our blood-bought right to Keep and Bear Arms in Texas[/i].
President, Texas Citizens Defense League