Open Carry Texas Leader Wouldn’t Qualify to Openly Carry Handguns Under Proposed Law

CJ-GrishamI’ve made no secret of my deep disdain for open carry advocates, Kory Watkins of Open Carry Tarrant Country in particular. While I’m not a big fan of gun nuts in general, I loathe these asinine fools who, in my opinion, have a sick obsession with guns. Whenever the “gun debate” is brought up, often pro-gun people will cite mental illness as the main issue behind gun violence, not the guns themselves.

Well, couldn’t it be argued that people who are obsessed with guns are suffering from a potentially dangerous mental illness? When someone resorts to outright threats against the lives of Texas lawmakers, shouldn’t that disqualify them from legally being allowed to own or carry guns? The way I see it, if you’re so paranoid that you feel the need to openly carry an AR-15 around with you at all times, that’s a form of mental illness.

No matter how many of these individuals I encounter, I never walk away with the impression that I just dealt with a mentally stable individual.

That being said, it seems like Mr. Watkins and Open Carry Texas leader CJ Grisham, two men who’ve dedicated much of their adult lives to being radical anti-government wackos fighting for gun rights in Texas, might finally be getting their wish as a current proposal would pave the way for Texans to openly carry handguns.

There’s just one slight catch – neither man would qualify to do so under the proposed law.

Under current laws anyone convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor is prohibited from carrying concealed handguns for 5 years, and anyone arrested on either of those charges loses their concealed license until the case is resolved.

Well it just so happens that Grisham was arrested during a hike carrying an AR-15 and charged with interfering with an officer’s duties, while Watkins was arrested this past September while he and his group of anti-government activists were out harassing police officers in Arlington, Texas.

It’s believed that the requirements under this new proposal would mirror the state’s current laws concerning concealed handgun licenses, which means that if convicted, neither Grisham or Watkins would be allowed to openly carry handguns for at least 5 years.

Naturally, neither man believes that any form of license should be required to carry guns. As always they’ll cite the “shall not be infringed” fragment of the Second Amendment – while completely ignoring the whole “well regulated” part at the very beginning. 

But as we’ve seen with basically every single right we’re given in our Constitution, there are always some form of restrictions. Our First Amendment is a prime example. As Americans we’re given the freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean all speech is protected. For example, we’re not allowed to yell “fire” in a movie theater or “bomb” in an airport and no one is allowed to make a threat on the president’s life.

We placed certain restrictions on free speech because adults came together to pass laws to keep citizens protected from idiots. Which is what requiring licenses to carry handguns aims to do as well. You know, make sure that those carrying deadly weapons with them in public have at least a basic understanding on how to use said weapon.

If you simply go by the strictest translation of “shall not be infringed” (as many of these open carry lunatics do), then I guess both Grisham and Watkins believe convicted felons should have the right to own guns. After all, it doesn’t say anything in our Second Amendment about restricting the “right to bear arms” for those convicted of felonies.

While I completely oppose the right for people to openly carry handguns (concealed is more than enough), only an absolute fool would think it’s a good idea to have ordinary citizens publicly carrying handguns without any kind of license to do so.

It’s like I’ve said before, these people aren’t as much gun advocates as they are anti-government radicals. They loathe authority and basically want a society built on ridiculous libertarian ideologies. Because it’s not at all unreasonable to ask those who choose to carry guns on them at all times be at least minimally licensed to do so. And I think it’s a great provision that those convicted of Class A or B misdemeanors have this privilege suspended for 5 years. It doesn’t mean these people can’t own guns, it just means that, because of their irresponsible behavior, they’re restricted from carrying them in public for a few years.

If the law is passed that ultimately allows Texans to openly carry handguns (and at this point it’s just a matter of if, not when), I think it’s vital that those who choose to do so must abide by the same laws that those who carry concealed handguns must follow. And if fools like Grisham and Watkins don’t like it, too damn bad. The United States has grown and advanced as a nation despite bottom-feeders like these two men – not because of people like them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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