Texas Constitutional Carry

The term “democracy” is often used erroneously to describe our system of government. It seems to be especially popular among politicians who happen to find their party out of power. “What he is doing is harmful to our democracy!” is almost a religious chant today.

But, if we don’t have a democracy, what do we have?

Our Union (not “nation” or “country”) was established with a representative republican form of government, but today we have lost the republic and our “representatives” seek office only to magnify and multiply their own opinions and votes, apparently.

Here’s what I mean: this year the Delegates to the Republican Party Convention in San Antonio set what they call “Constitutional carry” of firearms as the #1 priority for the majority Party in this session of the Texas Congress.

“Constitutional Carry” is bad terminology, but suffice it to say that it is meant to repeal the costs associated with legally carrying a firearm in Texas. Nothing about it would authorize anyone to carry if they couldn’t qualify under the present law and pay the associated fees and licenses.

A new Speaker of the Texas House was elected for this session after several sessions under Joe Straus, a man most conservative Republicans thought far too liberal. Dennis Bonnen proceeded to follow in Straus’ tracks almost step by step, appointing liberal Democrats to Chair key committees that would handle conservative legislation, including Constitutional Carry.

That should have cued anyone to know that Bonnen was opposed to this legislation that is overwhelmingly supported by his own Party, and has many supporters in the Democrat Party along with Libertarians.

The Bill had been stalled in the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee chaired by Pancho Nevarez (D) Eagle Pass for weeks before the well-publicized incident with Mr. Chris McNutt, Executive Director of Texas Gun Rights, so neither of these men intended to ever let this Bill get to the floor for a vote anyway.

Now it has been made abundantly clear that the Speaker just flat lied about what happened at his house in Lake Jackson as well as at a fundraising event at which he was scheduled to speak and stormed out after confronting Mr. McNutt.

The DPS Trooper’s testimony as well as bodycam footage shows that Mr. McNutt was unarmed and never stepped on the Bonnen’s property, regardless of what the Speaker says.

So, how can we have a representative republican government here in Texas if one man, in complete disdain for what the people want, stops proposed legislation from even getting a hearing?

If legislation with overwhelming support of the people cannot be heard or voted on we have an oligarchy, certainly not a republic!

 A Conroe lawyer, John Choate Jr., has seen the abuse of political power in our great State of Texas and has assisted many citizens.  Call the Conroe lawyer with your questions or concerns.

The State, Mental Health and Our Kids

With an increased emphasis on mental health coming to the public attention in the last few years it is inevitable that governments, including the Texas Congress, would become involved.

While most of this emphasis may be driven, at least among the average citizen, by school violence, there are many other reasons for this renewed focus as well.

Several Bills dealing with mental health of students in Texas public schools have been introduced in this session of the Texas Legislature. There are good points and bad in all of them to be sure, but let’s narrow our focus to one Bill, HB 10.

This Bill purports to “establish a State wide research framework focused on preventing, identifying, and treating mental health conditions”.

That may sound good, but I am always concerned when any State law seeks to take an issue of schools and education out of the hands of local school boards and parents, and places it in the “care” of the State.

This Bill does exactly that. And it is undoubtedly political under its skin, having one member of the institute appointed by the Governor, one by the Lt. Governor, and one by the Speaker of the Texas House.

How long do you think that will remain “independent” or purely focused on the mental health of Texas children?

Now let’s look at this in a little more depth; among the things this “Institute” will be identifying and treating are (2)(B) “external factors that MAY result in behavioral health issues”.

Most will look at that and think of substance abuse or violent home life, but this is all totally subjective. We already have doctors instructed to ask minor children if their parents have firearms in their homes, and how many. I will assure you that there are some mental health professionals who will see firearms ownership alone as reason enough to “flag” a child as “endangered”.

The list of things that may trigger a “flag” is as long as the list of men and women doing the flagging.

I believe we should be focused on returning control of local schools to local school boards and parents, and getting Austin and DC completely out of them!

The very idea that a politically appointed board would have the authority to flag your child as a mental health risk should scare the bejeebers out of Texans!

A Conroe lawyer, John Choate Jr., has seen the abuse of political power in our schools and has assisted parents.  Call the Conroe lawyer with your questions or concerns.