A week or two ago I wrote about how a former Marine fought off an attempted home invasion. He managed to fire three shots, and it appeared that no one was hit.
As I visited a local gas station, I ran into Donnie again. He is a large, powerful black man, he makes an impression. We shook hands and I told him that the article had been published. He had not seen it yet, because he is in the middle of a move. He did not say; but I suspect it was a decision precipitated by the aborted home invasion. He had lost my card in the packing shuffle.
He asked me: How can I bear arms?
I was openly carrying when I met him. I was directly demonstrating the right to keep and bear arms when we met again. I believe that prompted the question.
It was a simple, direct, question. People who are immersed in the gun culture often fail to understand that people who are not so inclined do not know the intricacies and subtleties of what it takes to go about armed in today's society.
Donnie was trained as a Marine. He knows how to use firearms. But he is only a peripheral member of the gun culture.
I gave him another card and explained the requirements to obtain a carry permit in Texas. I asked if he had access to the Internet. He said he did. I told him to do a search for concealed carry Texas. I said that he would need to take a class, pay about a hundred dollars, and then he could get the permit. I asked if he had any felony or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions. He said that he did not.
I hope that Donnie follows up on legally bearing arms in Texas. There are some noteworthy exceptions, such as on your own property, in your car, and while hunting. But to generally bear arms in Texas, you need a carry permit.
Bringing peaceful, responsible black people into the gun culture is a way of showing them that they are also protected by the Constitution. Unfortunately, permit fees and classes disproportionately make it harder for people of limited means to obtain permits. For a great many reasons, black people are disproportionately in the lower income brackets. The Crime Prevention Research Center(pdf) has found that a $10 increase in permit fees decreases the number of permit holders by about one half of a percent of the adult population:
Each $10 increase in fees reduces the percent of adults with permits by about a half a percentage point.There is a movement to bring Texas into the permitless or "Constitutional" carry club. It has some backers in the legislature, and a fair number of activists supporting it. It may take a while, but Texas is rolling back infringements on the Second Amendment that have been in place for a hundred and forty years.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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