Texas citizens remain defiant over Barack Obama’s decree on gun control.
An East Texas town’s police chief, Randy Kennedy, warned on Facebook that trying to take guns from American people will cause a revolution. He told Obama, “You are not our potentate, sir. You are our servant.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott challenged Obama on Twitter: “Obama wants to impose more gun control. My response? Come and take it.” The “come and take it” phrase refers to a historical battle from 1835, when Texas was still a part of Mexico and rebelling against it. When the Mexican army demanded a return of a cannon previously lent to the town of Gonzales, they received a blusterous response from the town citizens, “come and take it.” Indeed, the army sent 100 dragoons to retrieve the cannon, but Gonzales put up a fight, which helped initiate the Texas revolution.
The defiant spirit is forever present in Texas. Particularly now, when the recent law allows the state citizens to publicly carry their guns in holsters, the way Western cowboys used to do. Governor Abbott not only fights for his citizens’ right to access guns, but also actively encourages them to arm themselves. He expressed his disappointment on Twitter that Texas was second after California in the number of purchased guns, and called for Texas citizens to pick up the pace.
Insane Law Impossible To Change
Unfortunately, Texas citizens don’t have to fear that Obama will take their guns away. Obama will, though, meet with Loretta Lynch to discuss how gun control can be tackled without Congress’ support, which turned out to be impossible to get even after the December 2012 primary school massacre, in which 20 first year pupils and six teachers were killed. Amid fears that Obama was on track to tighten the laws, Americans rushed to stock up on guns. It resulted in the record sales of 21 million pistols and rifles in 2013. In comparison, 15.6 million weapons were sold in the U.S. last year. American citizens own a total of 350 million guns that caused the deaths of over 1.5 million people during the last half century. This number is higher than the number of victims of all wars the U.S. got involved in since the American Revolution in 1776.
According to leaked information, Obama and Attorney General Lynch plan to introduce mandatory licenses for all gun sellers, including online providers. They will also harass and make things difficult for terrorist suspects, who were banned from passenger planes. Yet, due to Congress’ decision made several weeks ago after the terrorist attack in California, they are still able to purchase guns.
However, Obama’s “decrees” remain insignificant without a permanent change to the law, and that needs to be agreed upon by Congress. It is a shame, because the American gun laws are insane, and not only when it comes to terrorist suspects, or even because of the fact that practically anyone can purchase a semiautomatic rifle with a 30-bullet cartridge.
Severe Punishment vs. Impunity
Let’s consider two misdemeanors that concern American parents: leaving kids alone in a car, and leaving guns within their reach. The first offense, which is nowhere near as dangerous as the second, carries a heavy sentence. The second offense often remains unpunished.
Several incidents from last year about mothers who left their kids in the car for several minutes so they could shop were described on Salon.com. There was no direct hazard, as the weather conditions were not extremely hot or cold. However, thanks to some zealous passers-by, the incidents were reported to the police. After returning to the parking lot, one of the mothers was confronted by three policemen, who interviewed and reprimanded her for an hour before asking about her husband’s whereabouts. When she explained she was divorced, they told her she would have to contact her ex-husband to come and collect the kids, because she was under arrest.
Should that happen in Poland, the mother would most likely receive a warning and be sent home. At the most, she would be fined. Arresting a mother, particularly a single parent, seems absurd and harmful for the kids, but this goes even further in America. Arrested mothers are then tried and sentenced, for example, one of the women described on Salon.com was give a one year suspended sentence and a ban from leaving the city.
What would happen if irresponsible parents left a gun out and, for example, a 5-year-old boy shot his 2-year-old sister? Such accidents happen across America every year and over 100 children are the victims, but more often than not, there are no consequences. The laws in some states require adults to prevent kids’ access to guns, so, in theory, parents could be prosecuted for failing to do so. In practice, though, prosecutors rarely follow such laws, assuming that the death of a child (if he kills himself or a sibling) is enough punishment in itself.
In other states an instance of a child killing himself or another person is deemed an unfortunate accident and its investigation is closed. Parents face no consequences. Ridiculously, if an older child, for example, a 12-year-old boy accidentally shoots someone with his dad’s pistol, he might be charged with manslaughter!
The Power of the Gun Lobby
A bill proposed to prevent kids from having access to guns has been presented to Congress a number of times since as early as the 1990s. Should such a bill be passed, parents across all states would be liable for their kids’ gun crimes.
However, gun lobbyists have successfully blocked the bill. They reason that parents are not punished if their children get drunk, because, for example, they failed to lock up alcohol in a safe place, or if they get a hold of their parents’ car keys and end up killing someone when driving their parents’ cars. Parents are innocent in such cases and are victims of bad luck that they could not have prevented.