The 2nd Amendment is Not a Philosophical Belief; It Is a Constitutional Guarantee pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/01…
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 11, 2013
Right Online Texas is hosting a Social Media Bootcamp here in Austin today (so that we don’t have to sit at home and watch the second immaculation of Obama). One of the guest speakers is Texas’ longest serving Attorney General, Greg Abbott.
I was graciously given about 20 minutes for a one-on-one interview with Gen. Abbott, where we talked about the second amendment, and how he and his office are fighting to preserve our rights from a federal government and Liberal establishment that is bent on diminishing and eliminating or God-given rights to self-preservation.
A History of Fighting for Our Rights
Attorney General Abbott, an avid hunter and sportsman, is not just an advocate of the second amendment, he’s an active practitioner.
In the last few years, Gen. Abbott filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller v. D.C. court case and he also authored a brief on behalf of 38 state attorneys general that defended law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, in the McDonald v. City of Chicago case. The landmark case involves a constitutional challenge to the City of Chicago’s prohibitions on handgun possession.
More recently, Gen. Abbott has made the news when the Austin City Council threatened to ban gun shows on Travis County-owned property. Within a day, Gen. Abbott used Twitter to go on the offensive:
If Austin or Travis Co. try to ban gun shows they better be ready for a double-barreled lawsuit. shar.es/4cOOy
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 9, 2013
That tweet went viral quickly, hitting El Paso, Beaumont, Wichita Falls, and Brownsville, and within a week, the city council had backed down.
The second issue came on the heels of NY Governor Mario Cuomo signing into law the most restrictive gun regulations in the country. On the same day as Gov. Cuomo was signing that law, Gen. Abbott plastered the following digital add all over New York:
Let’s Talk About the 83rd Lege
After introducing myself, I told Gen. Abbott that I primarily wanted to talk about the second amendment, and — more specifically — 2nd amendment-related bills that are being debated in the 83rd Texas Legislative session. He stopped me and asked to put the discussion into context, namely that the broader context was that we must fight for all of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. If you allow the second amendment to be infringed by the government, you have set the stage to allow them to infringe on all the others.
In discussing the bills likely to be debated in the 83rd lege, we talked specifically about Sen. Birdwell’s Campus Carry bill, Rep. George Levander’s Open Carry bill, Rep. John Otto’s bill to fight federal intrusion on our gun rights, as well as some of the lege being proposed by gun-grabbing Democrats like Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and Rep. Rodney Ellis.
Again, Gen. Abbott wanted to speak about all of these bill in a common context. And he stressed how important it is to get the facts and information in front of our lawmakers to allow them to make informed decisions and vote accordingly. For instance, in the case of expanding gun rights such as campus carry and open carry, Gen. Abbott noted that every time these types of laws are discussed, the opponents of expanded gun rights always play on the fear that we’ll resort to old fashioned “wild west” gun fights in the streets, and that we’ll see an increase in gun crimes and gun violence.
However, facts and history have shown exactly the opposite to be true. Look at the other 44 states where Open Carry is permitted. And note that there is no evidence to show or even suggest that open carry in these 44 states has led to any additional gun crimes.
As to specific topics/bills that we discussed:
Guns in the classrooms — It is my understanding that Texas already permits teachers and administrators to carry guns on their campuses, but that it left up to individual school districts to specifically permit it, such as the Harrold school district, which already allows it, and Union Grove , which just voted to allow it.
When discussing the viability of the state of Texas making it legal for teachers to carry guns, Gen. Abbot said that there is some ambiguity in current law, and that he hopes the 83rd lege will clear it up (by permitting it).
He firmly stated that, at the end of this lege session, “we will have more and better armed security” in our schools.” Whether that be armed teachers or armed security guards. He noted that the most economical approach would be to allow teachers to carry, as they’re already there and getting paid. Many are already legal CHL holders, and would require only a bit of additional training geared on issues related to carrying guns in a school setting.
Open Carry — As many of you know, one of my pet issues is open carry. I mentioned to Gen. Abbott that I’ve discussed open carry with Gov. Perry, who admits that he is not a fan of open carry. And, while he wouldn’t veto any legislation that reached his desk permitting Open Carry, he does not advocate for it.
During our discussion about Open Carry, Gen. Abbott acknowledged that he believes that prohibitions on allowing citizens to open carry likely do fall under the category of an infringement on our rights.
Fighting the Federal Government — We briefly discussed Rep. John Otto’s bill, which would prohibit federal intrusion into the gun rights of Texas citizens. Gen. Abbott assured me that he would fight any federal laws that attempt to infringe on our rights to keep and bear guns. I asked him how much teeth Rep. Otto’s law would have, and would he expect Eric Holder’s Justice Department to sue Texas if we did pass such a law. Gen Abbott’s response: There will be a lawsuit. The question is, who will be suing who — will we be suing the Federal Government, or will they be suing us.
Based on Gen. Abbott’s history in suing the federal government, I’d put my money on him. In fact, Gen. Abbott humorously noted this morning, that his typical day at work consists of, “Go to the office, sue Barrack Obama, go home.”
The Future for Greg Abbott
There is a lot of speculation about “what’s next?” for our Attorney General. Specifically, there is speculation that he is planning on running for Governor in 2014. So I asked him directly about that.
He replied, “No comment,” but then quickly followed up with a reminder that the next five months is his focus, watching the bills that become law in the 83rd Texas Lege, and ensuring that they protect , rather than infringe, on the rights of Texas citizens.
Interestingly, he noted that “politics will work themselves out” over that time and after the session ends. Which, seems to me to indicate that he knows or believes how things are going to shake out across the state in terms of who is running and who is not for offices, such as Governor, Lt. Gov., Comptroller, etc.
Personally, I’m convinced that he’s running. In fact, I think that his ad campaign in New York was a clever ploy to get his name in the media, and to start drawing attention to the differences in Texas vs New York, much in the same way that Gov. Rick Perry draws attention to the differences between Texas and California.
If Gen. Abbott does become the next Governor of Texas, I’m confident that we’ll have another strong Conservative fighting for our rights from the Governor’s mansion.