A Short History of Gun Control in Texas

Debates about gun control are nothing new to Texas. There have been several gun control episodes in our history. The first was when the Mexican troops demanded the weapons belonging to the Green DeWitt colonists. Under the promise that the weapons would be returned, the colonists surrendered their firearms. The firearms were returned, although not in working condition. They had all be rendered inoperable.

The Mexican government was not nice. Under the guise of collecting taxes, former convicts and desperadoes were placed in the uniform of the Mexican army and sent to Texas. The troops declared martial law in effect whenever they wished, imprisoned people without cause and often insisted that the Texans protect themselves against border threats from Indians rather than offer protection. Thus, the stage was set for further problems.

The second episode occurred in Nacogdoches, when Mexican forces demanded that the colonists turn in their weapons. They refused. With the refusal, the government forces resorted to using force, which led to a shoot out resulting in the Mexican troops being chased out of the city.

The next episode occurred at Gonzales, in 1835, when Mexican troops demanded the return of a cannon and for all firearms to be turned in. This incident became the “Lexington of Texas’ and sparked the fighting of the War for Texas Independence. We won that war and gained independence, taking our place as freemen in the world.

What I find interesting is that many of these incidents are hard to find on the internet or missing from government textbooks which makes them hard to find and pass on to our children. It is hard to pass on a heritage, when you do not know what that heritage is.

In the 20th century, let us not forget Ann Richards, who wanted gun control, yet used photo ops to make it look as though she supported gun liberties. In the aftermath of the Luby’s shooting, she vetoed an effort for Texans to vote on whether to have a concealed carry law. She did not want the people to have their say and did not want them to have guns in public. Although she personally met with Sarah Brady, she refused meeting Susana Gratia who survived the Luby’s shooting. (Ann’s priorities were showing). Richards also quipped “Well, you know that I am not a sexist, but there is not a woman in this state who could find a gun in her handbag.” Fortunatley times have changed and now many Texas women can find such items in their handbags.

Liberty for Texas!

JM

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