Wendy Davis jumps the gun on open carry
In the world of politics where everybody bends the truth to sway the vote in their favor, it’s hard to distinguish whether someone is voicing their own opinions or the opinions of the popular masses.
For this reason, when a government official shows signs of moving against the grain, there is always drama to follow.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is the most recent politician to turn a few heads.
Heads are generally turned when officials have idiotic points of view, when politicians agree with viewpoints of the opposing party and when representatives actually seem to have a mind of their own.
Davis is accustomed to getting attention for her strong-willed opinions. Most people know Davis as the rooted politician who — during an 11-hour filibuster — attempted to delay the Texas Senate’s proposed abortion regulations.
During these hours, Davis showed that she could remain strong to her convictions; however, in light of recent events, this may have been the last time she stuck to her convictions.
In a clichéd nutshell, let us say that Democratic candidates are typically known to be pro-choice and anti-gun, while Republican candidates are stereotyped to be pro-life and pro-gun.
Recently, Davis has been gaining attention for her swaying stance on gun control. She went against the Democratic grain when she declared that she agreed with her opponent, Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott, on openly carrying a gun.
Open carry is the opposite of having a concealed handgun license. If this law were to be passed, individuals would be allowed not only to carry a handgun, but to proudly display it on their persons in public.
Statistics by votesmart.org show that on May 9, 2011, Davis voted against a bill allowing concealed handguns on campuses. However, on April 30, 2013, she did vote to allow authorized firearms in vehicles on college campuses.
In addition, not only is her backtracking on previous convictions jarring, but it is unsettling — and ridiculous — to see the drama unfold.
Because Davis chose to support a stance from the opposing party, constituents are accusing Davis of doing what most politicians are guilty of — pandering to citizens to gain favorable votes.
With this decision, Davis has entered unfriendly terms with both major parties. Members of the Democratic Party disagree with her over-zealous decision, and members of the Republican Party believe this attitude makes her more unreliable and untrustworthy as a government official.
An article by inquisitr.com documented Davis’ carefully constructed words concerning open carry.
Careful to remain partially neutral, as to not rock the vote, Davis said that “the state government should be sensitive to private property owners (including governmental, education, religious, health care, and other institutional facilities) to determine whether to allow open carry on their own properties.”
From these words, Davis has managed to place her vote in favor of open carry while simultaneously stating that the right to open carry would be decided by individual property holders.
Davis’ to-and-fro attitude about guns is not the main issue with this controversy. The main issue is the actual issue of open carry laws. Now, we have not just one candidate vying for the chance to allow all of Texas to visibly carry their guns on their hips; we have two.
If a politician is going to flop on their stances, they should stick to something that is a little safer for the public.
Furthermore, whether or not one agrees with the particular opinion expressed by certain members of government, one feels the brief swell of respect for the politician who advocates for something they believe in.
When Davis advocated for women’s rights to choose whether to have abortions, I was able to respect her for diligently speaking for something she so obviously believed in. Still, there is no respect for an individual who half-heartedly supports a cause to gain votes.
Supporters of open carry often point out that most states allow some form of open carry — even if restrictive.
According to opencarry.org, Texas is one of five states that allows no form of open carry.
I am not pro-open carry, but I am a proponent of CHLs. The key word within CHL is the “concealed” option. It would be better suited for the public’s safety if there were gun carriers, but not visible gun carriers.
Aside from assuming that there would be extensive background and mental checks in order to openly carry a handgun, having a handgun proudly displayed would make these gun holders susceptible to robbery. If people were able to waltz around with a gun openly presented their hip, it would leave more room for error than good.
We already have enough senseless gun violence without one worrying about a gun being swiped from a holster or someone losing their cool during a confrontation.
Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism major and may be reached at [email protected]