Concealed Carry Expo A Hit With TX Gun Owners

When Constitutional Carry took effect in Texas back on September 1st, one of the common complaints from gun control activists and even some law enforcement was that huge numbers of folks would soon be walking around with guns and no idea how to safely or responsibly use them.

There’s been little evidence to back up those claims over the past month. In fact, some firearms instructors say they’ve seen more interest in basic pistol courses over the past few weeks, and this past weekend thousands of gun owners flocked to the convention center in Fort Worth for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association’s Concealed Carry & Home Defense Expo.

On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Kevin Kevin Michalowski, who’s the Director of Media for the USCCA joins me to talk about the expo and its attendees, as well as why the fears of the anti-gun crowd are unfounded when it comes to carrying in self-defense.

As Michalowski points out, just because legal gun owners no longer need a license in order to lawfully carry a firearm in Texas, that doesn’t mean that the responsibilities surrounding the right to carry have changed. And in fact, if you’re carrying without a license in Texas you do open yourself up to a few more restrictions that you don’t have to worry about if you continue to possess a valid Concealed Handgun License. Beyond that, there’s the simple fact that the vast majority of people aren’t going to carry a gun around unless they feel confident that they’re not going to accidentally shoot themselves or anyone else.

Getting rid of a training mandate, as the state of Texas did when it adopted permitless carry, doesn’t get rid of the utility or desire for training, and Michalowski proved that point when he noted that the training sessions were packed during the USCCA expo this past weekend.

As for who showed up for the expo, according to Michalowski it was a diverse crowd. That also stands to reason given the growing number of gun owners since March of last year, but it’s good to see that these folks aren’t just buying guns and putting them on shelves or in gun safes. Many of these new gun owners have actively embraced their Second Amendment rights, and they’re thirsty for knowledge and training to help them not only become better shots, but more effective activists.

This, of course, drives some on the Left absolutely crazy. Take this hot take from author Stephen Lyons, who recently compared living in Texas to living under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Within 24 hours of the United States pulling out of Afghanistan, ending a 20-year war and turning over the country to the Taliban, the brutal crackdown immediately began in earnest.

Women would no longer have control over their own bodies and, if caught, they would be jailed, or worse.

In addition, any neighbor, relative, or stranger could snitch on any disobedient woman who wanted to break free of the yoke of misogynistic patriarchy. These vigilantes could also turn in sympathetic doctors that assisted these oppressed women.

Voting was so severely restricted that the party in power could maintain control over the populace in perpetuity. These restrictions were aimed at minority groups whose populations had grown over the past 20 years.

Guns could be openly carried on the streets; no training or permit necessary. And there was no limit on the number of firearms and ammo one could possess. Because of widespread religious and cultural beliefs and buoyed by a propaganda-driven distrust of modern science, people refused life-saving vaccines, allowing the rampant spread of the coronavirus, especially in rural areas.

It was so sad to watch what had begun as a unique experiment in democracy turn into a toxic combination of theocracy, autocracy, and corporate corruption.

What kind of country does this? What sort of nation stacks the highest judicial arbitrator in the land — its Supreme Court — with unqualified political toadies who serve on bended knee, blessing anti-democratic laws according to the whims and wishes of corporate and religious fundamentalists?

This is the kind of country the United States of America has become.

Texas and Florida, specifically, and many of the states south of the Ohio River, have coerced their citizens into living under a repressive, Taliban-style government controlled by cynical white men and their rich, powerful corporate masters.

I hate to break it to Lyons, but when it comes to gun control, he and Taliban have much more in common than Greg Abbott does. After all, one of the first things that the Taliban did after they took over in Afghanistan was to confiscate guns from civilians. See, truly authoritarian regimes don’t trust the People with arms, because they might get the idea to fight back when their basic freedoms are stripped from them.

Texas hasn’t turned into war-torn Afghanistan since the start of Constitutional Carry, nor has it devolved into a dystopian Wild West hellscape. It’s pretty much the same place it was before September 1st, only now people don’t have to worry about being charged with a criminal offense for carrying concealed without a license. That sounds like the opposite of repression if you ask me, but the anti-gun left has never let the facts stand in the way of its fearmongering.

Dec 08, 2021 12:30 PM ET