AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
I’ve had a number of people take issue with a post I wrote regarding the Texas Speaker of the House. The speaker claims that gun rights activists visited his home, thus creating a threatening situation especially for his wife and kids who were home alone.
Some have noted that the activists in question tell a very different story, which creates something of a “he said/she said” situation.
Except, I think I owe an apology to Texas gun rights activist Chris McNutt.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think dropping in uninvited at a lawmaker’s home is still a bad way to win friends and influence people. I can see how someone could have that happen to them and interpret it as threatening.
Anyone who does that deserves all the scorn they can get.
The problem is, it doesn’t look like that’s quite how McNutt and company “visited” the speaker’s home.
Lone Star Gun Rights, a Texas-based gun rights group not affiliated with McNutt’s group, took to their site to explain what happened. You see, while McNutt isn’t necessarily part of their group, they’re in the same fight. As such, there’s friendly interaction, including discussion of efforts. It seems the story they got in real time is very different than what Speaker Dennis Bonnen gave.
Chris McNutt is the Executive Director for Texas Gun Rights. TXGR is not affiliated with LSGR, rather they are the Texas affiliate of National Association for Gun Rights. We have worked closely with Chris, and know him very well on a personal level, so it is not uncommon for us to share our plans. Chris had told us that he was planning to place flyers in several neighborhoods in the districts of Rep. Four Price, Rep. Dustin Burrows, Speaker Bonnen, and their major donors. The flyer had very similar wording of our Facebook posts mentioned above. Below are screenshots from Chris’ various Facebook livestreams where he explained exactly where he was and what he was doing.
Speaker Bonnen’s neighborhood was hit last, and by this time, Rep. Burrows and Rep. Price had already been informed of the existence of the flyers. It was easy for them to know that Speaker Bonnen’s neighborhood would be the next stop, so what happened next was clearly a trap. Speaker Bonnen had called for DPS protection at his home, and after a week, he contacted the news media with the “story” that a crazy gun rights activist had targeted his home and intimidated his family. The story carried by all of the national media outlets, like Fox News, said that Chris had “showed up to Bonnen’s home in Lake Jackson on Wednesday to question why the bill had stalled.” This isn’t even close to the truth, and is clearly an attempt to use Chris as a scapegoat for killing Constitutional Carry, which Bonnen finally admitted to the Dallas Morning News, that he felt it was a “bad policy.” (so much for him being an “advocate for Texan’s 2nd Amendment Rights”).
Chris texted LSGR Founders Justin Delosh, AJ Postell, along with myself the day that he went to Speaker Bonnen’s neighborhood explaining his “incident” with Texas State Troopers at his house. Here is the screenshot of that text, along with three screenshots from Chris’ phone showing timestamped GPS tracking of his location during the three days he was canvassing neighborhoods.
The images are in the above-linked post.
In other words, while McNutt did “visit” Bonnen’s address, it was simply part of a normal canvas to hand out fliers. Not only that, but McNutt’s text says that there were already troopers posted outside the residence.
How can a visit be threatening when there’s a police presence?
To Chris McNutt, I offer my apologies. I won’t offer excuses for going off on the media’s report. I have none.
To Speaker Dennis Bonnen, understand something here and now. Lone Star Gun Rights has outlined some of your shenanigans on this bill, as well as your claims that constitutional carry is “bad policy.” Couple that with your claims that McNutt’s visit was a threat and it’s clear that you’re no friend of gun owners.
If you want to erase that stain from your name, you’d best step up and start working to give this bill a vote. You’d best give it everything you have because I promise you one thing, the people of Texas won’t forget. They won’t forget because I’m more than willing to work with every Texas gun rights group out there to remind them.