Monday, June 11, 2012


Are you paying attention, fellow Texas Democrats? Something very disturbing has happened in Houston during the TDP 2012 State Convention.

The newest incarnation of the Texas Democratic Party platform, which you can view and download in PDF format at this link, contains the most stridently anti-Second Amendment rhetoric I have ever seen included in any incarnation of the TDP platform. It's as though our party turned back the clock to the fateful year of 1994.

I direct your attention to pages 27-28 in particular, as well as page 31. The following passages appear:

(pp. 27-28)

To continue the fight against crime, and to make our streets and homes safer, Texas Democrats support just and smart policies, including:
∙ strengthen the national Brady background check system to incorporate all necessary records including criminal, domestic violence, mental health records, and terror watch lists;
∙ institute a universal background check system to ensure that all firearm sales are subject to a Brady background check;
∙ sensible gun control laws to curtail the availability of automatic weapons and extended magazines...

(p. 31)

We support:
∙ legislation to preserve the right to self-­‐defense while restoring the duty to retreat when outside of the home to discourage and prevent vigilantism

(All boldface emphasis mine)

There are other provisions in the 2012 TDP platform that you might consider equally offensive to your Second Amendment rights, but I wanted to bring these to your attention. As I am certain much discussion will result from this platform's contents, I see no need to elaborate on the problems with these policies at this time.

My sources have informed me that one member of the Platform Committee tried to serve as the voice of reason, only to be given dirty looks by other Committee members just because this particular individual professed to be "pro-gun."

Much in the 2012 TDP platform deserves to be lauded, including its expanded take on human and civil rights, but these stridently anti-Second Amendment stances threaten to derail the entire train and working against our Democratic candidates statewide. It broke my heart to cast a vote against adoption of this platform on the convention floor in Houston.

The next TDP State Convention is scheduled to take place in Dallas in 2014. That gives us two years to prepare for what needs to be done. Now is not the time to bolt from the party that is supposed to represent our shared values as Texans. Now is the time to start healing the breach and reaffirming that the Texas Democratic Party shall reflect the values of all Texas Democrats.

We all got caught with our guard down, myself included. We must never allow this to happen again.

More to come in the following days, including a report on the 2012 Gun Owners Caucus Election Meeting.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gun Owners Caucus Election Meeting - Friday, June 8 in Houston

It has been way too long since I posted anything about the Gun Owners Caucus, but we are having our Election Meeting at the 2012 Texas Democratic Party State Convention in Houston next month. Here are the details:

Location: George Brown Convention Center, Room 370 DEF
Date: Friday, June 8, 2012
Time: 10:00am CDT

All of your Caucus officers are up for re-election at the meeting, so I encourage all Democratic convention delegates and alternates who are interested in gun rights to please show up. We will also be having a long-overdue conversation about the future of this Caucus and where we go from here, which the elections will go a long way towards establishing.

As always, if you are a Democratic candidate for Federal or state office who wises to say a few words, you're welcome to drop by and visit us. See you there!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Concealed Handguns at Texas Colleges?

The Huffington Post is reporting on a bill to allow students to carry concealed handguns on college campuses in Texas.

Last year, as many of you are aware, the Texas Democratic Party passed a resolution opposing CHLs on campus, and the 2010 TDP platform even contains a clause stating that college campuses should be "weapon-free." You may or may not agree with the offical stance of the TDP, but as Chair of the Gun Owners Caucus, I felt it was important for you to have this information at hand so you can make your own decisions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tracee Larson on NPR program discussing "high-capacity" magazines

Our former Vice-Chair, Tracee Larson, was on Monday's episode of NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook discussing proposed legislation against over-10-round magazines along with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign, and attorney Robert Levy. Please click on the link if you're interested in hearing the program.

You can also read more of Tracee's own comments on her blog, The Well-Heeled Shooter.

Those of you who attended the Caucus Meeting last June at the TDP State Convention may remember the Caucus awarding a 30-round AR magazine as one of our door prizes. Your Chair disagrees with Tracee's position on gun magazines holding more than 10 rounds (and he owns a few 30-round magazines himself), but he supports Tracee's right to speak her mind on this issue.

All my best to Tracee.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

82nd Texas Legislature convenes today

Another 140 days of fun and games in Austin begins today with a diminished Democratic presence in the state legislature. Will keep you posted on gun-related bills as information develops.

Hope everyone had a peaceful holiday season!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A long-overdue update

Like many of you, I too am still reeling from the drubbing that Texas Democrats across the state took at the ballot box this month. We had a lot of great candidates on the slate, and many of them were very supportive of our Second Amendment rights. The best advice I can offer is that after the holiday season, we immediately concentrate all of our available efforts on 2012.

Speaking of available efforts, I have been absent from this blog for way too long. There are several reasons for this, chief among them the aftermath of my wife's death and the loss of my job. I'm having to adjust to a lot of life changes, but some changes are easier to take than others. Please bear with me - as long as the Gun Owners Caucus can stand to have me at the helm, I'll be here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

US Supreme Court rules on MCDONALD V. CHICAGO, strikes down Chicago handgun ban

You can download the PDF of the McDonald ruling here.

In a nutshell, today's ruling extends protection of Second Amendment rights to state law instead of just Federal law as decided in 2008's Heller case.

This is a landmark decision in the annals of gun legislation in America, and it has strengthened the position of gun owners all across our nation.

More to come as the details unfold. I was on the beach in Port Aransas when the Supreme Court issued their ruling, so I'm playing a little catch-up at this point. Please bear with me.