The big story this week has been the Children of the Corn running amok in Missouri. I hope to have a longer piece on that by and by. In the meantime, enjoy your Friday LinkSwarm:
Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category
I wanted to take a closer look at a few off-year election issues from last week, specifically the Proposition 6 “Right to Hunt and Fish” Amendment.
Really, if you wanted a “safe” vote for people favoring gun control to cast, opposing Prop 6, a constitutional amendment that wouldn’t change a single law in hunting-friendly Texas, seems ideal.
Just look at how the Houston Chronicle sneered at the amendment’s supporters in an editorial opposing it: “This amendment…is the most ridiculous on the ballot…[it’s] essentially a paean to the ‘black helicopter’ crowd that’s eager to harry and harass legitimate conservation efforts in Texas.”
And after all the sneering by smart set urban liberals, how did Prop 6 do? It won with over 81% of the vote. Evidently more than four-fifths of Texans are part of “the black helicopter crowd.”
That’s some fringe group.
My quick scan of county-by-county results shows not a single county in Texas voted against Prop 6. In the smaller counties, Prop 6 passed by a ratio of about 10-1.
A liberal data wonk sent out this tweet while voting was still going on.
— kt musselman (@karltm) November 4, 2015
(Here’s a non-Tweet version of that map.)
That’s your gun control vote right there: A white liberal urban core. Prop 6 passed Travis County, the deepest blue white liberal bastion in the state, by 44,128 in favor to 28,797.
When actual citizens get to vote, gun control loses every time.
If gun control loses in Austin, it’s hard to see where it wins outside San Francisco and New York City.
Did you know that there’s a Texas constitutional amendment election November 3rd? Indeed there is, and early voting extends through tomorrow. Someone, I kept thinking, should do a roundup of what’s on the ballot.
It turns out that I am, in fact, someone.
The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $15,000 to $25,000, providing for a reduction of the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for those purposes on the homestead of an elderly or disabled person to reflect the increased exemption amount, authorizing the legislature to prohibit a political subdivision that has adopted an optional residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation from reducing the amount of or repealing the exemption, and prohibiting the enactment of a law that imposes a transfer tax on a transaction that conveys fee simple title to real property.
Recommendation: For. It’s a Republican amendment that lets homeowners keep more of their own money.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.
Recommendation: For. This passed the House unanimously and has garnered no real opposition.
The constitutional amendment repealing the requirement that state officers elected by voters statewide reside in the state capital.
The offices that would be affected by the repeal are the Attorney General, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner and ‘any statutory State officer who is elected by the electorate of Texas at large.’ The Texas Governor, Texas Lieutenant Governor, Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals would still be required to live in the capital as mandated by other constitutional provisions.
Recommendation: For. This Amendment recognizes that it’s the 21st century and not the 19th. There’s no reason state officials can’t serve effectively even while living elsewhere. And anything that gets them away from capitol groupthink is a good thing.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles.
Under current law, only nonprofit organizations can hold raffles, which took effect after voters passed Proposition 15 in 1989.
The amendment would apply to teams in the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League. Raffles would only be allowed at home games of the sports teams associated with the foundations.
House Joint Resolution 73, the enabling legislation for the amendment, outlines who could hold a raffle, how a raffle could be conducted and penalties for breaking the rules. The measure also mandates how the raffle revenue would be allocated:
- 50 percent or less would be awarded to the raffle winner
- 40 percent or more would be donated to charity
- 10 percent or less could be used for raffle operating expenses
No Recommendation. The fact that the convoluted nature of the Texas constitution even requires a constitutional amendment concerning professional sports teams is somewhat irksome. On the plus side: More money for charities, less government prohibitions, and the scope for abuse seems small. On the minus side, it may open the door for gambling industry interests down the road, and a significant number of very conservative legislators (including Konni Burton and Don Huffines) voted against it.
The constitutional amendment to authorize counties with a population of 7,500 or less to perform private road construction and maintenance.
Recommendation: For. While I’m always suspicious of using public money on private ventures, the Texas Constitution already allows counties with 5,000 or fewer residents to perform such construction, it’s usually for safety reasons, and the law requires both land owner permission and for them to reimburse the county for the work, so the scope for possible abuse seems small.
The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation.
Recommendation: For. The NRA is fully behind this amendment, it provides a bit of a legal bulwark against overreaching federal regulators, and it’s driving the the usual urban gun grabbers buggy. What’s not to like?
The constitutional amendment dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund to provide funding for nontolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt.
Recommendation: For. I’m always suspicious when industry sources flood my mailbox with pro-proposition flyers, which has been the case this year for Props 1 (realtors love it) and 7 (looks like the road construction industry). However, this is a case where the money does actually need to be spent to keep up with road infrastructure growth and maintenance needs, it limits discretionary (read: pork) spending by future legislatures, and is a better funding mechanism than drawing from the rainy day fund (which was authorized by a 2014 amendment).
Huh. It’s rare I support all the Constitutional Amendments on a ballot. I may have to cast a No vote on Prop 4, just on general principle…
Time for another Texas vs. California update:
This is a reminder that Dwight Brown of Whipped Cream Difficulties and I are putting on a gunny/VRWC blog shooting meetup/Tweetup at the Eagle Peak Gun Range in Leander on Saturday, October 10, at 5 PM, to be followed by a group dinner at the Oasis at 7 PM. Bring ear and eye protection as well as any weapon you’d like to shoot (no full metal jacket ammo, as per range rules). You can come to the shoot and skip dinner, or vice versa.
If you’re interested in attending, drop me a line (lawrenceperson at gmail dot com) so I know how many people to expect at the range and for dinner).
If you want to attend tomorrow’s blogshoot/meetup/tweetup, try to drop me a line (lawrenceperson at gmail dot com) so I’ll know how many will attend.
Now the LinkSwarm:
This didn’t seem to get much national play, but the murderers of border patrol agent Brian Terry were convicted:
Two men were convicted of murder charges Thursday in the killing of a Border Patrol agent whose death brought to light the bungled federal gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious.
The jury found Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Ivan Soto-Barraza, guilty of all counts. They face a sentence of life in prison.
The 2010 killing of agent Brian Terry exposed the Fast and Furious operation in which agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking the weapons. But the agency lost most of the guns, including two that were found at scene of Terry’s death.
It is my understanding that both Sanchez-Meza and Soto-Barraza are illegal aliens. It is also my understanding that no one in the BATF has been fired over Fast and Furious…
How about a short LinkSwarm to get the Friday LinkSwarm back on Friday?
Chalk up another win of the rule of law over irrational hoplophobia:
“Houston Zoo in Texas came under fire recently for signs near its entrance that say the zoo bans guns, leading to the zoo being forced to take the signs down altogether”
“The Houston Zoo said that on Sept. 10 the City of Houston asked the zoo to remove their 30.06 signage, which bans guns from the zoo. They said it was because the land in which the zoo is operated independently on is, in fact, city-owned.”
I’m glad Texas’ recently-passed gun laws are having the clarifying affect on local municipalities the legislature intended.
And where are all those liberals loftily invoking “It’s the law!” over Kim Davis praising the Houston Zoo for obeying the law?
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)