An atmosphere of intimidation

Life in the AnomalUSA.

Licensed gun owners can now bring their firearms into Texas’ 10 state psychiatric hospitals.

Until this year, guns were banned at the state-run facilities, which house people with serious mental illnesses. No one — visitors, delivery people and the like — could bring firearms anywhere on the hospitals’ campuses. Even local law enforcement officers, who were allowed to bring their weapons into the facilities, regularly lock up their guns before entering Austin State Hospital out of an abundance of caution. That isn’t expected to change.

But. You can hear the “but” coming.

But state officials say two new laws made it clear to them that they can’t keep guns off the hospitals’ campuses. The open carry law allows gun license holders to openly carry their firearms. A second law fines state agencies for wrongly hanging “no guns” signs.

Hospitals are asking people not to, but asking is all they’re allowed to do. There’s only so much asking one wants to do with someone sporting a gun in a holster.

Terry Holcomb, founder and executive director of Texas Carry, joined other gun rights activists in saying that the state is wrong to blame the open carry law for allowing guns on the hospital campuses. The activists say even before that law, license holders were free to take their guns on those campuses and that the state’s ban at the psychiatric hospitals was an illegal infringement on gun owners’ rights.

The psychiatric hospital gun issue comes at a time when Texans are just beginning to use a new law allowing those with a gun license to carry firearms in a belt or a holster without concealing them. Supporters say it will enhance public safety, though studies they have cited fall short of proving that to be fact. Opponents maintain that it will create an atmosphere of intimidation.

But we know that nobody ever pulls a gun in a fit of rage, we know there are no impulsive murders committed when people are drunk or high or in a temper or power-crazed, we know we can trust absolutely everybody to be reasonable and ethical with the guns on their hips.

Hahahaha just kidding. No we don’t. We know the opposite. We know that people do flip out, and we know it’s not a good idea to make murder so easy that it can be committed before the flipped out person can stop to reflect.

But this is Amurrika, so we do the wrong thing anyway and call it “rights.”

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