Peaceable Texans is a grass-roots organization of gun owners that did not exist as of February 1, 1994. Concern over recent trends at the federal level, fueled by a constant media barrage of anti-gun mis-information, awakened gun owners all across the nation to the very real threat to the American tradition of private firearms ownership as it has been known for the past 200 years. Many other gun ban bills were pending in Congress that contained a gun-hater's wish list of prohibitions, taxes, licenses, and fees. Before the historic elections of 1994, the gun-hating faction was beginning to tear at the very heart of the Second Amendment; since that election, they have returned to their old practice of nibbling around its edges. For example, several anti-gun provisions made their way into law in the anti-terrorism legislation and appropriations bills in the 104th, 105th, and 106th Republican controlled (and supposedly "gun friendly") Congress. Unfortunately, the fight for our rights may never cease, since the gun-haters will not concede, neither can we.
Current Proposals: We oppose all gun "control" initiatives of any sort. We believe the Second Amendment means what it says, and protects the right of the common citizen to bear arms in defense of self, property, and the civil order. This means all firearms, not ones that some anti-gun lobby considers legitimate for "sport." The Second Amendment was not designed to protect sports. It is instead designed to protect the ability of the people to access legitimate means of force to prevent common crime, foreign invasion, and, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, "as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
Semi-automatic rifles have been around since the late 1800's. They are nothing new. They do not figure prominently in crime. The FBI, for example, has never kept statistics on their use in crime, because rifles of all descriptions constitute only about 4% of gun-related crime. The FBI's Uniform Crime Report lists all murders committed in the US each year. Here are some typical annual statistics on semi-auto rifles used in murders:
|Type of Weapon||1992||1993|
|Rifles (of any type)||698||754|
|Hands & Feet||1,114||1,161|
You read that right; each year fewer people are killed with rifles than with bare hands and feet! Yet the mainstream news media constantly told the public that "Semi-automatic assault weapons are the preferred weapons of gangs and drug dealers." This is simply modern propaganda, without factual foundation. It is nothing more than a creation of the anti-gun lobby which has been endlessly repeated by an uncritical--or simply biased--media establishment. The fact is that the majority of firearm homicides are committed with revolvers. See Bureau of Justice Statistics, Selected Findings, "Guns Used in Crime," July, 1995 (NCJ-148201) p. 5.
At last count some 20,000 gun "control" laws have been enacted in this nation over the past 30 years, yet crime has continued to spiral upward since the 1960's. Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that these laws are a demonstrable failure. It is indisputable that these laws only affect the portion of the population that is inclined to obey the law, and therefore have little if any impact on the criminal element. This explains why they have proven to be wholly ineffective against violent crime. Legitimate gun owners are understandably tired of being blamed for causing crime.
The best defense is a good offense, as the old saying goes, and we intend to remain active despite the recent electoral upheaval at the Congressional level. The fact remains that we have been losing the fight for 30 years, and unless we begin to repeal some of the laws that have been enacted, we will only face more of the same in the years ahead. By pushing our own agenda to repeal gun control laws enacted in the past, such as the 1968 Gun Control Act, we hope to force the anti-gun factions to expend their resources on defending the laws they already have. A quick review of the legislative proposals that have been introduced in Congress and State Legislatures across the country will confirm the true motives of the firearm prohibition movement. Since they have been entirely dishonest about semi-automatic rifles, (among others) there is every reason to question the sincerity of their expressions of their own intents and purposes that they only desire "reasonable" restrictions to keep guns out of "the wrong hands."
Make no mistake, their goal is total prohibition. Like alcohol prohibition and in many respects drug prohibition, gun prohibition will have no effect on crime, but will only injure the rights of the law abiding. We continue to organize ourselves across the state. In 1994 we organized several rallies in 7 Texas cities and at the State Capitol. We published and distributed a "Gun Owners Voter's Guide" each election year since 1994. We will continue to organize local groups across the state who are ready to respond with demonstrations, press releases, phone calls to legislators, registering voters, and making recommendations in political races. If you wish to actually do something more than send your money to the NRA, then please let us know who you are!
The Second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Austin History Center in Downtown Austin (9th & Guadalupe).
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CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-476-2299 fax: 476-4974
Our Address: 1122 Colorado St., Ste. 2320, Austin, TX 78701.