Dr. Rashawn Ray, you started your position with the following statement:
“I think that Texas is one of those states that essentially allows Gun Owners to become Vigilantes and do whatever they want to do and to be Mavericks if you will.”
When you spoke about Gun Laws being least restrictive in churches and schools, the Law is set like that in order to give those people whom you called “disenfranchised” a fighting chance. Guns that are used to commit Mass Shootings/Murders in these institutions and others are imported in. So, if the people who are actually attending these institutions have the ability to be legally armed before a Subject starts their mass shooting campaign, it levels the playing field by increasing the odds of survival for the would-be victims of these premeditated attacks.
When it comes to School Marshals, in order for one to become a School Marshall here in the State of Texas, you have to first be employed by the school in which you wish to serve; which means you have to undergo a background check and then once officially hired, you have to attend School Marshall training that is presided over by the State of Texas. School Marshall training is typically a weeklong course which covers a wide variety of topics and includes simulations that will aid the School Marshall in the performance of their official duties.
The reason why Landlords and Property Owners cannot restrict their Tenants from not having firearms in their homes is because it violates the fundamental Rights and Liberties of the Tenants who would be legally covered by the States “Castle Doctrine”. So no, it does not strip away the Rights of the Landlords and Property Owners. Even more so, this does not give the Tenants any more power than they already have when compared to the power currently held by the Landlords or Property Owners. Now, granted the NRA does pay off Military Officials and Politicians but that does not have any bearing on the fact that you have the legal Right to protect and defend yourself with a firearm while being legally justified in doing so while inside your own home, car, place of business or nightly domicile while residing in Texas.
When you say that we need additional Laws and Protocols put into place, I can tell you that there isn’t much more we can do. First, the overwhelming majority of gun sales require a background check on both the State and Federal levels for the exception of private sales (which I wish would change). But even more than that, another reason is that Police and Law-Enforcement are “reactive” and not “proactive”; meaning they have to wait until a crime has been committed in order for them to act or “Serve” (which is a legal term).
In support of your efforts I as a Sociologist, former Mental Health Provider and Gun Owner can confidently say Mental Health Background Checks should be significantly upgraded. However, Mental Health Background Checks only inform us of the Subjects’ mind during the time the test was taken and not 3 years down the line. Red Flag Laws are great. However, one’s state of mind can change from one state to another right after the gun is returned to the “suspected Future Offender” operating in a Pre-Criminal Space, after the Police Investigation ends. In short what I’m telling you is that you simply cannot “Police” this.
You stated that:
“Gun Owners have the ability to police other people in ways that shouldn’t be happening.”
Well first it should be known that the average Citizen can “Police” other people in many States under the Law of the “Citizen’s Arrest”, and you don’t even need a gun to enforce that Law. In fact, you can be a Felon and perform a Citizen’s Arrest in most States. But what I find interesting is that you used the following words:
“In ways that shouldn’t be happening.”
I can’t help but be curious as to what you mean by that. I only hope that you can and will clarify that for me and the view audience in the near future. I will agree with you on the position that Politicians tend to place personal profit over people. However, this is the way the “Political Game” has always been played - so it shouldn’t be a surprise in this day and age. I would like to know if you have a viable or alternative solution to either lessen or prevent political practices like these from reoccurring in the future?
You asked a great question:
“When are we going to start valuing human life?”
I think that we already value human life which is why people are afforded the “Liberty” of both Concealed and Open Carry of a firearm on their Person and within the confines of their homes, cars, places of business and worship and schools. Here in Texas and other States around the country we have Police Officers, Constables and School Resource Officers (specialized Police Officers) in just about every school.
The more important issue should be:
“How do we ensure that people who practice Concealed Carry and or Open Carry have the necessary and relevant training needed to operate their weapons when they are needed.”
But here’s a little-known fact that you may not be aware of. Legally It’s not the Police or the Law-Enforcement Officers job to protect you – that’s your job. It’s always been your job; this is why the State of Texas is loosening the Law.
With that being said, I don’t want the media to make it seem like the State of Texas just rushed and passed the new set of Laws just hours after these Mass Shootings took place. In order to pass a Bill into law, it takes time. So, when the Mainstream Media makes it seem like the State of Texas just rushed and passed a new Law, it’s very misleading, intellectually dishonest reporting and out right deceptive journalism. But then again that’s because legally there are no Laws on the books that state news outlets have to report the “truth”.
As a fellow Sociologist and Professor of Sociology, I’m glad to see you speak on this hot button issue. However, as passionate as you seem to be, unfortunately you do not possess the proper insight or knowledge base required to diagnose or provide a viable solution regarding the social pathology of Gun Violence or Mass Shootings. I sincerely would like to meet with you and work with you in the near future regarding this social pathology. Remember the words of our Founding Father Auguste Comte and I’m paraphrasing:
"We [Sociologist] are the High Priest of society."
Michael D. Thervil M.A. Sociology
(Lucien R. Black™)