If every U.S. citizen born, raised, and/or living outside of Texas took an exam to test their knowledge about the stereotypes of the Lone Star State, most would probably at least get one question correct: the one that asks about how much Texans love owning and using their guns.
The answer? Apparently way too much.
More specifically, Texas law allows its citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights and use deadly force to an extent that even gun aficionados should feel uncomfortable with.
What we have recently discovered is that not only can you defend yourself with a gun, but if an escort rips you off, you can feel free to shoot him or her down
That is how the story played out for Ezekiel Gilbert, a Texas man who murdered a 23-year-old escort he met off Craigslist when she took $150 in payment yet refused to have sex with him. The gunshot wounds left her paralyzed and she died seven months later. His punishment? None, because according to Texas law, a person has the right "to use deadly force to recover stolen property during a nighttime theft."
As a native Texan, I am troubled by the ease with which a person could commit murder only to be acquitted on such a small technicality. If you think this law is outrageous, check out these Texas gun facts:
1. There is no gun registry in the state of Texas, as it is with many states.
What this means is that yes, guns are transferable and no, you do not need to register any firearms you purchase or inherit under your name. Gun possession without any documentation? No problem. If a person decides to fire their gun at someone, the shooter will just be identified by the horse they are riding.
2. On May 4 of this year, also unofficially known as “gun day” at the Texas House, a bill allowing guns on campuses was approved.
First of all, “gun day”? Second, could you imagine your elementary school teacher with a gun in class? I actually could (maybe because I am a Texan?), though I feel as though I shouldn’t be able to and I sort of would rather it not happen.
3. In Texas, it is against the law to shoot a buffalo from a second-story hotel window.
You may be able to shoot someone for stealing your belongings, but don’t you dare shoot the sacred buffalo and especially not through a window on the second story of a hotel.
4. According to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, nearly half of the 1,200 Texas voters who responded were or knew of someone who was a gun owner. Even more shockingly, a whopping 44% of respondents who said they owned a gun had anywhere from two to five.
Those statistics do not even need an explanation. Unreal.
But before we claim that Texas’ gun possession laws (or lack thereof) result in utter chaos...
5. In 2011, Texas’ population saw a total of 699 gun murders for its 25.6 million people, which stands at about half of California’s gun murder rate which stood at 2.91 per 100,000.
OK, so maybe Texas is gun-crazed, but if two people are pointing a gun at each other, perhaps the conflict would just end in a stalemate? Hence, Texas’ comparatively reduced gun murder rate.