Friday, July 05, 2013

"while it gives the wicked and the dishonest the avantage which they always seek...."

The Pistol Law.

"...It is no small thing for a man, hauled up before the courts for prosecution for carrying a pistol, to plead that the constitution of the United States  and the state of Texas guarantee forever his right to bear arms. Just how this claim can be gotten around we are frank to say we cannot see. In this state men are fined and imprisoned for doing what the constitution expressly permits him to do. The constitution is the foundation upon which the statutes of the state are built. How then comes it that what the higher law permits and sanctions becomes a felony when the statutes are turned loose at it? So much for the legal aspects of the case. Now let us look at it as a matter of expediency.

   "The good only obey the law. The present pistol law only disarms the good men and places them in the power of the robbers, the thieves and the bullies. This latter class does not disarm at the bidding of the law. See how it works. A merchant is detained at his business until late at night. Perhaps he takes with him home a large sum of money, which he does not want to leave at the store. He is met by a single man who flashes his pistol in his face and orders the merchant to disgorge. What help is there? What is he to do? Had he a pistol he would be on equality with his assailant at least and perhaps he would be able to defend his honestly earned money. Otherwise he loses all, and crime is strengthened by another success and an additional sum of money. A lawyer in the defense of a client is compelled to impeach a witness or dispute a statement, in this he gives mortal offense to perhaps a desperate man. His foe arms himself and confrontshimself and confronts him on the pavement, beats him, insults him and what recourse has he? What defense can he make? Here too is the virtuous man disarmed while the scoundrel is panoplied for war. Who is benefitted? Who is injured? It does not require a lawyer to answer the question. Again, a preacher is driving his wife out for an airing and a couple of villains meet them in a lonely place, flash a pistol in the face of the husband and forcibly take the lady and outrage her in the presence of the defenseless husband. A pistol would have enabled him to meet the assault and defend the honor and safety of his wife. An editor may in the lawful and legitimate pursuit of his business unwittingly offend mortally a desperate and bloody-minded man--it is done every day--and is quietly going to the office in the morning never dreaming of harm. He is met and beaten to death with a club, or is shot to pieces. He is helpless and defenseless because in obeying the law he gives a ruffian the advantage and is himself without the means to make a defense. Indeed instances might be multiplied indefinitely to show that the present law bears only upon the law-abiding and the honest, while it gives the wicked and the dishonest the avantage which they always seek...."

- Waco Daily Examiner. Waco, Texas, Thursday, October 13, 1887. Vol. XX. No. 282. Pg. 4

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