Texas’s new gun law normalises every American’s fear

Texas's new gun law normalises every American's fear

A man kneels across the street from where police gather outside the Emanuel AME church following a 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. The new Texas law could mean a rise in mass shootings that Americans routinely condemn and yet take for granted. AP Photo Last week, I met friends in London and returned home just before midnight. My walk back from the train station was through a dimly lit park. It’s not a high-crime area but I was thinking whether I would feel safer if I carried a gun. The reason for this bizarre thought was that on the train I read a newspaper article about Texas, where legislators passed a bill allowing Texans to carry handguns without a permit. What was it about Texas, I wondered, that made being able to hide a handgun under your coat seem like a good idea? For now, Texans require a handgun licence, undergo weapons training and submit to background checks. Those with criminal convictions may be disqualified. But Texas Governor Greg Abbott , a Republican, says he will sign the new bill into law. The new rules are known as “constitutional carry". The name comes from the second amendment to the US constitution that gives Americans the constitutional “right to bear arms". For years, gun control groups have argued for tighter interpretations of the second amendment, querying why Americans have the “right” to military-grade weapons, including assault rifles. The precise legal position differs from state to state, but Texas has […]

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