Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Mess With Texas Governors

Texas Governor Rick Perry was menaced by a coyote during a run with his dog in a wooded area of Austin, and was able to shoot the animal before it injured them.

CBS11TVNews reports: "Perry said he will carry his .380 Ruger pistol -- loaded with hollow-point bullets -- when jogging on trails because he is afraid of snakes. He'd also seen coyotes in the area.

When one came out of the brush toward his daughter's Labrador retriever, Perry charged.

"Don't attack my dog or you might get shot ... if you're a coyote," he said Tuesday.

Perry, a Republican running for a third full term against Democrat Bill White, is living in a private house in a hilly area southwest of downtown Austin while the Governor's Mansion is being repaired after a 2008 fire. A concealed handgun permit holder, Perry carries the gun in a belt. .....

Perry's security detail was not required to file a report on the governor discharging a weapon, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange.

"People shoot coyotes all the time, snakes all the time," Mange said. "We don't write reports."

As for the coyote, Perry left it where it fell.

"He became mulch," Perry said.

A single shot to kill is the usual skill level of any experienced hunter, and Perry has probably been shooting for a long time. As he noted, rattlesnakes are our main concern in this part of the world, and coyotes are common predators in urban areas too. Their numbers seem to be on the rise - they adapt vigorously to human proximity. If you haven't seen one running across the road, you might have seen their pelts hanging on fences as a warning to other coyotes to keep out.

While coyotes have their defenders, they are in reality a canine cousin to the wolf, a predator that hunts both alone and in packs. As with any predator in our modern world, attacks on humans are infrequent but should not be discounted. Six months ago, Taylor Mitchell, a 19 year old Canadian folk singer, was killed by coyotes.

Texas allows its citizens to carry a firearm, and with a permit to carry one concealed from view. Gun proficiency is a part of life, resulting in respect for firearms as useful tools that must be handled and stored properly, but that must be available in order to be useful. Even in non-shooting households, we learn as babies that guns are not toys and to never point a gun at anything we don't intend to shoot.

Living in a state where anyone or everyone around us is likely to be armed provides a strong security, and deterrence. Texans have learned from experience that mass shooting events generally occur only in places where lawful carry is prohibited.

In 1991, the Luby's Massacre in Killeen Texas saw 23 people killed. Texas law at the time limited who could carry a firearm on our persons (we were allowed to carry them in our vehicles). One of the patrons had a handgun in her car but was unable to get out of the restaurant to retrieve it. The shooter reloaded many times before finally shooting himself. As a result, our laws were liberalized to assure that anyone qualified would be issued a concealed carry permit.

Killeen was tragically the site of another mass murder due to a ban on firearms at Fort Hood, where the Army prohibited anyone other than Law Enforcement from carrying firearms while on base. in 1993, one of President Clinton's first actions was to disarm soldiers on Military bases.

I am thankful that our Governor is still able to be representative of ALL law abiding Texas citizens: confident to walk alone, and confident of his ability to protect himself from harm.

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