Thursday, February 18, 2016

Blog Status

For the time being the blog will be closed. What happened is I went back to work after being retired for four years and have found it a bit overwhelming. I suppose I might adjust and get back in the saddle, but I'm not sure.  One reason I hesitate is that I've enjoyed the break too much.

I would like to thank all who've participated.  Even my most antagonistic commenters have earned a warm place in my heart, believe it or not.

For now, I wish you all the best.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Carnage and Cravenness: Gun Violence In America


"These tragedies occur because, despite the wishes of the vast majority, our efforts to control the flow of weapons are among the most feeble in the world. So there is something else which must be said, out of respect to Carlos Miller and the countless others who have died for no good reason."


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Meet the Dooley Family

The Dooley family: Cameron, Todd, Landon, Lori, and

Local news link

Genius Gun Owners

U.S. Shootings Since 1963 Have Killed More Americans Than All Wars Ever

Here's what PolitiFact discovered:
  • From the Revolutionary War through December 2014, 1.2 million Americans have died in military conflicts, according to the Congressional Research Service.
  • A 2012 report by a Binghamton University historian estimated a 20 percent higher death toll from the Civil War, which would push total deaths in military conflicts to 1.4 million.
  • By contrast, domestic gun deaths from 1968 to 2014 add up to nearly 1.5 million. 
  • Some 63 percent of those gun deaths were suicides, and 33 percent were homicides. 
  • PolitiFact could not find data for gun deaths before 1968. Add in the missing years, and the total number of firearm fatalities since JFK's death would surely be higher than 1.5 million.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Air Force tells brass they can OK guns on base, citing 2015 shooting that left 5 dead

Fox News

A review of active shooter cases by the Air Force has confirmed what gun rights advocates have long been saying: Firearms in the hands of good guys are often the best bet for stopping massacres.
The military branch earlier this month sent out a letter to its base commanders around the nation reminding them that they can authorize subordinates to carry guns, even while off-duty and out of uniform. It also established three programs to help ensure that armed service members are in a position to protect their bases.
"None of these programs gives the installation commander authorizations they didn't already have the authorization to do," Maj. Keith Quick, the Air Force Security Forces Integrated Defense action officer, said in a statement according to "We are now formalizing it and telling them how they can use these types of programs more effectively."
“Finally, someone in the federal government is recognizing what has been obvious to sheriffs and police across the country...”
- John Lott, Crime Prevention Research Center
Let's see. Fox News is reporting it and John Lott is endorsing the idea. Hahahahaha

Internet Experts

Embedded image permalink

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tennessee 7-Year-old Shot and Killed by His 8-Year-old Brother - Charges? Well Maybe, Eventually

Local news

The chief of the Crossville Police Dept. says a 7-year-old boy found shot inside a car in a parking lot Monday has died.
Officers say four children had been left in the car while their mother and step-father were inside the building a short distance away, paying a bill. The mother also left her purse with a loaded semi-automatic pistol inside.
Police say the boy's 8-year-old brother tried to unload the weapon by removing the magazine when the gun discharged, "accidentally" fired, hitting the 7-year-old boy in the head.
The boy was flown to UT Medical Center's trauma center for treatment, where he died.
Authorities say the incident appears to be an accident. The family is from the Sparta-area, in White County.
The chief of police says they will turn their findings over to the district attorney general. The Department of Children's Services is also working on the case.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Mississippi Shootout at a Gun Store Over $25 - Two Dead, Two Wounded

Local news

The owner's wife was working at the store when two customers, a man and his son, entered to pick up a firearm that had been repaired.
"There was some contention about a $25 fee," Tucker said.
In an attempt to clear up the dispute, the woman called her husband, who later arrived with his son. An argument ensued between the owners and the customers.
"During this argument, we believe there might have been some pushing and shoving," Tucker said. "One of the customers and one of the owners produced firearms. We don't know who shot first."
All four men were shot. The two customers were airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, Tucker said.

Read more here:

North Carolina Good Samaritan fatally shot by man he was trying to help

A Claremont man was in the Catawba County Jail on Saturday charged with murder after he allegedly fatally shot a good Samaritan who was trying to help him after his car spun out on an icy road in the Bandys community, Sheriff Coy Reid said.
The car driven by Marvin Jacob Lee, 27, of Claremont in northeastern Catawba County, was stuck off Mathis Church Road when a passing truck with three men stopped to help about 5:20 p.m. Friday, Reid said.
Nearby neighbors came to help, too.
But when Lee allegedly became belligerant, the Samaritans decided to call police to come help him. “They thought he was drunk or on dope and said ‘let’s just call the law and let them deal with it,’ ” Reid said.
As they called, Lee took out an automatic pistol and started shooting. The Samaritans ran. A bullet struck the victim, who fell. Reid said Lee walked to the man, stood over him and shot him “numerous times.” Reid identified the victim as Jefferson Heavner, 26, of Newton.
Lee returned to his car, as deputies arrived. They shouted for him to get out. When he didn’t, they called a SWAT team, which pulled their armored truck up to Lee’s car. “They saw that he was passed out,” Reid said.
SWAT members physically pulled Lee from his car. He awoke as they struggled to pull him out and tried to resist, Reid said.

Read more here:

Trump's Controversial Shooting Remark

Friday, January 22, 2016

[Way] More than 800 Deaths At the Hands of Concealed Carry Killers Since 2007, VPC Research Shows

Concealed handgun permit holders are responsible for at least 849 deaths not involving self defense since 2007, including 29 mass shootings that killed 139 people, ongoing research from the Violence Policy Center (VPC) finds. Since there is no comprehensive recordkeeping of fatal incidents perpetrated by concealed carry permit holders, this tally most likely represents a small fraction of the actual total.
Details on these fatal incidents can be found on Concealed Carry Killers (, an online resource that provides examples of non-self defense killings involving private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in public. Information on these incidents is organized by state.

The pernicious myth of the good guy with a gun.

Huffington Post

But statistically, it's more likely that someone with a concealed carry permit will set out to commit mass murder than prevent it.
Analysis by the Violence Policy Center has found that at least 29 mass shootings since 2007 were carried out by perpetrators with concealed carry permits. That's more than three times the number of concealed permit holders whoprevented mass shootings through their swift action. And it's not as though those heroes (and they are heroes) are truly stemming the tide of non-sensical gun deaths in the U.S.: A Washington Post analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data found that, for every "justifiable" gun homicide in 2012, there were 34 criminal gun homicides, 78 gun suicides, and at least two accidental gun deaths. Similarly, a 2014 study from the University of California–San Francisco found that people who owned a gun were three times as likely to kill themselves as non-firearm owners; by comparison, the annual per capita risk of death during a home invasion is 0.0000002 percent. Hell,even toddlers killed more people than terrorists in 2015. Guns are used far more often for killing than for self-defense, despite the fact that some 63 percent of Americans think guns make them safer.
A well-armed citizenry rarely makes an impact on mass shootings. According to 2014 FBI data, only seven of the 160 of the mass shootings that took place between 2000 and 2013 ended because of some would-be Rambo came to the rescue, according to the Huffington Post—but there was only one true exception (emphasis ours):
More than half (56 percent) were terminated by the shooter who either took his or her own life, simply stopped shooting or fled the scene. Another 26 percent ended in the traditional Hollywood-like fashion with the shooter and law enforcement personnel exchanging gunfire and in nearly all of those situations the shooter ended up either wounded or dead. In 13 percent of the shooting situations, the shooter was successfully disarmed and restrained by unarmed civilians, and in 3 percent of the incidents the shooter was confronted by armed civilians, of whom four were on-duty security guards and one person was just your average "good guy" who happened to be carrying a gun.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Montana man who threatened to ‘execute school kids’ will be able to keep his guns — here’s why

David Joseph Lenio - KRTV screenshot
David Joseph Lenio

Lenio is charged with felony intimidation after he posted threats on Twitter saying he was going to kill Jewish leaders and “execute grade school children,” adding, “I bet I’d take out at least a whole classroom and score 30-plus if I put my mind to it.”
According to a human rights group and two local rabbis, reducing charges to anything less than a felony would allow him to purchase and own more guns under current law.
Lenio, a restaurant cook, was arrested in February of last year after his roommate said that he had moved guns and ammunition into their apartment. He first came to the attention of authorities when Jonathan Hutson, who was a spokesman for the Brady Campaign at the time, alerted them to the online threats.
Initially jailed with bail set at $500,000, Lenio has since been released on his own recognizance and into the custody of his parents in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Obama said gun owners would support his new restrictions. He was right.

Washington Post

President Obama rolled out a package of executive actions on guns this week. The changes included clarifying rules meant to broaden the use of background checks by private sellers, allocating money for mental health treatment, and adding more staff at the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help enforce existing regulations.
The changes were modest in scope -- experts and even the NRA agreed that their overall impact would be small. That didn't stop Obama's critics from fiercely denouncing the proposals. But the president predicted the public would be on his side. The actions would be supported by an "overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners," he said Monday.
As it turns out, he was right.
new CNN-ORC survey of 1,000 Americans finds that the public supports Obama's plan by a 2-to-1 ratio: 67 percent of respondents favored the executive actions, while 32 percent opposed them. Even more striking, a similar share of people in gun-owning households -- 63 percent -- supported the measures.
Even more striking: 51 percent of Republicans support Obama's executive action on guns. When's the last time 51 percent of Republicans agreed with Obama on anything?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Open Carry Tactics May Be Backfiring Onto Concealed Carriers In Texas

Bearing Arms for our readers who have blinders on and think every expansion of gun rights is good for their side. The real damage of course, is that open carry is seen by non-gun owners for just what it is, the stuff of fanatics and 2nd Amendment extremists.

We tried to tell open carry advocates in Texas that their tactics of open carrying long guns into restaurants, stores, and other establishments were causing problems, not winning converts. The major open carry groups in the state eventually backed off what many in the general public saw as an intimidation tactic, and a lesser version of open carry finally became law despite their antics.
Unfortunately it appears that the damage has been done.
In a post on, a popular gun rights website moderated by National Rifle Association board member Charles L. Cotton, one user reported that the new law has triggered private business owners to not only exercise their right to bar open carry on their premises, but prohibit concealed handguns as well. Any private business in Texas that wishes to bar firearms must display a strictly regulated sign — dubbed “30.07” for openly carried guns, and “30.06” for concealed firearms. Amid the controversy over open carry, this gun owner was noticing more of both varieties.
“Got an email from work telling us that not only are 30.07 signs going up over the weekend on our office building but 30.06 as well. What makes this even more frustrating is I have yet to see a single open carry,” wrote a user with the handle LTUME1978, before predicting in a subsequent comment that, at least in Houston, “Once the signs are up, they are not ever going to come down.”

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Oath Keepers Jump into the Oregon Siege

Oath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes - YouTubeOath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes

Raw Story

Despite his earlier criticism of Ammon Bundy taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in support of imprisoned Dwight and Steven Hammond, the founder of the anti-government militia group Oath Keepers warned federal authorities to tread lightly unless they want a “civil war” on their hands.
Writing on the Oath Keepers’ website, Stewart Rhodes warned ominously that “there will never again be a free Waco,” and that the Obama Administration risks “starting a conflagration so great, it cannot be stopped, leading to a bloody, brutal civil war.”
Rhodes had previously stated that the Oath Keepers — made of members who claim to have served in the military and law enforcement — would stand down and not participate in the occupation of the wildlife refuge.
While the situation in Oregon has remained calm — outside of one member beingarrested on Friday for driving a federal vehicle to the grocery store — Rhodes’ saber-rattling was, in typical Oath Keeper fashion, over the top.
Under the heading: “Warning to U.S. Military and Federal LEOs: Do Not Follow Orders to ‘Waco’ Ammon Bundy Occupation, or Risk Civil War,” Rhodes was blunt — although wordy in the process.
“This situation (Oregon occupation) must not be handled in a military or paramilitary fashion, using military assets, military rules of engagement, or otherwise attempting to end it suddenly by use of dynamic assault, resulting in catastrophic loss of life, as has occurred twice in recent American history, with horrific results (at Ruby Ridge in 1992, and at Waco Texas in 1993),” he wrote. ” If you do it ‘Waco’ style here, you risk pushing this nation over the edge into a civil war, because there are ‘no more free Wacos.’”

Marco Rubio: The Last Line of Defense Against ISIS

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Teenage Depression and Guns in the Home

It's time to speak up about suicides among teens & young adults.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens and young adults.
  • On average, 4 American teenagers commit suicide every day. 
  • Many teens attempt suicide on impulse and there is rarely a second chance when a gun is used.
  • Suicide attempts with a gun are deadly over 85% of the time.  
  • Suicide attempts with drugs or methods other than guns have a greater chance of survival.  
  • Most young survivors of a serious suicide attempt do not commit suicide later, and most survivors of suicide attempts are glad they were saved.
  • Studies have shown that the risk of suicide is 4 to 10 times higher in homes with guns than in those without a gun.  If the gun is a handgun or is stored loaded or unlocked, the risk of suicide is even higher.
Here are five steps we can take together to save over 1,000 young lives a year!
It is best to NOT have any guns in homes where children or teenagers live, however, if there is a gun:
1) Keep it unloaded and locked up or with a trigger lock.  Store the bullets in a different place that is also locked.
2) Do not let teens have a key to the places where guns and bullets are stored.
3) If a teen becomes depressed or has severe mood swings, store the gun outside the home for the time being while you seek help!
4) Make certain to share this information with your neighbors, family, and friends.  We need to all work together to protect our children!
5) States where there are more guns have a higher rate of suicide.  Be sure to work with your state legislators to strengthen gun safety legislation!
Please share this email with your family and friends because TOGETHER, we can make a difference!
‪#PreventSuicide #StopGunViolence #NotAlone

Gun Deaths Are Now Outpacing Traffic Deaths In 21 States, And Counting

Huffington Post

More people died from guns than from motor vehicle accidents in 21 states in 2014, according to a report released this week.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Clerk with concealed gun permit shoots 2 robbers at cellphone store


An employee at a Far South Side cellphone retailer shot two would-be robbers late Wednesday morning, at least the second time in a week a worker has shot two robbery suspects at a Chicago business, according to police and store officials.

More Lies and Nonsense from La Pierre

"The American people know a liar when they see one."

The Gap Between Gun Deaths in the U.S. and Other Advanced Nations Is Getting Wider

The Trace


  • U.S. gun death rate: 2.8
  • U.S. gun homicide rate: 4.1
  • U.S. gun suicide rate: 5.8
  • U.S. unintentional gun death rate: 0.3
  • Other high income countries’ gun death rate: 0.2
  • Other high income countries’ gun homicide rate: 0.2
  • Other high income countries’ gun suicide rate: 1.0
  • Other high income countries’ unintentional gun death rate: 0.0


  • U.S. gun death rate: 2.7
  • U.S. gun homicide rate: 3.6
  • U.S. gun suicide rate: 6.3
  • U.S. unintentional gun death rate: 0.2
  • Other high income countries’ gun death rate: 0.1
  • Other high income countries’ gun homicide rate: 0.1
  • Other high income countries’ gun suicide rate: 0.8
  • Other high income countries’ unintentional gun death rate: 0.0

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Smart Gun Technology

Identilock smart gun lock

This biometric gun lock is one step towards the "smart guns" President Obama is asking for.

Posted by The Verge on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Making a Killing

Making A Killing: Guns, Greed & the NRA • OFFICIAL TRAILER

Fight back against gun violence by hosting a free screening of Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, & the NRA -the new feature documentary by Brave New Films that exposes how the NRA and gun lobby profiteers from the current gun violence epidemic -and how they do everything they can to stop common sense reforms.Join us to demand – and achieve – common sense gun laws now! SHARE and host a free screening in your community!

Posted by Brave New Films on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Problem with Private Sellers of Guns

The Trace

Lewisbey made so much cash from the gun sales that he had to bury some of it in his backyard. Yet he insisted that his gun business wasn’t a business at all. Rather, he maintained that he was a hobbyist. His lawyers claimed he bought guns in Indiana to add to his collection, from which he sold the occasional firearm — hardly enough to require him to get a license from the ATF and conduct background checks on his buyers.

David Bowie - Running Gun Blues

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Idiocy of Guns in the Home

Friday, January 8, 2016

Obama Calls Out NRA For Skipping Town Hall On Guns

Huffington Post

President Barack Obama on Thursday criticized the National Rifle Association for repeatedly snubbing invitations to discuss gun policy at the White House.
Obama said the NRA should have attended the town hall-style meeting about guns instead of whipping up fears that he wants to take away firearms. 
"I am happy to talk to them, but the conversation has to be based on facts and truth," Obama told CNN moderator Anderson Cooper during the event at George Mason University in Virginia. "Our position is consistently mischaracterized. And by the way, there's a reason why the NRA is not here. They're just down the street. This is the reason they exist. You'd think they'd be willing to have a debate with the president."

Thursday, January 7, 2016

In Kansas City Alone

Local news

According to Kansas City, Missouri police, from 7 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 7 a.m. on Jan. 1, dispatch had around 352 sound of shots calls.

Celebratory Gunfire for New Years - Probably Gang Members and Drug Dealers

Local news

A 48-year-old Maysville man and his wife were in bed and ready for sleep on the first day of 2016 when authorities said a metal object tore through the ceiling and hit the wife in the shoulder.
The couple gathered the piece of metal and determined it was a slug fired from a shotgun, according to a Jackson County Sheriff’s report.
There are no leads on who fired the gun shortly after midnight, but it could be celebratory gunfire due to a New Year’s Day celebration, according to sheriff’s Capt. Rich Lott.
“She was not hurt bad,” Lott said. The responding deputy examined the red mark on the woman’s shoulder and he also examined the hole in the ceiling where the slug apparently tore through the roof and entered the bedroom. The slug, a large projectile fired from a shotgun, was gathered as evidence.
On New Year’s Day in 2010, a bullet apparently from celebratory fire went through a roof in a Decatur church and hit a 4-year-old boy in the head killing him, according to Atlanta media reports. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation later released a statement that the bullet was likely fired from an AK-47.
A spokesman for Athens-Clarke police said a person caught firing guns in a celebratory fashion would likely be charged with reckless conduct.
Yeah, a misdemeanor.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Where Do Crime Guns Come From?

Garen Wintemute estimatesthat as many as 40,000 straw sales were attempted annually, but he has no data on how many of those attempts actually result in a gun moving from an FFL’s inventory into illegal hands.
Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute and pretend that all of those 40,000 attempted straw sales go through.  Sounds like a lot of guns going into the wrong hands, doesn’t it?  In fact, it’s a pittance compared to the way in which most guns in this country wind up in the wrong hands, and I don’t notice anyone talking about that issue at all.
Back in 1994, Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig published the most comprehensive survey on gun ownership that I have ever seen. Now if the Nobel Prize Committee decided to give an award for gun research, it would have to go to Phil Cook.  He not only practically invented the entire field of gun violence research, but his work, then and now, is impeccable and should be accepted without question as the best of breed.
And what did he learn about how guns get into the wrong hands?  He learned that perhaps as many as 600,000 guns were stolen every year, this at a time when the total number of guns owned by Americans was 50% less than it is now!  Are you telling me that we can have a substantive conversation about reducing gun violence without asking how to prevent the theft of guns? Gun theft isn’t the elephant in the GVP living room, it’s the whole house.

Texas Gun Owner Refuses to Continue to Participate


It’s not that I’m opposed to gun ownership, or have become anti-gun; I just could not in good conscience be any part of an industry that refuses to take basic common-sense measures to address the problem we face today. Sadly, I’ve had to give up a few sports I truly enjoyed. But, in the end, if that makes any difference at all, it is worth it. It’s a sacrifice that I feel morally obligated to make. And, until we as a society can come together to pass common-sense gun legislation, it’s a sacrifice I’ll happily continue to make.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Executive Action on Guns - More Weak Rhetoric - Nothing Changes


The White House is introducing a new requirement that would expand background checks for buyers. The measure mandates that individuals "in the business of selling firearms" register as licensed gun dealers, effectively narrowing the so-called "gun show loophole," which exempts most small sellers from keeping formal sales records.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Militia Has Taken Over A Federal Building In Oregon

Huffington Post (including video of Bundy)

A protest in support of Oregon ranchers facing jail time for arson was followed by an occupation of a building at a national wildlife refuge led by members of a family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government.
Ammon Bundy — the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a standoff with the government over grazing rights — told The Oregonian on Saturday that he and two of his brothers were among a group of dozens of people occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Ammon Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page asking for militia members to come help him. He said "this is not a time to stand down. It's a time to stand up and come to Harney County," where Burns is located. Below the video is this statement: "(asterisk)(asterisk)ALL PATRIOTS ITS TIME TO STAND UP NOT STAND DOWN!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! COME PREPARED."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Wild Family Shootout - 4 Dead

Local news

A man shot and killed his wife and two others in his home on New Year's Eve before his son wrestled the gun away and fatally shot him in a chain of events apparently set off by a dispute over a washing machine, authorities said Friday.
The two other victims killed were the son's 48-year-old girlfriend who also lives at the house in Rowland Heights and a 27-year-old man who was visiting, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
The 54-year-old father was a heavy drinker with a large gun collection, and authorities had made dozens of previous trips to the home, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said.

Texas 6-Year-old Shot

According to the San Antonio Police Department, the shooting happened while the little girl sat in her family's car. They were apparently lost and were attempting to turn around in the 4600 block of Houston Street.
The family says they were in the area looking for a tire shop. They became lost and pulled into the parking lot of some townhomes to re-route a GPS device.
Investigators say the car's headlights were shining on another car, which appeared to annoy someone inside the vehicle, described as a gray 4-door Impala. A person inside the Impala got out, walked toward the family's car and fired nine shots.
One of the bullets traveled through the car's taillight and hit the 6-year-old girl in the back.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Washington Post Fact Checker: Bill Clinton Goes “Over the Top” on Mass Shootings


AIM as suggested by TS

The Washington PostFact Checker gave former president Bill Clinton three Pinocchio’s for a statement he made last week on assault weapons and mass killings in the U.S.

Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005, half of all of them in the history of the country.

That’s a pretty bold statement, but not surprising coming from Clinton, who signed an assault weapons ban into law in 1994, which wasn’t renewed when it expired in 2004. His statement comes at a time when emotions and rhetoric on guns are running high after the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, last month.

Using data assembled from Grant Duwe, director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the Fact Checker found that Clinton’s claim was exaggerated by a fairly wide margin.

Using Duwe’s definition of a mass public shooting as an incident in which four or more victims are killed publicly with guns within 24 hours — in the workplace, schools, restaurants and other public places — excluding shootings in connection with crimes such as robbery, drugs or gangs, there have been 156 incidents in the U.S. in the past 100 years.

Of that number there have been 32 mass shootings since the assault weapons ban expired, which computes to just a little over 20 percent, not the 50 percent that Clinton cited.

First of all, who the hell is Grant Duwe?  Secondly, I thought we should go back, say, 20 years, not 100.

Also, don't we count "mass shootings" to be those in which 4 people are shot? Isn't there a difference between "mass shootings" and "mass killings?"

The Big Problem With The FBI's Tracking Of Fatal Shootings By Police

Friday, January 1, 2016

Gun-Friendly Texas Is Getting Even Friendlier


Texas is so gun-friendly that it is easier to get into the Capitol in Austin with a firearm than without one — licensed, gun-carrying lawmakers and members of the public have their own no-wait security lane, and the unarmed masses have to stand in line and slog through the metal detectors.

But on Friday, gun rights throughout the state expanded still more, as a new law took effect that allows certain Texans to wear their handguns in holsters on their hips — or in shoulder holsters, Dirty Harry-style — openly displaying the fact that they are armed as they work, shop, dine and go about their day.

The so-called open-carry law has set off a long-simmering debate over the limits of the Texas gun culture and has given gun rights advocates a hard-fought victory after they pushed for the expansion for years. Members of the pro-gun group Open Carry Texas were to gather at noon Friday on the south steps of the Capitol for a gun-on-their-hips celebration before walking down Congress Avenue. Other groups plan to display their weaponry at events in Houston, Dallas and other cities.