Friday, April 24, 2009

Throwing Ink Against a Brick Wall (or not)

I often ask those of you who read this blog to contact your representatives and ask them to support or oppose important legislation that has been introduced at either the state or federal level. Please rest assured that I am not asking you to do anything that I am not already doing myself. I have an online fax account (MyFax) that makes faxing personalized letters to my representatives relatively easy. On important issues, my rep's get an email, a phone call and a fax. On issues that are not as important to me, I just go with the email.

I mention all this just to let you know that I do understand that there are times when you feel like you are just throwing ink against a brick wall.

When I contacted Representative Diane Patrick concerning the Employer Parking Lot bill, this was her written response:
Dear Mr. JR:

As your state representative, I appreciate your taking the time to contact my office and voice your concern and support regarding HB 1301 related to an employee's transportation and storage of firearms while on property controlled by an employer.

I appreciate your input and the information you provided on this subject. I will continue to monitor this issue as session progresses. Please feel free to contact me or my office with additional questions or concerns.


Diane Patrick, Ph.D.
Arlington, Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens
Talking with her staffers on the phone was not much better. Don't get me wrong, she has a good team and they are pleasant to talk with, but if she is not going to get into details of how she is leaning on a bill, neither are they.

Here is her response to my communications on the Campus Carry Bill:
Dear Mr. JR,

As your state representative, I appreciate your taking the time to contact my office voicing your support for House Bill 1893, relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education. Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention, and I will continue to monitor this issue as session progresses. Please contact our office again in the future if we can be of assistance to you.


Diane Patrick
As you can see, same letter with the same lack of commitment.

These canned responses are no reason to get discouraged. I know for a fact that Dr. Patrick did change her mind on an important piece of legislation during the last session, and that it was our persistence that helped her to do so. So I am going to keep at it, as are quite a few folks from UTA, the TSRA and others who support these bills.

Not all representatives are as reticent to show their support or opposition to a bill.

In the post "Concealed Carry on College Campus - Texas House Bill Update", I mentioned that Representative Fred Brown from Bryan and College Station (District 14) and Representative Ismael 'Kino' Flores the Mission, Hidalgo and Pharr area (District 36) are no longer supporting campus carry. I asked anyone that were in their districts to contact them and urge them to support campus carry.

At least one of you did, with great results.

TXGunGeek contacted Representative Brown and after receiving a "canned" response, persisted until he had the opportunity to speak with Rep. Brown. You are going to have to go read "Texas Campus Carry Part DUEX" for the "rest of the story".


Douva said...

Remember, the most thorough, accurate collection of facts, statistics, and arguments supporting the legalization of concealed carry on Texas college campuses is the "SCCC Handbook: Texas Edition." The handbook can be downloaded as a PDF file here:

It can be viewed as a Flash document here:

Old NFO said...

JR- Agreed, and as Douva says, accurate facts are always nice to have and include! I reach out to mine also, and since I work close enough to DC, will occasionally wander over to the hill and try to catch them in the office (probably 50% success on that)