Fuck you, Texas lawmakers

Madame Weebles —  June 7, 2013 — 212 Comments

By now I’m sure many of us have heard about this travesty of justice, in which a Texas man was found not guilty of murdering an escort. Under Texas law, a person is justified in the use of deadly force to recover property stolen as part of a nighttime theft—in this case, the theft of $150 that the escort allegedly took from the defendant. This is just one of the many What the Fuck laws on the books in the Lone Star State. Hence, the rant that follows…

————————————————————————————————————————–

So Ezekiel Gilbert has been acquitted. Phew, you boys must be so relieved. How tragic it would have been to incarcerate a perfectly good white man merely for the cold-blooded murder of a woman…a non-white woman who was working as an escort. Interestingly, another Texas man, who happens to be black, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for possession of a knife and stealing a $35 rack of ribs. Yes, the guy was a repeat criminal, but the key takeaway here is that a misdemeanor involving a dead cow or pig is far more of a heinous crime than the murder of a woman, right? I mean, who cares about human decency?

See, I’ve noticed that what’s really important to you folks is the legality of protecting your property by shooting to kill. Like that theft law, and your “Castle Doctrine” law that allows Texas residents to shoot intruders. But I have news for you: those laws? Not helping. Texas was #2 in the United States last year in the number of car thefts, overall property theft, AND burglary. So tell me again about how gun ownership deters crime. How’s that working out for you, dickwads?

3ur6bs

Seriously, assholes, fuck you. You already had some of the loosest gun laws in the country, to the delight of many gun nuts with itchy trigger fingers. But as of last month, you relaxed your gun laws even further. Well done. What’s next, giving each baby in Texas a Fisher Price My First Shotgun?

None of this should really surprise me; you draconian sons of bitches have never really had any use for anyone who isn’t a white, gun-toting, Christian, heterosexual male. You know the updated Violence Against Women Act that Obama signed into law a few months ago? Twenty-two senators voted against the act. Guess which state’s senators were among them? That’s right, yours. Both of them. I suppose that’s fitting, given that the incidence of violence against women is pretty damned high in Texas. You certainly wouldn’t want to do anything to curb that, would you. Texas ranked second in the country last year in the number of rapes. And in 2011, Texas ranked second in the number of calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Evidently you’re okay with that.

I’m not the only one who thinks you’re insane, by the way. Here’s a little article from Forbes magazine, in which one of your own citizens cuts you to pieces. Reading it warmed the cockles of my heart, but reading this one filled me with the greatest joy. Looks like a bunch of people have your number. Too bad they don’t all have the power to vote you out of office and make sure you never, ever return, you evil fucks.

Then there’s your governor, Rick Perry, who has a smile that makes my blood run cold. Rick, it’s obvious that you’re waging a war against women, gay people, and probably everyone else who doesn’t fit into your bizarre world view. You’ve signed legislation to close abortion clinics all over Texas, and in the few places where abortions are still allowed, you’ve signed another law that forces women to undergo ultrasounds before they terminate their pregnancies. You’ve expressed your disapproval of the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow gay scouts and in a stunning display of what I can only describe as chutzpah, you even likened being anti-gay to being anti-slavery. You opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I assume you won’t be signing any laws allowing same-sex marriage. When karma finds you, I hope it takes the form of a gay, black, Muslim woman, and I hope she makes your life a living hell. It will be good practice for when you reach your Final Destination.

There are other states swarming with fucked-up politicians—South Carolina and Arizona come to mind almost immediately—but it pleases me to give you special treatment today, Texas lawmakers. Maybe if you weren’t so gun-crazy, and such blatant, unapologetically misogynist, racist, homophobic cretins, you wouldn’t be on everyone’s radar. Maybe if you weren’t a disgrace to humanity, I wouldn’t feel the urge to rake you over the coals. Maybe if you weren’t hellbent on returning Texas to the 19th century, you wouldn’t be the punchline to a very bad joke.

Apologies to all the normal, decent people of Texas—because I know there are so many of you. I realize that this screed may offend, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

212 responses to Fuck you, Texas lawmakers

  1. 
    The Unbearable Banishment June 7, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Yeah, but they have killer BBQ.

    Texas has low self-esteem. It manifests itself in this bizarre anti-social behavior of theirs. A drinking culture doesn’t help,either.

    I aim to stay on your good side.

  2. 

    Bravo. That’s all.

  3. 

    I love how Perry claims to love the Constitution and country then shits all over both.

    Great post.

  4. 

    I lived there when Kinky Friedman was runny for Governor…There were “My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy” bumper stickers everywhere. Could you imagine if he actually won?

    I almost forgot about Rick Perry. We have many similar types around here. During the election people could tell my disgust when they told me they like him.

    • 

      I don’t know how you manage not to have your eyes in a permanently rolled position, BroJo. I forgot about Kinky Friedman—these days he’d be run out of the state!

  5. 

    Well, done Madame Weebles.

  6. 

    Amen. Fuck you Texas.

    Love the new header.

  7. 

    I don’t know what the hell is going on in the world Weebles but this shit is getting beyond fucked up.

  8. 

    I’ve been hesitating to say anything about this, because this is one of those injustices so deplorable that, for many, offering any opinion other than, “LET TEXAS BURN!” will be construed as defending a murderer and the un-fucking-believable laws Texas has in place. Let this be said: killing a woman, or anyone, because they took your property is medieval. Killing anyone for ANY reason and walking free is an act more criminal than any theft.

    My concern about the attention this is getting is, why now? We had to wait until something so blatantly unjust to happen before we criticize Texas’ laws on a grand scale? Granted, this is an event that demands attention, but I just wonder if perhaps we had a little more fire in our bellies before a woman’s life was stolen this might have been prevented.

    People shouldn’t just now be learning of these arcane laws through this case. I don’t know what, if anything, we all could do differently to call attention to these laws that have no place existing in this century, but something needs to be done.

    (Apologies if this isn’t as eloquent as it could be, I’m on the train trying to collect my thoughts on this on my iPhone.)

    • 

      Agreed. Generally speaking, I just think it’s a shame how something like this has to happen to get people incensed. People who may not otherwise have felt the same indignance without the loss of a woman’s life. But we can’t all know all the things. I’m not saying we shouldn’t voice our concerns now, but it’s all such an infuriating shame. From all angles.

      • 
        Ashley Austrew June 7, 2013 at 10:20 am

        Thank you for this, Katie. This is the point I was trying to make in a different debate yesterday, but didnt do it even a third as eloquently. The TX people–despite how it looks–have struggled with lawmakers. Those senators? We’re elected after congressional districts were redrawn and declared unconstitutional 4 times in a matter of months, postponing the primaries for months (my husband works in the election industry so I got the “pleasure” of reading all the awful emails, etc. from GOP candidates bitching about “unfairness”). They keep trying to redraw the lines to split minority communities, to include certain country clubs and schools where their grandkids attended, etc. to give themselves an advantage and silence the democratic voices, of which there are a growing number. I agree: fuck Texas lawmakers. But, as a former resident of Texas, I know firsthand how much it sucks to feel very much powerless to stop the crazy and when it feels like no one pays attention to the issues until something happens, and then they pay attention, but only to shit on you and tell you you’re wrong if you disagree that the place you grew up should just fall off the map already.

        Weebles, I loved this post. It was super well-written. Especially love the part about “Dick” Perry. Thank you for so eloquently bringing light to many, many of the issues in Texas government. There are SO many problems, and I hope this kind of attention–even though it is too late for that poor woman–will help change some of the minds that need changing and ultimately get the ball rolling on creating something positive.

        • 
          Ashley Austrew June 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

          Were* Any other typos I blame on autocorrect. lol

        • 

          Thanks, Ashley. I can’t imagine how infuriated and powerless the sane people in Texas must feel. Ever since Ann Richards was voted out, it seems that Texas has been on a particularly scary downhill trajectory. And honestly, I don’t know what can be done in the face of such powerful, overwhelming, hate-filled opposition. It’s extremely depressing. I know it’s not just Texas, either—so many other states are similar, and it scares the fuck out of me.

      • 

        It IS a shame that someone has to die for everyone to get incensed. Unfortunately, that seems to be the way we learn about laws like this. These incidents just loom in the background unless they’re so egregious that they receive national attention.

    • 

      It’s plenty eloquent, Katie. You’re right, this acquittal is a deplorable injustice, plain and simple. These laws are arcane and something needs to be done. Too frequently, it’s only when insane consequences of these laws are brought to light, as in this case, that we even hear about these laws. I don’t know exactly what *can* be done on a national level other than shining a giant spotlight on sick stuff like this. Ultimately, it’s up to the decent people of Texas to force change somehow, but they’re up against an enormous GOP state machine that grows more restrictive by the day. I don’t envy them.

  9. 

    They are just a bunch of cowboys aren’t they?

  10. 

    So much cursing at Texas, its laws, AND GUNS! I might be able to go without coffee this morning!

  11. 

    For once, I have no words. You’ve said it all.

  12. 

    Awesome! But, in your fit of rage, you appear to have overlooked the unbridled stupidity of the Tennessee legislature. Then again, they’re playing the game in the 1800s so maybe they don’t count.

  13. 

    *cheers* You tell ‘em.

  14. 

    Also, maybe the masterplan is to get [brown, black, gay etc.] people to leave the state and keep it bloody red…as it should be!

  15. 

    Dang. I had not heard about this case.

    Any word on when Texas plans to secede? ‘Cause, well, I support that.

  16. 

    He should definitely be sodomized with the train thingy (he’ll probably get a mention in a Science journal for that!), but it’s not so much he used the law as that it exists.

  17. 

    I think Austin should take over the rest of the state.
    And turn it into a parking lot.

    • 

      All of it? Last time you took a good look at the demographics?
      You do realize that TX has one of the largest Muslim populations in the country? Houston has had a lesbian mayor who has been reelected several times? Also one of the largest population of gays. The major population areas – including San Antonio – are quite diverse? We have always had quite a close relationship with Mexico. Street signs can be seen in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese – as well as Spanish. (And the variation of food offerings is great). And the abundance of wind energy farms supported by environmentalists.
      I do understand the ranting and emotion. Why not direct it at the specific ones involved? Like the lawyers and judges who allow this stuff to happen. Easy enough to find the names.
      But yes, Austin rocks – Keeping it weird! (oh, that’s a common phrase – it’s a good thing, just FYI…no harm intended)
      The good thing about this case – maybe people will start talking about solutions – and stop accepting bad spoiled-child behaviors

  18. 

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Madame Weebles has a few comments for the Lone Star State. Cheers.

  19. 

    I read about this this morning and I couldn’t believe it.

  20. 

    Thank you for posting this with all the information, it needed to be expressed. I love your rants–they always get me nice and fired up!

  21. 

    Thank God for The Atlantic Ocean – mind boggling

  22. 
    Ashley Austrew June 7, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Yeah, that defense team is a piece of work, huh? So fucking maddening and sick.

    • 
      Ashley Austrew June 7, 2013 at 10:24 am

      It’s unfortunate that there are even laws like this for them to manipulate.

      • 

        I agree. I know that back in the day, it was legal to shoot horse thieves, but those were VASTLY different times, and these are VASTLY different circumstances. The fact that laws like this still exist is mind-boggling to me.

  23. 

    These ultraconservative, right-wing religious politicians seem to be returning state and national policies and laws back to the middle ages or even further – like three thousand years ago – rules from Leviticus! Makes me want to start an Exodus! Misogyny abounds, but especially in the states that you mentioned here. Thanks for the eloquent rant, Weebs. It needed to be said.

  24. 

    This is the kind of post I wish would be Freshly Pressed because then the wackjobs who support the insanity of Texas would come out of the woodwork and you could rip them a new one too. Well done, Weebs.

    • 

      Bless you, Emily. I would greatly enjoy ripping a new one for all the wackjobs. I’d probably have to take extra vitamins to keep up my stamina to rip into all of them, but that’s fine with me. Somehow, though, I think the FP folks will be bypassing this one…

  25. 

    Exactly Exactly Exactly, my friend. When lawmakers in NY do stupid shit, I will happily rip them a new one as well. But in this case it’s Texas, and I made sure to back up my rant with sufficient facts so that people don’t think this is just a knee-jerk “I hate Texas” post. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to hate these people—this murder acquittal is just one of them.

    And thank you for mentioning the original victim, in the case that sparked this whole tirade–Lenora Ivie Frago. I’m outraged and saddened by what happened to her.

  26. 

    Weebs, hats off to you! My blood boils when I read this. I have a hard time accepting that people really support these laws. It makes me wonder if Texans are sub-human, half human, half monster. Actually, I don’t see anything humane. I echo what said Katie above, killing anyone for any reason is far more criminal than theft. It’s outrageous! And then, the Violence Against Women Act, I’m beyond angry…it makes me depressed. But it’s time to get mad! Fuck these cretins!

  27. 

    I was horrified by this. What next? ‘Well your Honour, it was a real bad blowjob real useless, and she wouldn’t gimme my money back, so I blew her goddam head off.’

  28. 

    BRAVA a million times over.

  29. 

    That was one fine piece of work M. Weebles, thank you. The news from the south (I am in Canada) is often quite disturbing and this one is up there on the richter scale. My heart goes out to Lenora Ivie Frago’s family and my rage goes out to the “law makers” of Texas. May karma be slow and painful.

    • 

      I know, TC, the news from the States is often unsavory. And this one makes me feel compelled once again to remind you that we’re not all that bad. Texas, unfortunately, has a particularly bizarre sense of criminal justice. Karma will hopefully be glacially slow and satanically painful.

  30. 

    So because I gave my dad a “Coupon Book” and he cashed in “Mop the Floor” and I didn’t, he technically would be able to kill me, right?

    At this point they’re just trying to get us so mad we force them to secede.

    • 

      If that’s their strategy, it’s working. Fortunately for you, NJ law isn’t quite so extreme, so i don’t think your dad can kill you without repercussions.

  31. 

    It’s not really about “defending” for lawyers sometimes – it’s about getting the paying customer free – and making a reputation in order to make more money.
    Justice, “legal”, and laws are badly bent and lost.
    Not to mention stupidity, lack of commonsense, acting impulsively, and actually thinking violence is a perfectly fine solution for anything – all of this is growing tremendously.
    Laws aren’t working. Society accepts anti-social behavior without correction.
    Not looking good. So what now?

  32. 

    Man, I don’t think often enough about how glad I am that I am not anywhere near these kinds of maniacs. Thankfully, I live in a civilized place where people don’t wave guns all over the place. Instead, they beat people to death in shopping districts.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/world/europe/france-student-dies-after-a-beating.html?ref=france
    I’m never leaving my house again.

    • 

      Gotta love those neo-Nazis, right? What the fuck is wrong with people??? I may never leave my house again either. It’s just too frustrating to leave the house, only to encounter idiots and scumbags.

  33. 
    Ashley Austrew June 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

    One more thing, and then I’m done. Sorry. I was just thinking about this while I was doing the dishes. What is with this attitude that values defending property over human life? I mean, obviously in this case I completely disagree with the the idea that this was a theft or that the man had any right to shoot someone, but I’ve seen similar arguments in other cases, and even seen that line of thinking backfire. A few years ago, my husband’s cousin, Cale, was shot and killed in a car jacking in Houston, TX. He was gay, staunchly liberal, but loved his gun. A man came up to him in a parking lot holding a gun and demanded his keys and wallet. Cale gave him what he asked for, then when the guy went to get in the car, Cale shot him. The guy hit the ground and fired up, shooting Cale in the head and killing him. If Cale hadn’t had a gun and hadn’t been “defending his property” he probably never would have been shot. He didnt have to die.

    Obviously totally unrelated to and different from this case. But just in terms of gun ownership, period, why does anyone feel like their money or cars or whatever it may be is worth someone dying over? Why do they feel like shooting another human being is their right? It’s a huge problem with gun culture, especially in the southern states, and even in the Midwest where I live now. It was a problem when I lived in CA with gang shootings and all of that mess. It’s so scary. And I can’t help but wonder how many more of these stupid, senseless deaths have to occur before idiot people and politicians stop defending our “right” to kill.

    • 

      No problem, Ashley, comment as often as you want. I don’t get the whole thing about valuing property above people either. I’m so sorry about Cale—what a horrible thing. If someone held a gun to my head and said, “Give me your wallet/car/jewelry/whatever,” I’d hand it over. I’m not going to play hero just to save my property. It’s a problem in NY, too, people getting shot to death for drugs, or drug money. It’s all so fucked up.

  34. 

    Man, I love your style. In a perfect world, that lawyer would become someone’s prison bitch. It’s despicable and sickening that he used that defense tactic. It’s so fucking insulting. I also can’t believe the jury bought it. I hope Lenora Ivie Frago haunts their dreams for the rest of their lives.

  35. 

    Reblogged this on Exploring Pixie and commented:
    I’m breaking two of my rules: only one post a day, and that Fridays are supposed to be funny. But this is too important not to share. I agree with Madame Weebles’ every single word.
    Fuck you Texas lawmakers. And no one will ever convince me that there is a *single* good thing associated with gun ownership. I’m sorry.
    Please read and comment. Here, there, everywhere.

  36. 

    I shall take Texas off my to do list! I had Austin down as somewhere to go if I get my visa (forms sent to the embassy yesterday) I dread to think what punishment I would have got for my crime in Texas, it was a £200 fine here.

    I was looking forward to it too, I imagined it as looking through a fishbowl to a strange world. They probably shoot things in fishbowls though.

  37. 

    I lived in Texas for over 20 years. I married a Texan and then divorced him because he was an evil idiot. He stalked me for 5 years. I could do nothing in Texas to stop it. There are many, many good, kind, smart people in Texas. But not the lawmakers I’m afraid. What I found so irritating when I lived there is that the ‘good ole boy’ standard lives and breaths there. It still does, but is a bit more hidden now. But it is still there! If you are not a white middle aged man, then you have no ideas worth considering. And if you were a WOMAN, no matter the color, they would pat you on the head and say ‘don’t worry about things, we men will handle it.’
    It seems Texas still has those old ideals. Carry a gun, shoot to kill, and all will be well. Just make sure you are one of those white men though. Otherwise your ass will be thrown in jail and the key will be tossed. It’s sad, scary and I will never go back. I live in Canada now. I am still an American citizen. I love my homeland. But I can’t go back till my ex is dead and buried. Canada has been good to me. I love Canada too. I feel so much for that woman’s family. Karma will win in the end. Sorry I am rambling on. I will go now.

    • 

      Ramble on as much as you want, Jackie. Your situation sounds heinous, I’m so sorry. Fucking Texas good ol’ boys. Disgusting. Here’s hoping your ex meets up with a horrific end.

  38. 

    Bravo Madame Weebles, bravo!

  39. 

    Between the assholes in Texas and the dicks in Florida I’m often almost too ashamed to travel out of the country. Other times I feel like taking a permanent “vacation.” This is a superbly written piece, and it got my ire up (ire, lol).

    If I could cause spontaneous combustion with my mind, the world would be a better place (weeeeelll, maybe . . .).

    • 

      I know how you feel. I can see why a lot of Canadians wear maple leaf pins overseas, lest they be mistaken for Americans. If you ever figure out how to cause spontaneous combustion with your mind, can you teach me how to do it? I would really enjoy that.

      • 

        Mentally willing spontaneous combustion has been a dream of mine since I read Stephen King’s Firestarter when I was younger! If I ever master the trick, you’ll be the first to know!

  40. 

    You are perfection, you know that You took what a lot of us were thinking, and put it into words that actually made some sense. Texas seems like another world to me, one filled with aliens who drink beer while driving large trucks that have loaded shotguns mounted to the back of them. I think their laws reflect an attitude that is very Texas-specific, and despite knowing some wonderful Texans, I know a larger amount who have view points that closely align with their lawmakers’.

    If there is a law stating that you can shoot and kill someone for the theft of $150, surely there is a law that allows one to shoot a capped tooth religious zealot like Rick Perry for no other reason than the fact that he’s Rick Perry. I’d also like to get a similar law instated for Larry Taylor, the “don’t nitpick, don’t try to Jew them down” guy who is also out of Texas.

    • 

      I forgot about the “Jew them down” guy. Scumbag. There are so many nice people in Texas, and they’re all overwhelmed by the number of ignorant sick fucks who are in lockstep with the lawmakers. There SHOULD be a law that would allow someone to fatally shoot evil zealots like RIck Perry. I’m going to write in your name as a candidate for Empress of the World.

  41. 

    I feel for you, Mary. I don’t know how I’d react if I lived in Texas, but I would be very upset too. And it’s not just Texas. There’s an epidemic of stupidity in many states, unfortunately.

  42. 

    Spot-on Weebs. Everything’s BIGGER in Texas, inlcuding the assholes and the dickwads. (How has no one else already said this?)

  43. 

    I just … somehow I hadn’t heard of this case — or this law — until now. I thought “stand your ground” was bad enough, but now you can kill someone who’s running away from you, just to recover property? But only at night? WTF? Why don’t they just cut to the chase and issue hunting licenses (“okay, hunting season is between 9pm and 5am daily, and remember, you’re only allowed to shoot males wearing hoodies or females who are, you know, asking for it”).

    • 

      Seriously, right?? I’m surprised the law as you phrased it isn’t already on the books. I’m sure they’d love to have a law like that, frankly, because let’s face it, it’s what they really want…

  44. 
    writerwendyreid June 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Weebly, although I completely understand your outrage at this injustice, I’m not sure what makes this case different from any other injustice that takes place anywhere else in the world. Doesn’t shit like this happen every day…vermin getting away with murder because of a technicality? I have no argument that this was a horrible event, I’m just not really sure why it’s getting so much attention.

    • 

      Well, Mistress, you’re right that there are zillions of injustices, this isn’t particularly special in that regard. But Texas has had more than its fair share of injustices, and what struck me in particular was the fact that in the same week, the Texas judicial system acquitted one man—even though he admitted to killing a woman—because of an insane law that allowed him to kill her, AND sentenced another man to 50 years in prison for theft. The two events really hammer home how dysfunctional and fucked up Texas is, and that’s what got my dander up.

  45. 

    I’m so jaded because I hear about injustices like this all the time….I get mad, and I just add it to the pile. Thanks for organizing your pile and writing about it.

  46. 

    More fun Texas stories:
    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/ricin-arrest-texas-92414.html?hp=r3

    A quote:
    “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns,” the letter stated, according to MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “Anyone [who] wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional, God-given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die. What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got planned for you.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/ricin-arrest-texas-92414.html#ixzz2VYodWgpC

    So GOD gave you the right to have a gun and shoot people in the face? That’s some kind o’God you’ve devised in your mind… I don’t think god had ANYTHING to do with the constitution.

  47. 

    And yet the same people who supported this verdict would decry the “atrocities” committed in courts in other lands. Events like this make me think Earth is long overdue for a very large asteroid to set a new stage.

    • 

      You are so right, JM. The Taliban aren’t so different from the folks in Texas, the only difference is that they claim to do these things on behalf of different gods. Earth really does need a do-over. Maybe after the stage is reset, elephants will rule the world instead. They’d do a much better job than humans.

  48. 

    Didn’t Perry want to secede a few years ago? I’d be cool with that.

  49. 

    I haven’t heard about this, Weebles. It beggars belief.

  50. 

    Nothing cute to say about this. Was genuinely angry and depressed when I read about it as I wasn’t aware of the case until I read your post.. I had no idea how much like the Christian Iran Texas had become. I think people put too much stock in the idea of institutional misogyny sometimes, but what the hell else can this be. There no way he would have been acquitted if the victim hadn’t been an escort. You can almost hear the conversation in the jury room: ‘Well i would have shot the bitch too..’ Unbelievable.
    Just on a technical point seems as it was a technicality this shit bag got off on, surely a dispute over a transaction of this type -even if it wasn’t illegal- would be a civil matter and not a simple theft. It kind of sets the precedent that you can shoot someone over an unpaid bill or something like that.

    • 

      I absolutely agree.Misogyny is alive and well in Texas, to the point where it’s okay to shoot those bitches if they get too uppity. If this had been a conflict between two men, I’m pretty sure the trigger wouldn’t have been pulled. Of course, if it had been two men, BOTH of them probably would have been carrying guns so it would have turned into a shootout…. And why turn it into a civil matter when you can fire at will??

  51. 

    This is horrible, but it’s the result of a particular Texas law, not gun laws in general. I don’t think whoever framed this law anticipated a situation like this (a very common phenomenon in the American legislature), and it’s likely that steps will be taken to amend it. I worry though, that there will be an overcorrection. The tragedy here is that a PERSON has died over a theft. I’ve seen irresponsible headlines like “Woman killed for refusing to have sex with man,” which is not only untrue, but misleads an easily misled public.

    Regarding Texas gun laws–guns are a part of Texas culture. As I’m sure you know, there are plenty of violent places in the US with quite restrictive gun laws. In different parts of the country, but particularly in the East, there’s the idea that “one-size-fits-all” and what’s good for me is good for you. I think people don’t spend enough time thinking about why other people feel the way they do.

    • 

      That particular incident was the result of one law in particular, but I mentioned the other gun laws (or lack thereof) because it’s those laws that allow any asshole to carry. Yes, there are plenty of other violent places with tighter gun regulations, but that’s not my point here. One of my points is that obviously those gun laws *aren’t* helping to deter crime—which is a HUGE part of what gun proponents claim. If you live in a sparsely populated area of Texas where it may genuinely be a good idea to have a gun for protection because law enforcement is too far away, that’s one thing. But that’s not the case under Texas law. For instance, Ezekiel Gilbert lives in San Antonio—not exactly the Texas outback. As for guns being a part of Texas culture, I don’t care if I sound like an elitist, holier-than-thou east coaster, I think it’s fucking insane to allow guns the way they do. Slavery used to be a part of a lot of states’ culture too. And those gun aficionados aren’t just interested in the aesthetics of the weapons; they like to USE them. So I’m not really sure how gun culture is a good thing, or how lax gun restrictions can possibly be anything except dangerous—especially when combined with laws that basically allow you to shoot to kill.

      • 

        That’s an excellent point about slavery, but I do think that gun culture is more about personal liberty. I’m not a gun owner, but I have many friends who grew up with guns. With one exception, they’re extremely responsible.

        We are a violent country (although not as violent as the media would have you believe), and as such, we see a high incidence of gun violence in comparison to other developed nations. However, there are countries where gun ownership is widespread that have relatively low crime rates. I don’t cite this as evidence that guns aren’t part of the problem, but rather for why I feel they’re not the source of the problem.
        The Texas case, which we can both agree places a sad value on human life, stems from the (to my thinking) legitimate belief that a person should be able to defend his or her property.

        • 

          I know a few people who own guns, not many, and although they’re responsible gun owners too, the ones who aren’t are scary. And no, guns aren’t the cause or the source of the problem per se; in countries with few guns, like the UK, stabbings are much more common. So it’s not as if a lack of guns = lack of murders. NY has pretty restrictive gun laws but it hasn’t stopped fatal shootings, that’s for damned sure. But it concerns me greatly that the mindset in Texas and other states with widespread gun culture is that gun ownership should be a god-given right, regardless of one’s mental health or sense of personal responsibility. That, along with laws that value defense of property over human life, are what disgust me so much. And I agree that the US as a country isn’t nearly as violent as the media would lead people to believe. That does piss me off a lot.

  52. 

    weren’t they petitioning to secede not too long ago? where to i sign? can we start digging along the border and create a nice long moat/canal? oooh, we DO need to hang onto Austin, though….

  53. 

    A bit flabbergasted by this, I did some Googling. I learned that there was no theft- no consensus in idem about the nature of the contract between the parties, but no theft. I was going to make a comment about “Why not just make theft a capital offence? Because then it would require proof.” A man shoots a woman because he feels conned.

    However, he has my complete sympathy. Poor man! How awful for him! This is the comment which won may heart-

    “I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago,” Gilbert said on Wednesday. “I’ve been in a mental prison the past four years of my life. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel.”

    Oh! The poor man! Having to change the channel, when he has been protecting his property!

    • 

      Hi Clare!! Isn’t it heartbreaking, the suffering that this man has gone through? He was only protecting his property, the poor dear. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to have to pick up the remote to change the channel. So much trauma there. I weep for him, and I’m sure you do as well.

  54. 

    I don’t live in your country or know what you are talking about but I like the way you said it.

  55. 

    I’m still at a loss for words, Weebs, but I did want to say I thought this post was Bad-Ass. I live in Texas (though my heart is in Georgia), and it’s true … more value is placed on cattle and livestock and football than on women’s rights. Thanks for expressing some of my anger.

    • 

      Thanks Christy–if I were a Texas resident, I’d be so infuriated by this that I wouldn’t be able to see straight. Those cowboys really are quick on the draw, and I get the sick feeling that if it were a man stealing $150 from that guy, he wouldn’t have been fired on the way that poor woman was. Also, I owe you an email, my Georgia Peach…

  56. 

    This news article has sparked multiple blog posts!! It is everywhere. Texas has some crazy ass laws!

  57. 

    So so so many things wrong in this world. It does not even compute how one justifies taking a life and reframing it into a law. Your words so clearly articulate are a welcome breath of understanding. Thank you.

  58. 

    At first I was afraid that I might be in trouble…
    but then I remembered I’m not a politician, so I was all like, ‘Whew!’ Er, whatever.

  59. 

    I think it’s time for the whole world to wake up and smell the coffee. (Or perhaps gunpowder.)

    The whole point of the legal system is it’s supposed to protect the vunerable and innocent, not the rich and guilty.

    The only thing is, half the problems come from the people who refuse to believe they have any responsibility for their actions, and that includes the mouthy kids in school, the people who insist it’s their right to own a gun and shoot things (and that includes people because these idiots have fooled themselves into seeing other people as things), the bankers who don’t care that they’ve lost billions of their customers’ money and still give themselves a few million in a bonus, the politicians who screw the system and claim back money for a second home that they’ve rented out to someone else and the dictators who think their country should treat them as though they’re Jesus come again.

    • 

      You are so, so right, Lou. The lack of personal responsibility, the sense of entitlement, the utter callousness towards others… it all adds up to a recipe for disaster, and here we are. Sigh.

      • 

        Maybe it’s time to start a colony on the moon? Only us more responsible types stay here on earth, and those who have the mindset of entitlement are the ones sent there. And if all the gun-nuts take all their guns with them, then we’ll merely have to up in a few months to clean up the mess…

  60. 

    Your fuck you posts are always so eloquently stated. I couldn’t have put it better. And “warms my cockles” is a favorite phrase of mine.

  61. 

    Did you take Texas’s huge size into account when you mentioned its crime rate?

    • 

      Don’t have to, really. California, New York, Pennsylvania and Illnois all have huge populations too, with rates nowhere near Texas in terms of gun violence or domestic violence. The rates in Texas are high because they’re high, and not just because of the high population.

  62. 

    I want to say Rick Perry is a the devil but he isn’t clever enough.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Free will | Clare Flourish - June 15, 2013

    […] I found through Madame Weebles about a man getting away with murder, through a Texas law, and that was the news story I wanted to […]

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