1. souse, n.5: 3. A drunkard. slang (chiefly U.S.). (OED)
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Cause in Texas, that's how we do

Via the good people over at Burnt Orange report, the Austin American Statesman decided to head into the Texas house and ask our duly elected representatives what they've accomplished halfway through the current legislative session. Can you guess the answer?

They only meet once every two years, so it's not like there's any urgency.

Of course, this doesn't mean they're too busily un-busy to take up a bill making it legal to carry concealed handguns on state campuses.

I love Texas (I grew up here) but this cowboy complex is getting fucking ridiculous. Never mind that half those legislators are suburban out-of-staters. They couldn't cinch a horse, but are convinced a return to the wild west would solve our violent crime problem. Well here's a quick test: was homicide more or less common in 1860's Texas or 2000's? Robert Dykstra, in Body Counts and Murder Rates: The Contested Statistics of Western America, endorses a study which calculated homicides in Texas in the (particularly violent) post-reconstruction era as just under 50 per 100,000. And during calmer times, the book suggests, averages for western states were more in the 20-30 range. Compare that to current rates -- around 6 per 100,000.

But by all means, let's go back to the 19th century. Let's allow concealed handguns everywhere they might thwart rampages: elementary schools, liquor stores, synagogues, sports arenas, bars, hold'em tourneys. I've got a Derringer that I've been dying to tuck into a stocking. Maybe the Texans can talk the Giants into trading Plaxico Burris -- he can kick it with Carl Landry.

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