Archive for March, 2008

posted by Jerry Patterson - Texas Land Commissioner on Mar 31

Here is a communication I sent to a Hilton Hotel executive in response to an apparent new policy to prohibit Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees from bringing their defensive handguns into the hotel.

Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner


I recently picked up a member of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) from the Doubletree on 15th St in Austin and noticed the new signs announcing that concealed handguns are not permitted (the signs are silent on whether other types of firearms such as rifles and shotguns are prohibited).

I have several questions:

1. Is a firearm in a personal vehicle in your garage prohibited?
2. Since I was in my vehicle and armed when I drove up to pick up my colleagues the other night, was I in violation of your policy?
3. When you accept reservations do you inform your guests of this policy so that they are not surprised when they arrive?
4. If a guest with reservations and a firearm, and who was not aware of your new policy arrived at your hotel would you provide safe off premises storage for the weapon?
5. If there were no provisions for storage of a firearm, would you insure the guest could find other equivalent lodging in Austin even if all hotels were booked as is often the case?
6. Since most of the SBOE members stay at your hotel because they can walk to state office buildings, do you assume an additional obligation for the personal safety of guests who are disarmed by your policy and who may be victims of crime while on or off your premises, particularly while walking at night to and from meetings?
7. Do you have any concern that the signs posted on your building might attract criminal activity since criminals are likely to be attracted to a location where they believe their potential victims are unarmed? Does this obvious incentive for criminal activity create an additional liability for you if a guest is assaulted?
8. Are you aware that the signs you have posted likely do not comply with Texas Penal Code section 30.06 and therefore may not be legally sufficient to ban handguns from your property?

While a State Senator, I was the author of Texas’ concealed handgun law. There are few if any in the State of Texas who are more familiar with state and federal firearms law than I. Additionally, I have spent approximately $15,000 hosting receptions at your hotel, and have attended many others as a guest of other elected officials and the Republican party. I can reasonably state that tens of thousands of dollars of future revenue may be in jeopardy if this senseless policy remains in effect.

I recognize there is a great deal of misunderstanding about Texas firearms law, and frequently premise holders believe posting signs may be required by law in oder to achieve some desirable objective. In other words, posting these signs is not always an informed decision.

While I am not an attorney, I am more than willing to explain Texas firearms law to anyone with the Hilton Hotel corporation. I’m very qualified to do so since I authored most of the laws pertaining to carrying handguns while I was a member of the Texas legislature.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jerry Patterson
Commissioner, Texas General Land Office

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Mar 21

Here is a press release concerning a very good candidate for the Leander ISD Board of Trustees. Please give Nathan your support.


Nathan Deckinga
Candidate for Leander ISD Board of Trustees place 6

Nathan Deckinga believes that a good leader must be a great servant and is asking for your support in the May 10th election for Leander ISD Board of Trustees place 6. He is a devoted husband and loving father. His children, ages 2 and 5, currently attend Good Shepherd preschool and Winkley Elementary School respectively. Nathan has lived in LISD for nearly 10 years, central Texas for 23, and has over 12 years experience in the local computer industry. He is active in his church and is a volunteer with Leander ISD – currently assisting with the RunTex Born 2 Run program at Running Brushy.

Nathan Deckinga recognizes that Leander ISD is undergoing significant changes and growth and that the solutions and style that worked so well 10 years ago might not provide the answers that are needed today. “Leander ISD has a great community of teachers and staff who do everything they can for the students. It is unfortunate that those dealing directly with the students on a daily basis are not more empowered to suggest and effect changes in the district. There is a sense that the board does not listen to its greatest asset, the teachers. I intend to change that by providing a method to anonymously report problems and request changes, but most importantly I promise to act on any information received,” said Nathan.

Fiscal responsibility also plays a role in Nathan’s candidacy. “With Leander ISD growing as rapidly as it is, we must respect the duty as public servants of being good stewards of the money entrusted to us while still providing for the needs of every student.”

Nathan also recognizes that each student is unique and has different learning strengths and opportunities. “Each student deserves the very best that we can give. Everyone needs to be challenged and excited to learn every day at school. The programs currently in place are a great start, but they need to be expanded to provide opportunities for all students. We must provide services and resources where they are needed, instead of providing them where it is easiest.”

“We owe it to our teachers and students to be open and honest with them in all things.”

Nathan Deckinga for Leander ISD place 6.
Academic Excellence.
Administrator Accountability.

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Mar 15


The National Rifle Association is known as the largest and most powerful civil rights organization in the world. But the NRA is far more than just a “gun lobby,” it is also the leader in firearms training. In fact, the NRA trains more law enforcement officers nationwide than any other organization. It is also the leader in civilian firearms training, with programs in rifle, pistol and shotgun shooting, as well as personal protection programs.


In recent years, the NRA has seen tremendous growth in the popularity of and demand for its NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home Course (“PPIH”). As its name implies, this Course focuses on using firearms for self-defense and defense of your family within your home. Topics covered include: Texas law on self-defense including the use of deadly force, ethics, mindset and awareness, cover and concealment, strategies for home defense, confronting an intruder, responding to violent confrontations, selecting a handgun for self-defense, safe storage of firearms, and sporting activities and training opportunities.

Students do not be spend all of their time in the classroom, as important as those topics are in self-defense training. In this course, students spend a minimum of three (3) hours on the range learning tactics of self-defense shooting. The NRA PPIH full course runs between eight (8) and ten (10) hours, depending upon the number of students in the class. The PPIH Course is a pre-requisite for the NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home (“PPOH”) as that course builds on the skills developed in the PPIH training.


The last decade has seen a huge increase in the number of states enacting laws to allow law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for self-defense. In Texas, this law is commonly referred to as the “CHL statute” and persons licensed to carry a concealed handgun are referred to simply as “CHLs.”

In response to public demand for special training for CHL’s, the NRA embarked on a multi-year project to develop a comprehensive basic course to train people licensed to carry defensive handguns. The result of this project is the NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Course (“PPOH”). This Course builds on the concepts and skills a student learns in the NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home Course. Topics covered include: concealed carry safety and the defensive mindset, self-defense and concealed carry, legal aspects of concealed carry and self-defense, concealed carry methods, presenting the handgun from concealment, presentation, position and movement, and special shooting techniques.

The PPOH Course is a minimum of fourteen (14) hours long broken into two (2) days, including 8 ½ hrs on the range practicing tactics and techniques used in self-defense shooting outside the students’ home.

Many people learned to shoot informally, without any organized training or course. While this works fine if you have a good instructor, the NRA courses delve into issues not covered in when learning the physical act of shooting. I have thought hundreds of people how to shoot over the last thirty-five years, but the introduction of the NRA Personal Protection courses has added a new dimension to the training available.

As the course titles state, the NRA PPIH and PPOH courses are basic self-defense courses, not advanced “tactical” courses. They are an excellent start and for many people they are the only personal protection courses they will ever take. If one chooses to take more advanced courses, and this is strongly recommended, they will find the NRA Personal Protection courses gave them a good basis on which to learn new skills.

Now that you have your concealed handgun license, or are in the process, take the next logical step and get additional training. The NRA PPIH and PPOH courses are good choices.


posted by Charles L. Cotton on Mar 11

More hypocrisy from a leading anti-Second Amendment Crusader

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has been accused of being involved with a prostitution ring providing high-price “call girls” to its customers. The full extent of his involvement has not been disclosed and may not even be known at this time. The accusations against Governor Spitzer were reported on virtually every major news outlet, much to the chagrin of the Spitzer’s supporters the likes of which include New York Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer and Presidential hopeful New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

As yet, no official charges, if any, have been released and early reports of an indictment against Governor Spitzer appear to have been premature. The only allegations publicized at this time appear to be based upon the Governor arranging to have a specific prostitute named “Kristen” travel by train from New York to Washington D.C. to have sex with him at the Mayflower Hotel. If Governor Spitzer is the now-infamous “Client No. 9″ discovered during court-ordered wiretapping of the Emporors Club, then his actions would violate the Mann Act and the former New York Attorney General may find himself doing time in the same prisons to which he sent others convicted of the same crimes of which he may be accused.

Spitzer’s Public Apology

What does a New York Governor without a moral conscience do when he has been caught breaking the very laws he once vigorously and hypocritically enforced? Why, he makes his devastated and betrayed wife stand next to him at a press conference so he can publicly apologize to her and the rest of his family, and hopefully gain some sympathy and support with her grief-stricken face and his crocodile tears. So typical of a corrupt politician who has been caught, Governor Spitzer did not have the intestinal fortitude to stand in front of the media’s cameras alone and admit that he cheated on his wife and broke a number of state and federal laws. Rather, he gave a self-serving statement that he hopes will convince at least some people that he is truly sorry for what he has done.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.

Well Governor Spitzer, you certainly violated family “obligations” and “any sense of right and wrong,” but you know well that you violated federal and state law as well. If you were as remorseful as you would have the public believe, you would have admitted that also, and you would have immediately resigned as Governor of New York.

Special Significance of Spitzer’s Apparent Crimes

Allegations against high-ranking political figures, especially allegations of involvement with prostitutes, are unfortunately rather commonplace. But the allegations against Governor Spitzer are especially troubling in light of his undeserved reputation of being tough on crime, including organized prostitution rings. Apparently, Governor Spitzer was tough on other peoples’ crimes and other peoples’ prostitution rings, but not his own.

Prior to being elected Governor of New York, Spitzer served eight (8) years as New York Attorney General. During those years, he built a reputation of being a crusader against crime, ironically including the prosecution of prostitution rings. As time went on and his deception grew, he was dubbed “Eliot Ness Spitzer” and “Mr. Clean,” titles he spent like political monopoly money to feather his political nest and “work” his way into the Governor’s Mansion. But in truth, Spitzer is much more than a fallen political figure, he is a fraud. He is not sorry for what he did, only that he got caught. He is not sorry for the betrayal and humiliation his wife and family feel, but he morns the effect this scandal will have on his political future and possibly his freedom. Why else would he flaunt his wife’s shame and grief before television cameras, other than to feign remorse and hopefully salvage some political support. A man who is truly sorry for his actions does not subject his wife to being a media spectacle and he fully admits his guilt; he does not simply recite a result-oriented prepared statement.

Frivolous lawsuits against innocent firearms manufacturers

Playing on undeserved nicknames was not the only dishonorable thing Spitzer did in his quest for power and position. He was a prime offender in the filing of frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers solely to put them out of business through mounting legal defense costs. In the days before passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, politically motivated groundless lawsuits against firearms manufacturers were threatening to destroy the American firearms industry. Prior owners of Smith & Wesson reluctantly made a deal with New York that nearly destroyed the company when its customers abandoned it. When the deal looked like it was falling apart, then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo managed to salvage it and in so doing, sparked a conflict with Spitzer who needed disparately to get credit for the “deal” of the century. Thankfully, Smith & Wesson ownership changed as did its management, the Spitzer’s extortion plot failed when Smith & Wesson repudiated the “deal,” and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed making such Spitzer-esk arm-twisting impossible.

But Spitzer’s political battle plan included frivolous lawsuits against high profile people and companies outside the firearms industry. And those lawsuits garnered him a great deal of criticism. As Kimberly Strassell, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it “Eliot Sptizer’s Real Agenda is . . . Eloit Spitzer! It is obvious that, until yesterday, Spitzer believed the old adage that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” His perspective has probably changed in the last twenty-four (24) hours.

Silence from Spitzer supporters is deafening

Where is the outcry from leaders in Democratic Party? Where is the outcry from Senators Schumer and Feinstein, both stalwart anti-Second Amendment rights activists? Undoubtedly Schumer and Feinstein are devastated that their anti-gun champion, founder of the frivolous lawsuit theory of victory, has been so unceremoniously defrocked. And where is the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (a/k/a Brady Campaign to Ban All Guns) on this issue? Who knows, not a peep has been heard from their camp. One can only imagine the thunderous roar that would be heard from these people if an officer of the National Rifle Association had been accused of such conduct and crimes.

Fellow Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer managed only to say the following:

I feel bad for him and his family but until he makes a more complete statement, I have nothing more to say.

You feel bad for Spitzer and his family, Senator Schumer!? What about your own constituents, the good people of New York? What about the people and companies who were falsely targeted for politically motivated lawsuits solely to promote Spitzer’s lust for power and position? What about the New York Attorney General’s Office and the Governorship of New York? All have been betrayed, disgraced and tainted by the acts of a power-hungry, grand-standing politician concerned only with his own well-being and pleasures.

Oh how the mighty have fallen!


posted by Charles L. Cotton on Mar 7

Chas PhotoThe gun control crowd has learned to stop using the term “gun control.” They even credit the National Rife Association (NRA) with making it a vile phrase. Well, they are correct. When one takes the time to look past the rhetoric and evaluate the true motives and goals of those who oppose Second Amendment freedoms, it quickly becomes apparent that the long term plan is to systematically and incrementally disarm American citizens. To conceal this goal, those who would deprive citizens of the means of self-defense use terms that are not readily identified with gun control.

So what words and phrases should raise one’s level of concern, especially when spoken by politicians seeking votes? Phrases like “sensible gun laws,” “common sense gun laws,” “it’s for the children” and “gun safety laws” are all phrases of choice of gun control advocates. The motive for using such phrases is clear; what rational person could oppose anything that is “sensible” and who wouldn’t want to take an action if it truly was “for the children?” And of course, everyone favors increasing “safety” in most activities of life. When those phrases are uttered, warning flags should fly and it’s time to look behind the rhetoric and see what they are really saying.

Although this warning applies to any politician and gun control advocate, the 2008 Presidential race makes Barrack Hussein Obama’s record on gun control of utmost importance. Senator Obama makes no bones about supporting “common-sense gun control laws,” so what precisely does he consider “common-sense gun control laws?” (Oops, he slipped and said “gun control,” but that was in 2003 and he undoubtedly has been working on this for the Presidential campaign.) At least some indication of his view of Second Amendment rights can be seen in his flippant and dismissive comment about National Rifle Association (NRA) members in the same article, the June 26, 2003 issue of the Black Commentator, wherein Mr. Obama said:

Thus, while I may favor common-sense gun control laws, that doesn’t keep me from reaching out to NRA members who are worried about their lack of health insurance.

Obviously, Senator Obama had no desire to discuss NRA members’ desire to protect the Second Amendment, but why did he find it necessary to so publically and flippantly insult NRA members? Could it be that he views NRA members unworthy of even having their concerns addressed?

In addition to pushing for additional Draconian gun control laws, anti-rights advocates used the insidious tactic of filing frivolous law suits against gun manufactures. The admitted goal was to so overburden firearm manufacturers with legal defense costs that it would drive them out of business. This tactic likely would have worked had it not been for passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. In spite of dishonest comments to the contrary, this Act prevents only groundless and frivolous suits, it does not prevent suits based upon true products liability theories of recovery. In true gun control advocate form, Senator Obama lashed out against this legislation blatantly lying about the threat to the firearm industry in the process. In a Chicago Tribune article proudly displayed on his own website, Senator Obama bemoaned the impending passage of the Act. Excerpts from his anti-gun diatribe include the following:


Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who has taught law at the University of Chicago, said the courts have done a good job of handling, and disposing of, the suits that have been filed. And, he said, gun manufacturers and dealers are not going bankrupt from those cases.

“There is no crisis,” Obama said. “Guns are plentiful. We have multiple guns for every man, woman and child in this country.”

There is ample evidence to prove that Senator Obama is an enemy of law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment. He has a record of voting against gun owners on Second Amendment issues and until he decided to run for President, he openly spoke of his gun control ambitions. So don’t be fooled with his recent tactic of paying lip service to gun owners, hunters and the Second Amendment. It is merely a ploy to conceal his true agenda. As the Boston Globe noted in a February 19, 2008 article:


Last week, the day after the rampage that left six people dead at Northern Illinois University, Barack “Hope” Obama did a classic equivocation as if he knew the National Rifle Association was waiting to nail him in all the “red” states he has won. Obama said, “Today we offer them our thoughts and prayers, but we also have to offer them our determination to do whatever it takes to eradicate this violence from our streets, from our schools, from our neighborhoods and our cities. That is our duty as Americans.”

In the same press conference he reassured gun owners by saying, “I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it’s subject to common-sense regulation.”

There it is again; “subject to common-sense regulation.” Senator Obama, you cannot hide from your record opposing Second Amendment rights and Americans are not going to be fooled by buzz phrases. Your motives are clear, your rhetoric is unconvincing and you owe it to the American public to abandon self-serving, politically expedient buzz phrases. Americans know you support laws that would deprive them of the right to own and use firearms for self-defense and sporting purposes, so be intellectually honest enough to admit it.


posted by Charles L. Cotton on Mar 6

An article appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wherein columnist Linda Campbell criticized Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for taking the lead in the filing of an amicus brief on supporting citizens’ Second Amendment Rights. Ms. Campbell’s column was rather short-sighted to put it mildly.

The Star-Telegram printed a rebuttal by Mr. Ted Cruz and I complement the Star-Telegram for doing so. Here is an expert from Mr. Cruz’s article and you can the entire article at the Star-Telegram Article.

Thank you Mr. Cruz and thanks also to the Star-Telegram for presenting the opposing view.


Working in the best interests of Texans


Special to the Star-Telegram

Last week, columnist Linda Campbell assailed Texas Attorney Greg Abbott for leading 31 states before the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of the Second Amendment. If we stand accused of vigorously protecting the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, we readily plead guilty as charged.

Nonetheless, the Feb. 28 column was wrong on multiple fronts:
. . .

For the rest of the article, please go to the Star-Telegram Article.

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