Among the assault rifles and razor-sharp throwing stars for sale at a recent Freeman Coliseum gun show, fierce loyalty to John McCain also was on display. Lit by flashing red lights and imprinted on buttons, his name greeted browsers at the booths of dealers who consider this year's presidential contest a momentous occasion.
In a state where lawmakers regularly expand gun rights, few issues more consistently push Texans toward Republicans in national elections. And the state isn't wary of innovation: This year, a school district near Dallas became the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to carry guns for protection, a measure Gov. Rick Perry endorsed.
In turn, the Lone Star State logged just nine out of 100 points on a state scorecard compiled recently by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The group cites numerous reasons, including the fact that legislators here have not limited assault weapons or required background checks on all purchases at gun shows, two issues seen as critical on both sides of the gun debate.
“It's usually part of the larger cultural advantage for Republicans. The Democrats are seen as anti-gun,” said Earl Black, a Rice University professor and co-author of “The Rise of Southern Republicans.”
Article here. Of course, there are always those gun owners who just don't get it:
There are gun owners in Texas who support the Illinois senator.
George Salinas Jr., a lifetime hunter and local attorney, said he believes Obama when he says he intends to make America's streets safer but won't yank away Salinas' hunting rifle.
“I've never seen any game in Texas that would require a semiautomatic weapon to take down,” he said.
Ugh. The Second Amendment isn't about hunting, and as an attorney, Mr. Salinas should know that.