It nice to find that rare breed of politician who understands what his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States means. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has been criticized by some newspapers for carrying a concealed handgun in a national park in Texas.
His response to those critics is unapologetic:
“Recent displays of my Second Amendment rights have earned some harsh words from editorial writers at some of Texas’ big city newspapers, including the San Antonio Express-News.
I’ve been criticized for acknowledging I carried a concealed handgun, as is my right, on recent visits to Big Bend National Park. A National Park Service rule prohibits carrying a loaded, concealed handgun.”
“The ban on loaded firearms in National Park is not a law. It is a rule enacted by unelected bureaucrats of the National Park Service. There was no legislative process — these bureaucrats arbitrarily terminated this Constitutional right.
Fortunately, the clearly unconstitutional National Park Service rules on possessing firearms in federal parks are changing. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne recently proposed new rules that would respect state firearm laws and the Second Amendment.
Nonetheless, some editorial boards oppose allowing citizens the right to self-defense. Law-abiding Texans, they say, can’t be trusted with guns and don’t need them in the park, anyway, because no one else can have a gun.”
“Americans are guaranteed our right to keep and bear arms. That right is unassailable and inviolate. To rescind that right when one crosses an arbitrary boundary into a national park is an unconstitutional act no different than rescinding our Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.
As an elected official, I take an oath that I will “to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.”
I do not regard such affirmations as anachronistic formalities. I guess you can call me an old-fashioned believer in the wisdom of those who penned the Bill of Rights and not much of a believer in the wisdom of editorial boards.”
Wouldn’t it be great if more politicians understood and lived up to their oath?