As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, I am honored and proud to represent an estimated 170,000 East Texans in Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties. I and these East Texans believe that every Texan is born in the image of the Almighty and is a gift from God.
For East Texans, our three seminal American documents are the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and the Texas Constitution. Our rights flow from God, and we remain subject to the U.S. Constitution to the extent that “those powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In these perilous times, the expansive government auspices of public health, safety, and cancel culture have placed our enshrined constitutional rights under siege. This assault is so pervasive it is just not enough for national and state legislators to swear under oath to defend, preserve, and protect our God-given liberties or even fight for these freedoms. Lawmakers must provide a vigorous public example of how free men and women should live their lives in a republic.
It’s for these reasons I lawfully and unapologetically carry my firearm within the confines of the Texas Capitol, and encourage all law-abiding citizens that have a concealed handgun license to do the same. Enthusiastically, I applaud the efforts of newly elected Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert exercising her constitutional rights to carry her weapon on the grounds of the nation’s Capitol. The violence there on Jan. 6 and the lack of protection from Capitol Police provides a fresh case study for the importance of wisely preparing against danger.
To contrary, I am highly disappointed in Boebert’s Colorado colleague, Rep. Jason Crow, for describing Boebert’s decision to exercise her constitutional firearms rights as a “stunt.” Moreover, I am bewildered that Crow sees Boebert’s exercise of her Second Amendment rights as an expression of disrespect to the Capitol Police.
Boebert is a mother, wife, small businesswoman, and now a member of Congress. This is an exemplar of a law-abiding citizen.
Our Second Amendment rights represent popular sovereignty and the true character of the American people. Only a virtuous citizenry deserves self-government. Due to their virtue, the American people can obtain, maintain, and use firearms in honor of their individual and family history and in the defense of their freedoms.
It is vitally important that the members of the legislative branch, the arena of constitutional primacy, express their fidelity, advocate for self-protection, legislate our rights’ preservation, and exercise and publicly exhibit these fundamental constitutional rights of freedom of speech, religion, assembly, petition and to bear arms.
Our Capitol and our 50 state capitals are shrines of liberty. From the halls of government, our laws emanate and our memorials stand august reminding us of the sacrifices and trials of our forefathers in laying the foundation of freedom and the rule of law.
If American lawmakers truly believe in freedom and the virtue of the citizens they represent, begin this year praying in your state capitol, welcoming the dissent from freedom of speech in your halls of government, encouraging the freedoms of assembly and petition on your capitol grounds, and most importantly, carry your firearm on the legislative floor. Let’s begin anew and revive liberty from the seats of government to the households of our sovereign — the People.
Rep. James White (R) represents District 19 in the Texas House of Representatives. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston.
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