A zoo in Texas finds itself in a tight spot after city officials forced the privately-owned business to remove signs barring guns from the premises. For quite some time now, the Houston Zoo, which houses majestic animals and is frequently visited (as are all zoos) by children, has asked but one thing of people who feel it necessary to carry their firearms around with them in public: Leave your guns in your vehicles. Unfortunately, thanks to a new state law, a technicality, and an utter lack of reason, the zoo is now required to allow any maniac with a gun to walk through the gates armed…for freedom.
The state law in question, which took effect on September 1, makes it illegal for government entities to restrict concealed carry. If gun owners feel that they are discriminated against by a government entity, they have the option of filing a complaint — something that can be costly. Local governments who choose to protect citizens by disallowing guns risk steep fines of up to $10,000 daily if they fail to remove “illegal” signage intended to keep people safe.
Though the Houston Zoo is privately-owned, the land it sits on belongs to the city — and ammosexuals didn’t wait for the ink to dry, so to speak, before demanding their right to blasturbate in front of kids. Houston attorney T. Edwin Walker with Texas Law Shield, a gun rights advocacy firm, sent a letter to the city just two days after the law went into effect stating that the “no guns” signs, pictured below, were illegal.“A week later I get a call from the associate general counsel from the city of Houston that they couldn’t argue with my argument,” Walker told the Houston Chronicle, obviously pleased with himself for making children unsafe. “There was no getting around it.”
“I guarantee there is no license holder who is going to go to the zoo in anticipation of shooting a giraffe in front of a bunch of school children,” Walker said. “The issue is just that this is a place where the government is not allowed to tell people that they can’t carry a licensed handgun. The Texas government has recognized that people have the right to defend themselves. How do they do that? With a gun.”
The Houston Press reports that the zoo sits in an extremely low-crime area, with only 11 murders reported in the area since 2010. None, of course, happened at the zoo, but Walker says that he would not feel safe there without his trusty penile extension.
“Unfortunately we live in a world where there are people who are intent to do harm unto others,” Walker said. “I don’t want to be punched in the face or stabbed with a knife. We are allowed to be secure in the knowledge that if somebody does attack me, I have the best tool available to defend myself. That tool is a gun.”
Walker is, of course, correct that people do wish to do harm to others. In 2014, Open Carry Tarrant County and Three Percenter militia member Veronica Dunnachie shot and killed her husband and his child — apparently, part of her “fight for liberty.” Open Carry Tarrant County, the offspring of slightly less crazy Open Carry Texas, has traditionally fought for the right to open carry handguns wherever they want, no matter the circumstances or nature of the location. One member of her group, Bobby Thomas, pictured below, said at the time that he was “not that surprised” that a “gun rights supporter” with whom he was associated would turn violent.
The Houston Press notes that, while the zoo has an extensive education program and is a popular field trip destination, these details do not help in defense of Walker’s attempts to allow gun owners to intimidate the public within the grounds of the zoo. TheTexas Penal Code prohibits people from carrying a gun on “any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted.” However, Walker says that this does not apply:
“You can get educated anywhere— at a movie theater, an auditorium, whatever. It’s not just the fact that someone is getting ‘educated’ that makes someplace an educational institution. Just because they serve an educational purpose or are used in an educational way by some people, that is a far cry from fitting under any definition of an educational institution that’s found in the Texas Penal Code.”
The zoo says it is “investigating the legal implications of [Walker’s] request,” and is consulting with other Texas cities. Zoo spokesperson Jackie Wallace explained that while the signs are down for now, the fight is not over. Despite Walker’s claims, the zoo has long maintained that it is an educational institution under state law, which would allow them to ban guns.
“We do recognize that this has the potential to confuse or concern our guests and members,” Wallace said. “And we want to emphasize that this will not alter our number-one priority, which is the safety of our guests, employees and animals.” Unfortunately, this is not the “number-one priority” for Walker or state lawmakers.
According to city attorney Donna Edmunson, the city has not received any other complaints about the zoo’s attempt to protect its guests. Walker was the first and only person to be too skittish to go to a zoo without his firearm.
Obviously, some residents have an issue with no longer being safe to take their children to the zoo.
“I cannot vouch for the mental stability of anyone, and I’m tired of hearing people say guns don’t kill people, people do,'” said Lake Jackson resident Carla Gager said. “What I’m saying is there is no way of judging what it’s going to take to set someone off. I think this whole thing is in the crazy zone.” She says that she will no longer be able to go to the zoo, because she is “uneasy that someone could be in there with a concealed carry with the wrong mindset.”
“I probably won’t be coming here anymore, but probably bad for them,” said zoo visitor Anna Runge.
“You just never know these days. I’d feel safer going somewhere where it’s restricted but what can you do,” said Felica Manuel, a visitor to the zoo.
Some ammosexual zoo patrons, of course, promise not to hurt anyone, despite the increased safety risk posed by the mere presence of a firearm. “I hunt and everything, so I’m not going to hurt someone with a gun,” said John [last name unavailable]. “If you feel more secure with a gun, carry a gun.”
“If you have the right to carry, you should be able to carry,” said Chrissy Richey, a zoo patron. “That’s my opinion. Everyone should be safe. If you think carrying a gun makes you safe.”
Will the zoo find a way to fix this rather severe problem, or will the ammosexuals win? Only time will tell.
Watch a report on the removal of the signage, below: