God bless Texas!

God bless Texas!

This good-news article clearly has nothing to do with China, but a heck of a lot to do with America’s frontier spirit, which the nation needs to strengthen and revive if it is to survive and thrive in the coming years.

Texas Governor Rick Perry today signed into law Senate Bill 378, extending Texans’ rights to use deadly force for means of self-defense, without retreat, in their home, vehicle or workplace. The law takes effect Sept. 1, 2007.

“The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law, but is intuitive to human nature,” said Perry. “Today, I am proud to sign the Castle Law which allows Texans to not only protect themselves from criminals, but to receive the protection of state law when circumstances dictate that they use deadly force.”

In 1995, the Texas Legislature created an exception to a 1973 statute, which required a person to retreat in the face of a criminal attack. The exception allowed a person to use force without retreat when an intruder unlawfully entered their home. Senate Bill 378 extends a person’s right to stand their ground beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces, allowing the reasonable use of deadly force when an intruder is committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes as unlawfully trying to enter a protected place, or unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.

Texas joins several other states including Florida that have or are considering similar laws.

The news from Texas brings to mind the courage and fighting spirit of theTexas Rangers–the legendary law enforcement agency, not the Major League baseball team (though the team is a nice enough outfit). In the face of the looming conflict with Iran and the gathering Islamist threat, the Rangers’ motto–“One riot, one Ranger”–should inspire every American and every freedom-loving person in every democracy on earth.

That, and the Rangers’ famous distaste for red tape and paperwork. An 1875 telegram by a Ranger illustrates the point. The Lone Star state lawman sent the telegram to his superior officer from Matamoros, Mexico, after pursuing raiding bandits across the border. It reads: “Had a fight with raiders, killed 12 and captured 265. Wish you were here, Captain Leander McNelly.”

Apparently, the rules of engagement were different back then.

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