I’ve lived in North Carolina most of my life and don’t envision ever moving away unless Emerald Isle tides take my ashes on a long trip.


I’ve lived in North Carolina most of my life and don’t envision ever moving away unless Emerald Isle tides take my ashes on a long trip.



However, I originally sprouted in Texas. Yep, that I’m actually a Texan was brought to mind last week when I heard of the attempted nutcase terrorist attack in Garland, a little blip in the shadow of Dallas.



Thankfully both gunmen were killed by a traffic cop with his service weapon before they could wreak havoc. According to the reports I’ve seen, both were wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles.



Looking at some specifics surrounding the encounter, clearly the initial tale of the tape put the law officer at a huge disadvantage. I tip my hat and offer my hand to this officer.



He was brave, cool headed, a great marksman, plain lucky or all of the above, but whatever the mix, this outcome was as good as it gets given the world we live in. Brave and competent law officers aren’t unique to any one state but serve everywhere with distinction coast to coast.



But of all those coast to coast states, I was surprised this terrorist attempt was made in Texas of all places. Texans as a group are far from passive victims, being more cactus than mushroom.



Texas has more gun owners than any other state and those owners possess more than 50 million guns. Inflicting sustained violence upon such a highly armed population is virtually impossible. Jesse James learned that in Northfield, Minnesota.



The cute marketing message “Don’t Mess with Texas” is more than a bumper sticker. Infamous outlaw Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” Reversing the corollary’s language, those who traffic in violence might consider not messing with Texas because that’s where guns are.



Even Japan rejected plans to invade the United States mainland during World War II because of our culture and freedom to own guns. They weren’t afraid of our armies. They were very afraid of our citizens.



This isn’t an infomercial for gun ownership but rather acknowledgement that Texas has obviously made some good choices. Perhaps “The Lone Star State” and “The Common Sense State” could be interchangeable mottos.



The state is working well because Texans have chosen freedoms over controls, jobs over taxes. But its citizens aren’t without their special brand of western paranoia.



Lately warnings about a military training operation named “Jade Helm” has been making cyber waves as being a cover for instituting martial law. Even Obama — whom I consider an enemy of this country — doesn’t have a pen and a cell phone that big.



Some very respectable people have been toying with those accusations, but hopefully they’ll quickly relegate such thoughts to “Once Upon A Time” fairy tale status. But I can understand, with deep mistrust of national leadership, how weird stuff like this can gain traction.



Things worked out this week. Two terrorists were killed, I was thankful for the officer quickly putting them down and very much enjoyed remembering that I’m still Texan. Show ‘nuff!



Otis Gardner’s column appears here weekly. He can be reached at ogardner@embarqmail.com.