Without fail, almost every time someone in Canada found out I was from Texas, they asked me the same thing: whether I owned a gun. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since Texas is forever being portrayed as the wild west where everyone rides around on their horse wearing spurs and carrying their AK-47.
Someone in Toronto actually asked me if I was scared to walk around outside in Houston. I think my mouth may have dropped open from the absurdity. This may come as a surprise, but nothing could be further from the truth. Houston is the fourth largest city in the States with a population about the same as Toronto (~4M). We drive cars (mostly big giant ones because we have tons of space), work in concrete skyscrapers and live in air-conditioned pods nine months a year.
While we may not ride horses to work, we do have liberal gun laws. In Texas, you can own a gun (as long as you have a license for it) and use it if someone comes onto your property. We can also carry concealed handguns in Texas (as long as you have completed a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) course and have a license to conceal carry). I’ve never been a big fan of guns. I grew up in suburgatory where we were one step away from Stepford and the only gun my dad had was a .22 rifle he used to shoot the squirrels that would occasionally run on top of our roof. Guns were just foreign to me.
Do I believe private citizens should have the right to own an Oozie or some other insane sawed-off semi-automatic weapon? No. But does our Constitution give us the right to bear arms if, in fact, we want to own one? Yes. Yes, it does. So when I moved back to Texas, though, I decided that I have a right to own a gun, and wanted to learn to properly handle and shoot one. I started going to the gun range with some friends (side note: let me just say that the gun range may or may not be the new place to meet very hot guys shooting their guns. Just sayin. Ahem.) and found out that I was actually a pretty good shot. And because I’m never one to sit back on her laurels, I decided that I was going to get my CHL just in case I ever needed to carry a gun outside my house. So I applied with the State of Texas and now just have to practice shooting more and take the CHL course.
Not surprisingly, there are a ton of places in Texas to get your CHL. It’s a ten-hour course (eight hours of class and two hours of shooting to prove you’re proficient) and is only about $100. Seems pretty low key, right? Wrong. At least at Crockett Keller’s in central Texas.
Mr. Keller recently caused a bit of a fuss over his newly-recorded commercial touting his CHL course. It’s a short 1-minute radio spot that I’ve put here for your listening pleasure.
I know, right? The best part is that this spot was totally fo realz — seriously, who could make this up?! I’ll have Mr. Keller know that I voted for the current “invader-in-chief” as he so eloquently put it, but I’m pretty sure that, after sizing me and my blonde self up, he’d teach me the course. Some of it may be to incite people and get ’em talking, which he most certainly did. But no one — not even me — should be surprised when someone in Toronto asks them if they’re scared to walk around outside, what with quacks like the Crockett Keller’s of the world.