Horns Up/Horns Down for April 28: Hall investigation begins, armed protests


Horns Up: Hall investigation may spell beginning of the end

According to a report by the Texas Tribune on Friday, the Travis County district attorney office’s public integrity unit will open an investigation into the behavior — and potential criminal misconduct — of UT System Regent Wallace Hall. Over the past several months, the House Select Committee on Transparency in state Agency Operations has been investigating Hall, and now that prosecutors are officially involved, we could be one step closer to the end of this long, dramatic saga that has distracted us all from the true mission of the UT Board of Regents. According to a report by the legislative committee’s special council Rusty Hardin, “Hall’s improper use of confidential information violated federal and state privacy statutes, violated the Texas Penal Code, and constituted ‘official misconduct’ under the Texas Public Information Act.” While the district attorney’s office mulls possible criminal charges, the legislative committee is expected to vote on potential articles of impeachment on May 12.

Horns Down: Armed demonstration held at city hall

Last week, gun rights advocates staged a rally outside Austin City Hall carrying firearms and waving a flag that read “Come and Take It.” The procession included a group of men, women and children smiling and waving at onlookers while openly carrying firearms. Though such demonstrations, while contained, may not seem to be too threatening, it’s important to recognize how quickly such tactics can lead to dangerous outcomes — irrespective of which side of the aisle you lie on in the debate on open carry. And yet, groups like Open Carry Texas are not only engaging in such processions — which involve mobilizing crowds carrying shotguns, hunting rifles, AR-15s and AK-47s — but are also taking this armed demonstration strategy to other states as well. There are ways to fight for changes to gun policies, but this should not be one of them.