New "Pack & Ride" rule makes busses and even
the Wham-Bam-Tram safer for passengers
It took a lawsuit, but Metro has finally dropped illegal CCH (gun) ban
by John Gaver
January 28, 2005
Houston's public transportation dependent citizens can finally rest easy. The criminal element in Houston can no longer view Metro bus and tram passengers as defenseless "TARGETS", since those passengers are now, just as likely to be packing, as any other citizen on the streets.
On Thursday (1/27/05), Metro finally withdrew its longstanding illegal ban on the legal carrying of handguns aboard Metro vehicles. But, as we have come to expect of Metro, they weren't about to do the right thing without a fight. It took a lawsuit by several groups, demanding that Metro obey the law and stop discriminating against those who were exercising their 2nd Amendment right, to finally make Metro drop their illegal CCH ban. Even ignoring Constitutional arguments, the Metro CCH ban had been clearly in violation of Texas state law since 2003, when legislation was passed that specifically prohibited municipalities within the state and their agencies from overruling state law, concerning the carrying of concealed weapons.
Since 1995, criminals have known that almost all people who were waiting on a Metro bus or train or who had just exited a Metro bus or train, were almost certainly defenseless, making them "Targets of Opportunity". That's because Metro's ill-advised and illegal CCH ban, that has been in effect since 1995, kept law-abiding passengers defenseless.
Well, those passengers can now breathe a great sigh of relief. Even if you aren't packing, the person sitting next to you may be. That's now the dilemma for the muggers. They can't be sure who is prepared to defend themselves and who isn't. That makes everyone who uses Houston public transportation safer - at least from the criminal element.
Unfortunately, this new policy does nothing to make Wham-Bam-Tram passengers safer from injuries caused by the myriad accidents of the lamentable little tram. In fact, in just the last two days, four tram passengers have been sent to the hospital as a result of two Wham-Bam-Tram crashes.
It has long been easy to see that public safety is the least of Metro's concerns. But, watching how they had to be dragged, virtually kicking and screaming, to implement a policy that would not only significantly improve public safety, but was required under state law, shows just how much contempt they have for public safety and the law.
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