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Home Texas State News Texas Legislators Struggling to Come Up with Non-Violent Metaphors to Keep up Vitriolic Rhetoric

Texas Legislators Struggling to Come Up with Non-Violent Metaphors to Keep up Vitriolic Rhetoric

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Come and Take It flagFollowing the tragic shooting in Arizona that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded, Texas legislators are having a difficult time talking about each other without referencing gun violence.

"It’s part of our national [Texas] heritage," said Sen. Mike Jackson, "to make violent threats involving guns to each other. The founding fathers did it – who could forget Stephen F. Austin writing about Sam Houston, ‘Many of the old settlers who are too blind to see or understand their interest will vote for him. Perhaps someone will shoot him prior to the election.’ – so it has become a sort of tradition."

Sen. Royce West agreed with Jackson. "We all know civil discourse doesn’t sell," said West. "And trying to get elected on actual ideas? Come on! Get real. I can’t bring anything to the floor without some sizzle behind it. And more often than not, gun-filled references fit the bill."

Rep. Tom Craddick remains philosophical about the situation and is preaching patience. "I’m sure this will all blow over soon. Then we can get back to disparaging one another while using words like ‘kill’, ‘die’, ‘eliminate’, or ‘target’. It’s sort of like 9/11. You know, for a while there, I had to stop lumping over one billion people into ‘terrorists’. Eventually, though, that all blew over and now I’m back to grouping an entire population into one stereotype based on the acts of a few extremist nut-jobs."

Rep. Roberto Alonzo concurred with his fellow legislators, saying, "I can’t simply point out that Rick Perry’s policies over the last ten years are about to leave us with a twenty billion dollar shortfall in the upcoming budget. I have to say that he’s, uh, murdering children with his refusal to accept federal funds for education. Or something like that. Simple facts won’t get it done."

Sen. West even pointed to interoffice memos being affected. Said West, "Is it now politically incorrect to refer to items in a memo as "bullet points?"

There are those in the more liberal wing of the legislature who are readily embracing the call to tone down the rhetoric. Some Democrats are trying to take advantage of the calm in the waters by changing the "Come and Take It" flag flown by Texans in 1835 at the Battle of Gonzales. They seek to replace the canon with a recycling symbol thereby encouraging curbside recycling – as in, "come and take my recycling."

Sen. Jackson vows to vigorously fight the Gonzales proposal. "That flag is crystal clear precedent for violent rhetoric that sparked the Revolutionary War [of Texas]. Good God, we’d all be sipping margaritas and eating tacos as a Mexican state if our founding fathers had sewed some peace and love message on that flag."

A staffer on Sen. Jackson’s team told Jackson that he "may want to rephrase that. Remember, we had tacos and ‘ritas for lunch at El Mercado."

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