I’m not moving to Portland, Maine, after all. I said last week I was moving there to take advantage of a doctor who has opted out of all insurance, public or private, and has gone “vet” – meaning cash only.

Instead, I’m moving to Texas, where common sense reigns supreme. Well, not totally. The teachers’ unions there are still stuck in the backwater of hoplophobia, but for normal people, training to become marshals makes sense. Kinda makes me think of that bumper sticker from years ago: “Common sense, isn’t”.

By a vote of 28-3, the Texas state senate passed the “armed marshals” bill which is now headed to Governor Rick Perry’s desk for signing. It has been pushed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhirst (no doubt with Perry’s blessing) as a way to allow to defend themselves and their kids in the event someone from Illinois or New York or California or Colorado(!) decides to go to a school, thinking it’s a shooting gallery – a “gun free zone” shooting gallery, that is.

There are some restrictions: no more than one marshal for every 400 students (where that ratio came from, I’m not sure, but it’s far less than the ratio of concealed carry permits in Texas (500,000) to total Texas population (26 million). And each marshal has to take 80 hours of instruction. 80 hours! That’s vastly more than US Army recruits get in handgun training.

Oh, and they can’t just carry the sidearm on their person. It must be kept in a locked box “within immediate reach”, whatever that means. Thinking about that, the bill assumes that a shooter/attacker/marauder/thug/druggie will give sufficient advance warning that a teacher can gather her wits together, remember where the box is, hope that the weapon is loaded and that she remembers the combination or where the key is, and access the weapon in time to make an impact (sorry, bad pun) before the situation gets totally out of hand.

But, hey, it’s a start. Geographically speaking, it shows that the farther one gets from Illinois or New York or Connecticut, the more sensible people seem to be.

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