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Even though the modern type of mass shooting was invented by Charles Whitman in Austin (and along with that, modern SWAT and EMT forces), Austin has remained remarkably peaceful and well behaved about gun violence.

Perhaps it is a echo of Austin's roots as a pretty wild frontier town. After my move here in the 70's, I can clearly recall how common it was to see fully stocked gun racks in pickup trucks driving around. There has never been an age or culture limit to gun ownership here and we seem to have escaped the open carry zealotry that has hypnotized many Texans. To quote the master Bill Hicks on his observation of the David Koresh shootout in Waco “Lemme see here: frustrated rock musician with delusions of grandeur, armed to the teeth and ready to fuck anything that moves. I don’t know how to tell you this…but that sounds like all of my friends in Austin.”

All of that being said, I sure would like for Austin to remain the open place that can keep itself off of this map!