This is one of those things you just can’t make up.
Inside Texas’ state legislature, loaded guns are fairly common. As the New York Times reported in March, “Just as Texas has long embraced its guns, so has the Capitol. Legislators have walked the terrazzo hallways, attended committee hearings, met with constituents in their offices and voted on the floors of their respective chambers while armed with licensed high-powered pistols tucked beneath their suits or slipped into their boots or purses.”
But as debate begins in the state Senate on sweeping restrictions to reproductive rights, tampons are being confiscated. No, seriously.
Women are being forced to throw out tampons and maxi pads to enter the Senate gallery, which has been confirmed by DPS. [...]
However, people with concealed handgun licenses are allowed to bypass long lines to enter the Gallery through the expedited CHL entrance, and per DPS, if a person has a CHL, they can take their gun into the gallery.
For the record, this is not a joke. I’ve confirmed this with many people in Austin this afternoon.
Apparently, conservatives believe progressive activists will, after the vote, throw tampons at Republican state lawmakers who approve the bill. So, anything that “can be thrown at” the senators is being confiscated before citizens can enter the gallery.
Sanity was restored in the end, thanks to some intervention from Sen. Kirk Watson, but this episode pretty much sums up this entire fiasco. Really, what more can one say?
As expected, the Democrats asked many pointed questions and got bullshit answers, they offered many sensible amendments that were shot down on party lines, and the bill passed and will go to Rick Perry for his signature. Not a single woman’s health will be improved by this – quite the reverse, in fact – and despite the “omnibus” nomenclature for this bill you can be sure that there will be some other hateful thing filed next session because hey, politics. Go read the Trib and the Observer for the coverage, and whatever it is you’re feeling now, hold onto it tight until next November. Then go to Stand With Texas Women and proclaim your solidarity for all to see.