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Concerned About Safety, Older Texans Are Packing Heat

Five stories that have North Texas talking: More older Texans are getting guns, Dallas celebrates gay pride, don’t mess with ‘Don’t Mess With Texas,’ and more.

Texans in their 50s and 60s are packing heat. Older Texans are more likely to get concealed handgun licenses than any other age group, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Older people are more concerned with their safety and less capable of running away from threats, one gun law expert says. Statewide, there are more than 580,000 active licenses, with nearly 150,000 of them being issued last year. Tarrant County has the second most active licenses, according to data from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

  • Celebrating gay pride: Crowds gathered on Sunday for the 30th annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. Organizers had reminded attendees to cover up and not show off certain body parts. It appears that everyone behaved. The event attracted city and county leaders, as well as several families. “On patches of the parade route in Oak Lawn on Cedar Springs Road, strollers and children’s wagons outnumbered bikini-clad men,” The Dallas Morning News reports.

  • In Fort Worth, Pre-K for all?: Fort Worth voters will decide Nov. 5 whether to spend $24 million to expand the school district’s pre-kindergarten program. The funding would allow school officials to offer pre-kindergarten to all 4-year-olds within the district. Officials say about 3,000 students aren’t being served, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. School officials are proposing a $490 million bond package with three propositions.

  • Don’t Mess with ‘Don’t Mess With Texas:’ Texas is getting tough with its classic theme. In July, a Montana company stopped selling a “Don’t Mess With Texas” belt buckle. Why? The Texas Department of Transportation, which owns the trademark on the phrase, threatened legal action. TxDOT told the company to ship the buckles to Austin, The New York Times reports. Meanwhile, the author of a romance novel titled “Don’t Mess With Texas,” “a thrill ride of hunky heroes, hilarious high jinks and heartwarming romance,” found herself in a legal battle with the state, too.

  • Countdown to Big Tex's Homecoming: Do you have Big Tex fever?  The iconic cowboy statue returned to his home at Fair Park last week. He’s under wraps until Sept. 27, a week from Friday, when he’s unveiled on opening day at the State Fair of Texas. The poor guy burned down last October, but a Texas-based company has reconstructed him. Electronic billboards across Dallas are hinting at his arrival. Did you know that Big Tex has his own Facebook page?
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.