Gun advocate Michael Cargill rejected by Austin City Council for board position
2nd Amendment advocate Michael Cargill, a longtime East Austin resident was recently asked by District 1 City Council Member Ora Houston to serve on a bond election advisory board that would look into the options for future infrastructure projects. Cargill told her he'd be honored.
"We probably agree on more issues than we disagree on. But we definitely agree on the fact that something needs to be done with traffic here in Austin. Something needs to be done with the infrastructure here in Austin," Cargill said.
"I found Mr. Cargill to be very, as I've said, thoughtful and very competent and I think would have done a good job," Houston said.
During Thursday's council meeting, instead of council just saying "yes" to all of the appointments, they decided to divide it up and approve all of the nominees except for Cargill.
"This is a man that has walked in to a citizen task force meeting carrying -- in a church -- carrying an AR-15," said Council Member Pio Renteria.
Renteria says serving on a board takes respect, discourse and collaboration.
"Mr. Cargill has proven that he's not capable of that. He describes himself in his own words as a 'troll,'" Renteria said.
"Well I'm a business owner. And I'm also the Executive Director for Texans for Accountable Government, I'm also the President of Log Cabin Republicans of Austin, I'm also on the board of Log Cabin Republicans of Texas so I'm very effective on a board," Cargill said.
Council Members Greg Casar and Leslie Pool echoed Renteria's comments.
"After Haruka Weiser was murdered on the UT campus, Mr. Cargill took to social media to disrespect her death and her family and just on the basis of that I can't support him to a position of influence and leadership on one of our important commissions," Pool said.
Cargill, an advocate of campus carry says comments he made about Weiser's murder just indicated his wish that she'd been carrying.
"Even though she was not of age yet but if she was of age to be able to have a firearm to protect herself than things might have turned out differently," Cargill said.
Council Member Ellen Troxclair supported Houston.
"This council not approving someone because he doesn't agree with you on one specific issue is incredibly intolerant," she said.
When it came down to the vote, Cargill didn't get the appointment.
"It was disheartening. I thought he would do a great job and because as I said it wasn't a gun rights task force. It was another kind of task force, a bond task force which most people don't want to serve on...you know. It's not sexy," Houston said.
"It doesn't matter if you're trying to do anything about infrastructure, it doesn't matter if you're trying to do anything about flooding, libraries, housing, mobility, anything like that. What it boils down to is 'what is your stance on the 2nd amendment? And then we'll give you an answer,'" Cargill said.
For Council member Houston, now it's back to the drawing board.
"Now Austin lost an opportunity to say we are a lot more inclusive and diverse. We pride our self in saying this but this would have been an opportunity to demonstrate that," Houston said.
By the way, Cargill's complaints about the city not allowing guns in the building prompted Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue the city.
Council member Renteria pointed that out.
Cargill says there's no way in the world he would break the law by not honoring those signs pending the lawsuit. If he got charged, he would lose everything.