By Briana Taylor

Youth and Government delegates participating in Hyde House, which is a branch of the Legislative section, spend their day presenting bills that were previously passed by Hyde Senate, and have since been passed down to them. Delegates propose amendments for bills of fellow delegates, and vote on the passage of the bills. Delegates don’t usually get to choose which bills they sponsor, but they can be observed putting the utmost effort into the presentation of the bill they are given. Sessions can last hours before a recess, which can make for a very tense environment. Hyde House can be a long and grueling process, but at the end of the day, the passing of a bill or amendment makes all the hard work and dedication worth it.  

The second bill amendment contested in today’s session was presented by Claire Oldner of the McKinney YMCA delegation (District 5). The original bill, which proposed that citizens must, “first pass several phases of testing and have an IQ of 105” in order to purchase firearms, was edited by Oldner to become, “an act declaring that in order for people to buy firearms they must first pass a motor skills test and a mental stability test.” Oldner omitted the requirement of a minimum IQ of 105, as she saw this attribute as, “unreasonable.” Claire went on to explain that the requirement of the buyers IQ does not change their intentions for purchasing the weapon. She cited the fact that, “almost 3000 gun related deaths occur in the state of Texas each year.” As Oldner explained in her opening statements, these motor skill and mental stability tests will be administered by, “psychiatrists and mental health professionals. In order to possess a gun you should be in stable mental condition and be able to pass a motor skills test.”

Many concerns arose as to the cost of the proposed mental and motor exams entailed in Oldner’s revised bill, most of which were out of her immediate knowledge. This is not uncommon in Hyde House, as they are not the original authors of their bills. These delegates sponsor a bill from a Hyde Senate Delegate, and are occasionally not aware of many of the thought processes the original authors went through when drafting the bill. However, Oldner, as well as the other Hyde House delegates, are known to answer each question to the best of their ability.

Oldner’s bill and amendment process was unfortunately cut short due to recess for lunch. This recess is voted upon by attendees of the session, seeing as though it may be cutting into their lunch time and other activities. A majority of the delegates voted in favor of adjourning for a quick recess, and that the session would reopen following the set lunch time. Following lunch, Oldner’s bill will be offered even more amendments, all of which will be voted upon by her fellow Hyde House delegates. We wish Claire the best of luck in today’s proceedings, as well as all the other delegates in attendance.