Editorial: Abbott’s allegiance is with the NRA

Gun Rights

The splintered and grieving community of Uvalde, reeling from the May 24 mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers, shouldn’t have to ask Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session on gun safety.

Without any urging, Abbott should breathe in the heartache and pain in this small, rural community and call a special session for lawmakers to raise the purchase age of assault weapons from 18 to 21 and consider other commonsense safety reforms.

The Uvalde City Council and the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District recently passed resolutions asking the governor to take such action, knowing very well that he won’t.

In a subsequent interview with Len Cannon of KHOU 11, Abbott said of a special session: “There is no agreement on anything like that whatsoever.”

You Might Like

He then promptly pivoted to the tired talking points of mental health, mental health and mental health.

An aside: Even if one truly believes mental health is the root issue in gun violence, wouldn’t that underscore the need to have tighter gun safety laws? And while Texas should do more to improve mental health care and access to treatment, why would that preclude gun safety laws?

Beginning with his initial inaccurate statements about the Robb Elementary School massacre, Abbott’s response to Uvalde has been a model of failure.

He has not visited the grieving community since June 5, did not attend any funerals, and his office has not intervened in the poor handling of a state-funded resilience center, which has failed to support grieving families. His comments to Cannon were the first since the shooting’s aftermath, besides a tepid guest column in these pages that used many words but said very little.

Abbott has talked big about healing and accountability in Uvalde, but his rhetoric is always incomplete because he will not include gun safety in that conversation.

“We will bind up the wounds of the people of Uvalde and once again restore the luster to a community known for its warmth, its friendship and its values,” he said on May 27 in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

But those comments were made in a prerecorded speech at the National Rifle Association’s conference in Houston, a speech in which he reassured attendees there would be no new gun laws.

Now that Uvalde, grieving and wounded, has called for raising the purchase age of assault weapons, a new gun law, Abbott is delivering for the NRA. So much for binding those wounds.

“You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, unfortunately, in this case,” Uvalde City Councilman Hector Luevano said, citing NRA donations to Texas lawmakers.

What officials in Uvalde have requested is hardly unreasonable or extreme in response to the magnitude of grief there. The shooter was 18. A purchase age of 21 might have prevented tragedy.

A national poll from Quinnipiac in June showed three-quarters of Americans support raising the purchase age for a gun to 21. This includes 59 percent of Republicans.

Other polling done before Uvalde shows most Texans support universal background checks and red flag laws.

Responding to the nation’s second-worst school shooting with an emphasis on gun safety isn’t an extreme position: It’s a moral and humane one.

The extreme view is to deny Uvalde’s humanity and to conclude that gun violence can be addressed without ever considering guns. It’s a bit like promising to help Uvalde heal but then never visiting.

You Might Like

Articles You May Like

I can’t believe they let this happen!
How A Surge Of Super PAC Money Upended A Hawaii Congressional Primary
Best $30 Guided Field Sharpener by Worksharp
Impatient With Gun Debate, Parkland Survivors Embraced Activism
FAQ # 78 Do I Hunt?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.