The issue isn’t guns. It’s Texas’ one-party rule (Opinion)

Gun Rights

Reference “Falkenberg: We’re Pulitzer finalists. It’s bittersweet,” (May 12): I applaud the editorial board’s dedication to advocating for sensible gun reforms. I have a common-sense suggestion that may help. You accurately point out that Texas’ permissive gun laws are, at very least, part of the problem. You go on to point out the failures of Texas politicians and the Texas Legislature to even attempt to address this most horrific circumstance, in direct opposition to the clear desire of the vast majority of Texans. While this is true, it is not the entire truth. Blaming politicians and the Legislature as a whole provides cover for those truly responsible for this unforgivable inaction.

Our state’s politics are totally controlled by one party. From the U.S. Senate to the state’s leadership positions to the obscenely gerrymandered House, Republicans control all. These Republican politicians and the Republican-controlled Legislature are the ones who persist in ignoring the will of the people. It is the Republican fealty to the almighty gun lobby that is responsible for the ongoing carnage. Blaming generic politicians and the entire Legislature allows the Republicans in control of all to keep thumbing their noses at the people of Texas. So, instead of generic blame of all politicians and government make it clear, every time, that it is the Republicans in charge who refuse any and all action to address the ongoing murder of innocents in our state.

Tanner Garth, Houston

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I’ve been thinking about the lack of meaningful action by the Texas representatives to stop the Texas gun carnage. Decades ago a comedian said, “If we did not have guns there would still be drive-by knifings.” Except that is not funny now. What we have now is a Legislature whose leaders receive money from the National Rifle Association. 

It is easily verified via the internet that the NRA makes contributions to: Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton as well as our two U.S. senators. I do not consider these “donations” to be small.

Lisa Falkenberg is right. “The only choice Texans of conscience have is to change the representatives.”

David Norman, Katy

Ms. Falkenberg cites a letter from Sylvia S. Villarreal saying that “God helps those who help themselves.” Aside from not being in Scripture, it is a perfect summation of the way progressives are going about making policy on critical issues, from guns to reproduction. They move too quickly on critical issues in order to give the impression they are actually doing something, and the results are disastrous. A slower pace with contemplation would be better. Texas gun laws are not “permissive” as suggested. They are simply not enforced as they should be. Few, if any, new laws will accomplish what progressives desire, in my opinion. To progressives, the only sensible gun laws seem to be those that lead to confiscation and a violation of the Second Amendment. Voting in those who are sympathetic to that objective is already a progressive goal. Gun advocates need to be aware and stand firm against more useless showcase-only laws.  

J. Jones, La Porte

Congrats on your Pulitzer-nominated series on gun violence. Once again I wrote our representatives after the outlet mall shooting. Once again our representatives stated that the Second Amendment was king. Yet we are passing anti-transgender legislation to protect our teens from medical treatment but not from gun violence. All I can say is, we have elected officials who cannot see the forest for the trees regarding the epidemic of gun violence. I write and I vote, but nothing changes. Yet we must go on as soldiers in this epidemic.

Deb Zygmunt, Missouri City

What is this madness that we are drifting into, people? We seem to be losing our way in the fog when we should be shining the sun on the killings, harmful legislation and excessive state power. Mass murder in Texas is now commonplace, and our senators and representatives in Austin only offer prayers instead of laws that would raise the age for purchase of AR-15-type weapons, institute background checks for all commercial and private sales, require waiting periods prior to delivery of weapons, mandate reporting of all police calls for domestic violence or mental health disturbances to the background check system.

Our Austin legislators choose to deprive women, LGBTQ folks and the poor of their rights or their ability to have quality health care; instead they are providing welfare to the electric generators that reaped enormous profits in the Big Freeze of 2021. The people in the Legislature that profess to support “limited government” are suddenly interested in controlling all big cities, with potential control of our voting outcomes. Time to let the light in to expose these harmful legislative intents in the current session which is doing nothing to solve our important problems. We need to convince all Texans that other folks need to be elected.

John Martinez, Houston

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