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Texas Republicans value guns more than its citizens

May 16, 2023

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Texas lawmakers continue to expand Second Amendment rights despite the escalating gun violence across the state. Firearms-related deaths in the state are the highest they’ve been since the 1990s. Texas is also tied with California for the most mass shootings in 2023.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette says the lack of any effort to tackle gun reform proves Texas Republicans value guns more than its own citizens.

Lately, conservatives have been trying to shift the focus away from guns once again, and this time toward mental health. And they’re doing it now in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in — wait for it — Texas. The tragedy occurred on Friday, May 6 at Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, about 45 minutes north of Dallas. Nine people were killed, including children, and seven others were injured. The deceased include the perpetrator who was shot and killed by a police officer who was already in the area on an unrelated call. We can now add Allen to the list of Texas mass murder scenes. In fewer than 15 years, there was Fort Hood in 2009, and Fort Hood again in 2014, Dallas in 2016, El Paso in 2019, Uvalde in 2022, and Cleveland, outside Houston, just last month in April. 

In most of these cases, high-powered rifles were used, and the most common rifle used was — wait for it — the AR-15. Incredibly, the Republican politicians who run Texas are so hopelessly addicted to the millions of dollars that they take in each year from the National Rifle Association and the rest of the gun lobby, that even with all the carnage in the state, they won’t go anywhere near the idea of banning the manufacturing of the AR-15 or restricting who would be able to buy it. Instead, these empty suits are more likely to be caught talking about, well, just about anything that doesn’t involve new gun laws that might antagonize their benefactors in the gun lobby. 

Nevermind Kansas, what the heck is the matter with Texas? Imagine a state so bereft of compassion and humanity that people care more about preserving access to firearms, than they do protecting their fellow human beings. A place like that would certainly deserve a nickname, something new and more closely tied to recent tragic events. Let it be resolved. From this point forward, Texas shall no longer be known as the Lone Star State. Henceforth, the nation’s second-most populous state will be referred to simply as “Mass Shooting Murderland, USA.”
I’m a native Californian and Lord knows my home state has its own set of problems, from crime and homelessness to high taxes, and wacky left-wing politics. But none of those things are lethal. What makes a mess of Texas is a John Wayne gun culture that moved with lightning speed from worshiping the Winchester to aggrandizing the AR-15. The gun nuts’ favorite weapon of war is omnipresent in Texas, it seems, whenever there’s a mass shooting in America, something that has according to the Gun Violence Archive happened about 200 times this year. And we’re not even at the halfway point yet.
Whenever tragedy strikes, the right-wingers who are beholden to the gun lobby want to change the subject. Some people think that our national nightmare with gun violence and mass shootings started on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado. Two seniors armed with a small arsenal of handguns and high-powered rifles, injured 24 of their classmates and killed 10 of them. In the nearly quarter century that Americans have been living with this plague, and in some cases dying from it, the gun lovers have been trying to change the subject. Don’t look at the guns, they said. The real problem they said was video games, violent movies, lack of parental control, etc., etc.
Lately, conservatives have been trying to shift the focus away from guns once again, and this time towards mental health. And they’re doing it now in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in — wait for it — Texas. The tragedy occurred on Friday, May 6 at Allen Premium Outlets in Allen Texas, about 45 minutes north of Dallas. Nine people were killed, including children, and seven others were injured. The deceased include the perpetrator who was shot and killed by a police officer who was already in the area on [an] unrelated call. We can now add Allen to the list of Texas mass murder scenes. In fewer than 15 years. There was Fort Hood in 2009, and Fort Hood again in 2014, Dallas in 2016, El Paso in 2019, Uvalde in 2022, and Cleveland, outside Houston just last month in April.
In most of these cases, high-powered rifles were used, and the most common rifle used was — wait for it — the AR-15. And credibly, the Republican politicians who run Texas are so hopelessly addicted to the millions of dollars that they take in each year from the National Rifle Association and the rest of the gun lobby, that even with all the carnage in the state, they won’t go anywhere near the idea of banning the manufacturing of the AR-15 or restricting who would be able to buy it. Instead, these empty suits are more likely to be caught talking about well, just about anything that doesn’t involve new gun laws that might antagonize their benefactors in the gun lobby.
A favorite substitute topic these days for Republicans is the crisis on the U.S. -Mexico border. And what they see is the clear need to protect Texans from a flood of thousands of migrants and refugees looking for a better tomorrow. You heard me right. The Republicans say they want to protect Texans. Come on, since when have they ever cared about that? So I take it the public schools in Texas no longer teach irony.

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