Tuesday, May 22, 2018

No end in sight - Texas decides gun rights are worth a pile of dead kids

What's wrong with this picture
What's wrong with this picture?

This morning’s Daily Star carried this AP report on the Santa Fe school shooting: School shooting may not bring change to gun-loving Texas. Check that. The AP meant to say “School shootings will never bring change to gun-loving Texas.” The subtitle should have read “Thoughts and prayers from Texas governor are ineffective in stopping killing of Texas kids.”

Get it? That’s “What’s wrong with this picture.”

Here are snippets.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has more than 1.2 million licensed handgun owners who can openly carry their weapons in public. The state hosted the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting two weeks ago. And until Monday, the governor’s re-election website was raffling off a shotgun.

Guns are so hard-wired into Texas culture that last week’s deadly rampage at Santa Fe High School is considered unlikely to result in any significant restrictions on access to weapons in the Lone Star State.

Abbott and Texas Republicans have embraced a steady relaxation of gun laws in recent years. Since 2013, Texas has reduced the cost and hours of training needed to be licensed to carry a handgun, allowed “open carry” for handgun license holders, and allowed concealed handguns in college classrooms and dorms.

In 2015, Abbott tweeted he was “embarrassed” that Texas lagged behind California in gun sales. In 2017, he bragged about his accuracy with a pistol at a shooting range. In a speech to the NRA convention in Dallas, Abbott said, “The problem is not guns. The problem is hearts without God. It is homes without discipline and communities without values.”

On Monday, Abbott’s re-election campaign scaled back its shotgun raffle in the wake of the Santa Fe shooting, replacing it with a raffle for a $250 gift certificate. A photograph of the governor aiming a shotgun was removed.

As a journalistic exercise, try rewriting the above snippets substituting “United States” for “Texas” and “President” for “Governor.”

Then think about what always precedes a school shooting …

It’s the thoughts and prayers that always follow the last shooting and thus are predictive of the next school shooting. lf we stop with the thoughts and prayers already and substitute some serious gun control we just might reduce the number of kids killed.

That won’t happen. Why not, you might ask. Texas is the clearest example today of the cancer that eats away at the moral heart of America. Retitled, “School shootings will never bring change to gun-loving America.” Our country has decided that so-called gun rights are worth a pile of dead kids.

And check that. American gun rights, we have decided, are worth piles of dead kids. And there is no end in sight.

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