A pro-gun rally planned for June 23 marks the first real political event of any kind in Santa Fe since the May 18 shooting at its high school. But the rally hasn’t drawn much concern or worry from local officials in the city.

Conservative group This is Texas Freedom Force is planning its “Carry for the Kids” event at Runge Park. The purpose of the event is to advocate for ways to arm more teachers in Texas schools, organizers said.

Various school board and city council members reached Wednesday said they hadn’t heard about the rally or weren’t concerned that its purpose would be ill-received by local residents.

“It appears to me that the city is supportive of the Second Amendment,” said Santa Fe City Councilman Joe Carothers on Wednesday.

Carothers said he only heard of the planned rally on Wednesday, and hadn’t heard of any locals who were concerned, or even interested, in the event.

Still, he didn’t expect negative reactions to the event, he said.

“I think that the Santa Fe response to the shooting stands in contrast to many other places where shootings happened,” Carothers said. Locals didn’t want “massive, pro-gun control rallies,” in the city, he said.

Councilman Corey Jannett said he “hadn’t heard a peep” about the event until reading about it in The Daily News.

Moving the state on gun-control legislation isn’t a top priority for the city council right now, Jannett said.

“Our main focus as far as the city is concerned is working on grants,” he said. “The city is trying to find ways to pay for a continuing resource center for shooting victims and the community.”

Santa Fe ISD school board trustee Patrick Kelly said school leaders have broached the topic of arming teachers.

“We’ve talked about everything,” Kelly said.

But officials haven’t made concrete decisions about what the school district would do, he said. The district is organizing a safety committee to discuss different security proposals. The deadline for the people to join the committee was Wednesday.

While most of the community events in Santa Fe since the shooting have focused on fundraising and healing, there are growing pushes of activism, Kelly said.

“I think a lot of people have come together and right now the confusion has switched to anger,” he said. “A lot of people want things done and they want them done now.”

Still, it was important for elected leaders to analyze and consider all their options before making security decisions, he said.


League City’s city council race isn’t until November, but one man has already thrown his hat in the ring.

Chad Tressler, an engineer at Houston-based government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, quietly filed an appointment of a campaign treasurer May 3. Last week, he launched his campaign’s Facebook page.

Tressler hasn’t even decided which seat he’s running for yet, but said that because he was committed to running, he felt compelled by state ethics laws to inform the city.

“The city secretary was a bit mystified when I showed up,” he said.

Tressler is interested in being a council member that can find “common ground” with other council members, he said. He expected taxes, drainage and traffic to be major campaign issues but also hoped to bring attention to water and water scarcity issues in the city.

“There’s nothing exciting about it,” he said, but it’s a major threat to League City’s future.

There is still much to determine about the Nov. 8 election. Candidates can’t officially file for a ballot spot until July 23.

League City Mayor Pat Hallisey already has said he intends to run again. Councilman Dan Becker is term-limited and cannot run. Councilmen Hank Dugie, Keith Gross and Nick Long can all file for re-election.


State Board of Education member David Bradley, who represents Galveston County, sparked controversy in April when he suggested a new course for high-schoolers be called “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent,” rather than “Mexican-American studies.” This week, Bradley skipped an education board meeting where his proposal was discussed, because he didn’t want to miss work, he told the Texas Tribune. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber on U.S.-North Korea relations: “We must continue to keep our economic sanctions tight, reaffirm our security expectations and work with our allies to hold North Korea accountable.” ... Saturday is Election Day in Galveston for the runoff election in Galveston Council District 5 and for a Galveston College regent seat. As of Wednesday, 1,983 people had cast ballots early in those elections.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson


(11) comments

Van Jones

Let's talk, talk, talk about how to keep the children safe from school shootings and then let's have a gun rally! Yeeehaaaaaw!!!!!

Carlos Ponce

[Brandon] "Burkhardt said he didn’t want to call the event in Santa Fe a rally. The aim was to have a conversation about gun rights, he said."
The only place calling it a " gun rally" is the GCDN. It is a "call for more public school employees to be armed, the organization’s president said."

Jim Forsythe

Open carry activists are planning a rally in Santa Fe next weekend, a month after a deadly shooting at the town's high school, to demonstrate support for arming teachers
The Facebook event page for the "Carry for Our Kids" rally features an advertisement with children playing on top of a black and white pistol.

George Croix

Does anyone expect news sources that advocated against allowing teachers to be armed to write a headline that puts the increased security for school children and staff aspect above the diversion to a 'gun rally' issue?

Look at root cause.
The purpose of the rally, agree or not, is driven by a nut shooting school children and staff members, who had to try to hide from the shooter for minutes when they were being shot right then and there, defenseless except for one brave Resource Officer who engaged the shooter, but was himself shot.
The purpose then is to exhibit a belief for others to think about that legally armed staff could...could...have shot BACK at the shooter, or at least been able to defend themselves and the kids in a classroom if it was targeted.
The purpose is NOT to edvocate for guns themselves...it's for the increased lawful use of same to prevent or minimize school shooting deaths.

But, focus on that? Nnnooooooo......
Just more personal or editorial belief interjected to subtly change the main focus

Josh Butler

Perfect analysis, George. The use of the term 'Gun Rally' tries to change the topic of conversation. Just yesterday, I think, there was an article citing the organizer of the event. He said the purpose of the event was to invoke a conversation about arming teachers, or something to that extent. But somehow the topic has been morphed into a 'pro gun rally'.

George Croix

Josh, I just hope what's right takes precedence over rights, and it's carried out as billed.
There are tons of people, afar mostly, not necessarily local, watching for any opportunity to paint any firearms owner as a potential head case who's dangerous to society.
They're the same ones who think a fine or a lawsuit or a new law is 'protection', and will cheerfully sieze upon the lowest common denominator to 'make their case', or distort/deflect for political pourposes.....as we've already seen started....

Steve Fouga

Anyone else find it thought-provoking that the organizers chose a single-action revolver for their logo?

George Croix

Distinctive 'cowboy' shape recognizable by anyone who ever saw a western movie, for an event taking place in a locale where quite a bit of cowboy life and cowboy ways still are in effect?
Much, much better choices for self-defense, especially for non-experts or advanced enthusiasts, so going for a visual, rather than more practical and easier to learn to use?
Git a cheaper deal on a standard logo item?

What thought does it provoke from you, Steve?

Steve Fouga

"Git a cheaper deal on a standard logo item?" This cracked me up!

My initial thought was that they picked the least threatening picture they could find, that was still a picture of a gun. It's almost like the graphic artist was given this assignment: "Create a logo that includes children, a gun, the event info, and is as non-threatening as possible."

As it is, the superposition of children playing atop a silhouette of ANY firearm has at best a tragicomic feel to it. The fact that it's a cowboy-style handgun balances the tragic and the comic more evenly than a Glock would have.

I never feel threatened or unsafe when I see a person carrying a handgun openly, but if I ever see someone carrying a single-action pistol in any situation other than as an extra in a western, it'll be hard to suppress a chuckle. 🔫

George Croix

I love seeing anyone doing open carry.
I know they are the first person some guy who decides to start shooting is going to shoot, giving me time to un-conceal....
Only routine advantage I see to it is I can no longer be fined/cited for inadvertantly exposing my firearm on a windy day or whenever.....or if I put on too many pounds later....

Steve Fouga

"Only routine advantage I see to it is I can no longer be fined/cited for inadvertantly exposing my firearm"


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