While Sen. John Cornyn (“My plan to reduce mass violence,” The Daily News, Oct. 27) pats himself on the back for his minimal proposals to tackle our national gun violence epidemic, people should realize they fall far short yet again of the action that is required to meet the moment.
Despite overwhelming support for universal background checks and red flag laws here in Texas, Cornyn’s bill doesn’t include proposals for either. Even if it did, that wouldn’t be enough.
The fact is that military-style semiautomatic assault weapons have no place in our homes, within our neighborhoods, or on our city streets. I’m in 100 percent agreement with Beto O’Rourke that a ban and buyback program for assault weapons is needed for lasting results that will keep Texas families and communities safer.
These weapons of war are intended for one purpose: to kill human beings with swift and deadly efficiency.
The science of it makes that clear — the high-velocity bullets fired by these machines move almost three times as fast as a 9 mm handgun, causing wounds far more severe and lethal. Victims left with baseball-sized exit wounds often have little chance of survival. Paired with high capacity magazines, these weapons allow assailants to kill or maim twice the amount of victims than conventional firearms.
Being a lifelong Texas native, I know many of my fellow Texans’ affinity for guns. I myself enjoy hunting and have many friends and relatives who believe our right to bear arms is more than a way of life. But in my conversations with hunters, law enforcement and gun enthusiasts, almost all recognize there’s no legitimate purpose, no big hunt, that justifies the need for an AR-15, an AK-47 or any other type of assault weapon.
And I should add that a majority of Americans agree. In a recent poll, nearly 70 percent of all registered voters favored a ban of assault weapons and nearly 60 percent supported a mandatory buyback program. Any argument that the political will doesn’t exist just doesn’t hold water.
Since the mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, Texas, is now the state with the most mass shooting deaths in the nation. The lives of our friends, neighbors and fellow Texans have already been deeply affected. Yet, Sen. Cornyn continues to side with the National Rifle Association, accepting its money and political support. I intend to end that, and I believe voters feel the same way.
We cannot tolerate fearing that our children will be gunned down in our schools and streets by these weapons. We cannot tolerate a senator who is bought and paid for by the NRA.
I want to ask John Cornyn, how many more lives will it take before we do the right thing? How many students and teachers must die like those at Sandy Hook and Parkland? How many more victims like those in Odessa and El Paso will be needed?
We must come together and take meaningful action on this issue to pass a mandatory buyback program and replace John Cornyn as our U.S. senator.