The murders in El Paso’s Walmart marked the third high profile mass shooting in Texas in as many years. So, of course Gov. Greg Abbott is convening another roundtable, just as he did after Santa Fe. Roundtable discussions are starting to feel like the new “thoughts and prayers,” and they’re absolutely not enough. We need action.

We already know what we need to do to reduce gun violence — we must keep guns out of dangerous hands. Two of the best tools we have for this are background checks on every gun sale and a strong extreme risk protection order law. Dangerous loopholes in our background check system allow prohibited buyers to obtain guns, and this must stop. Additionally, after a shooting, it’s frequently noted that the shooter exhibited warning signs of violence. Extreme risk protection orders provide a method, with strong due process, for asking a judge to temporarily suspend a dangerous individual’s access to firearms.

I implore the governor’s safety commission to consider legislating these two policies that have been proven to save lives. We Texans are certain of one thing — if our representatives won’t change gun laws to keep us safer, we’ll change our representatives.

Gretchen Browne

Alvin

(20) comments

Carlos Ponce

When I first heard of proposed "red flag" legislation I thought of the Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report". People were charged with "PreCrimes".

Diane Turski

Red flags should be acted upon, not ignored! There were plenty of red flags about the 9/11 terrorists' behavior that were ignored, such as taking flying lessons with no interest in learning how to land the plane! Since we know the tragic result of ignoring those red flags, are you sure you want to support ignoring red flags, Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

In this country, a person is innocent unless proven guilty. If someone loses their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms just because Gladys Kravitz thinks she sees something, that's wrong. If you recall the series, Gladys was correct but without due process NO ONE should lose his or her Constitutional rights.

Bailey Jones

Red flag laws ARE due process. The process is a complaint, followed by an investigation, followed by adjudication. It's no different from Homeland Security's "See something, say something" program. And the need for it is no less great.

Carlos Ponce

Read my post, Bailey. "See something, say something" should lead to an official inquiry, not a removal of someone's Constitutional rights.

Bailey Jones

One has to wonder what the founding fathers would make of our current situation. The 2nd Amendment reads “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The intent was clear. The founders envisioned a republic without a large standing army, with a well armed and well trained citizen's militia available to respond to any invasion. That was America up until the end of WW2 when we decided that we rather enjoyed being the greatest military power on the planet.

So one could make the argument that, like what fraction of a person a slave should be counted, the need for a citizen's militia is an anachronism.

Beyond the constitution though, we know that many of the founders also believed that a well armed citizenry was the best deterrent to tyranny. This is the basis for the warped world view of many a home grown terrorist, and many a garage full of ammunition.

But what about mass murder? In the 1780's there were no lone wolf mass shooters. If your intent was to kill many people quickly a hatchet or sword would be the weapon of choice, not a clumsily loaded single shot rifle. In order to shoot multiple people, you literally needed a militia - men were the multiplier, not magazines.

I wonder if the founders ever considered the overwhelming fire power they were conferring on future individuals with the 2nd Amendment? We do know how they felt about concentrating too much political power on an individual - they were against it.

Wayne Holt

Bailey, the greatest mass murders in the past 300 years have all been perpetrated by GOVERNMENT. People think of Stalin's pogroms, Hitler's camps, Pol Pot's killing fields. But what about Dresden and Hamburg in WWII, where the Allies firebombed civilians fleeing the Russians and incinerated hundreds of thousands of noncombatants in one night? How about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, targets that were chosen because they were of little military value and were undamaged by the war...so would be perfect settings to awe the Soviets with the power of the atomic bombs? GOVERNMENT at your service.

People who demand the neutering of the Second Amendment seem not to notice that mass murders are committed by our GOVERNMENT every day. We are doing it now; Obama did the same thing, Bush and Clinton before him. Give me one good reason why I should relinquish my right to a weapon when those in Congress who are screaming for the evisceration of the 2nd Amendment cheer lead the daily killing through direct and proxy wars as well as economic sanctions.

No, I will not be joining that parade. However, should you wish to radically decentralize the ability to wage continuous massacres around the world through the use of legitimized murder by our government, I'm standing shoulder to shoulder with you.

Don Schlessinger

Wayne, Dresden and Hamburg were bad blunders by the allies. The war in Europe was won. Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened to end a war and save allied lives. I've read estimates defeating Japan on the ground would have cost more than 200K allied lives. Totally different thing.

Wayne Holt

Don, respectfully: That is how the narrative was constructed to absolve us (Allies) of what had been done, which were war crimes against civilians and would have put Allied commanders in the Nuremberg court dock if the same standards applied.

Dresden and Hamburg were strategies agreed to by Churchill and Roosevelt, and implemented by Bomber Harris and others, to rain terror down on a civilian population that was trying to flee what they knew was coming with the Soviet army. We know about the ovens of Auschwitz, but we were not taught about 10,000 cellars in Dresden that become ovens for human beings over a three night reign of terror by our GOVERNMENTS.

The narrative on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is even more distorted. Our top military leaders, to their great credit, were almost uniformly against it as criminal acts against civilians, ignoble and unworthy of even the low standard of civilian protection of the time. It was CIVILIAN leaders in the Truman administration who pushed for it as a statement of realpolitik for Soviet consumption. The Japanese had already entreated for peace and MacArthur was well aware of the few remaining obstacles to end the war; most of which revolved around the treatment of the Japanese empower and his responsibility for war crimes. You can be sure if a warrior like MacArthur thought there was a better way than incinerating tens of thousands of civilians, it was a viable alternative.

We have been taught many things that are not true. The beauty of the American people is that we can't imagine things like this being done, but it is being done in our name every day of the week in Yemen, Syria, attempts in Venezuela, etc. We should be opposing this in every way we can, no matter political party, whether religious or an atheist, regardless of race or gender. This is a human issue that the American people must come to grips with. Instead, those at the controls of the war machine love the idea of Americans battling it out over whether we should be allowed rifle magazines over eight rounds.

When the US government leads by example as far as moral treatment of others, I will take direction from them on my God-given rights. I am certain I don't have to worry about that happening any time soon.

Bailey Jones

I don't think I've ever suggested that you relinquish your right to a weapon.

Carlos Ponce

Several of the Democrats running for president have.

Gary Miller

I believe the founders intended for "armed citizens" to be a protection against a government military. It was the Kings military they fought against because enough armed citizens joined the revolution.

Bailey Jones

I agree with you Gary. I think the question is - did the founders intend for the good citizens of Texas to be able rise up against tyranny as a group, of did they intend that an individual Texan have the firepower to take on the government all by himself?

Wayne Holt

Bailey, that issue was put to rest years ago with the subsuming of the National Guard as an auxiliary "standing army" under the direction of the government. There is no truly independent state-wide militia in the sense you are referring to. When citizens decide to band together to train and use weapons they are lawfully allowed to possess, they are targeted for surveillance, infiltration and often entrapment. These are facts.

I would much prefer the world you describe and I believe you try to seek reasoned, and reasonable, ways for America to flourish and for "Justice (to) roll down like waters in a mighty stream," as Martin Luther King Jr. said quoting the book of Amos. My real fear is that we are seeing avenues for that foreclosed, and it's not by citizens. In every avenue of civic and political life at the national level, we are seeing the extremists at the Left and Right margins making the decisions for the vast swath in the middle who seemingly have no voice or influence to change things.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F. Kennedy

Bailey Jones

Yes - extremists make everyone miserable. It always comes back to the same thing - the inability of Americans to elect representatives that represent them.

Wayne Holt

Bailey, I'd vote for you in a heartbeat. Why don't you run for something?

Bailey Jones

"Bailey, I'd vote for you in a heartbeat. Why don't you run for something?" I lack the requisite "R" by my name. And I can't think of a less enjoyable job. But, thanks.

Carlos Ponce

So you're admitting "D" and "I" and "L" have no chance?

Bailey Jones

After years of Republican gerrymandering???

Carlos Ponce

That went to court, Bailey, the SUPREME COURT. In Abbott v. Perez (2018), SCOTUS found JUST ONE gerrymandered Texas House District 90 near Fort Worth. The rest of the state (149 Texas House Districts) was okay- including Galveston and surrounding counties. By the way, Texas House District 90 has since been corrected so there is no gerrymandering in the State of Texas.

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