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.