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The Lege will not take any action on guns

By all means, keep calling for a special session to address the issue. Just do keep in mind who holds all the cards.

At least 17 Texas state lawmakers are asking Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session to address gun violence following a mass shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens injured.

The list includes four state representatives from San Antonio, including Roland Gutierrez, Diego Bernal, Leo Pacheco and Ina Minjarez.

“Our state leadership has failed to be proactive and adopt laws that would allow gun safety,” said Gutierrez, who has secured more than 500 signatures in a related online petition. “All Texans should feel safe in their communities. Every year we lose too many to gun violence. Over 3,353 gun-related deaths occur in Texas each year. One death is too many – time for change.”

Others on the list are: state Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston; state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin; state Rep. Michelle Beckley, D-Carrollton; state Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth; state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston; state Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas; state Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin; state Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood; state Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City; state Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin; state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo; state Sen. Beverly Powell, D-Fort Worth and state Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston.

In case you didn’t read through that whole list, none of the legislators in question are Republicans. That tells you everything you need to know.

(To be fair, there are other political reasons why there won’t be a special session.)

After the massacre of 22 people at an El Paso Walmart by an attacker with a military-style rifle, Texas’ Republican leadership is still unlikely to push for gun restrictions in a state that has long embraced firearms and has nearly 1.4 million handgun license holders, experts and advocates on both sides of the gun issue say. The shooting comes nearly 21 months after the Sutherland Springs massacre that killed more than two dozen people and more than a year after the Santa Fe shooting that killed 10.

“When Texas Republicans look at these massacres, they don’t blame guns, or gun laws. They blame people. They may blame institutions, schools, families, mental health, but not guns,” said Mark Jones, political science professor at Rice University. “If a school massacre and a church massacre didn’t change people’s opinion, the El Paso massacre isn’t going to.”

[…]

Abbott met last week with Democratic lawmakers from El Paso who have pushed for gun control and said he wants to keep guns away from “deranged killers.” Abbott said the state should battle hate, racism and terrorism, but made no mention of gun restrictions.

“Our job is to keep Texans safe,” Abbott said. “We take that job seriously. We will act swiftly and aggressively to address it.”

Abbott said he will meet with experts this month to discuss how Texas can respond – much as he did after shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe.

Those meetings resulted in Abbott issuing a 43-page report with proposals for more armed guards in schools, boosting mental health screenings, new restrictions on home gun storage, and consideration of red flag laws.

Gun rights supporters immediately pushed back on anything that could be interpreted as restricting gun ownership, and the Legislature’s Republican majority pivoted to expanding run rights. The only victory gun control supporters could claim was a small item in a $250 billion state budget: $1 million for a public awareness campaign on safe gun storage at home.

“They made things worse,” said Gyl Switzer, executive director of Texas Gun Sense. “I went naively into the session thinking ‘Progress here we come.’ But we ran head on into this idea that more guns make us safer.”

Well, more armed guards in schools, in churches, at WalMart, and now after Midland/Odessa, in cars and on the roads. Maybe if we station an armed guard on every street corner, inside every shop and restaurant, and on every floor of every office building in America, we’ll finally be safe from gun violence. We won’t have time to do anything else because we’ll need literally everyone to serve as all those armed guards, but hey, at least we’ll have done something that the Greg Abbotts and Matt Schaefers of the world can abide. Alternately, we can vote them out and elect people who want to do more rational, sensible, and effective things to curb gun violence. Decisions, decisions.

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23 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    Mark Jones is humorous. He is saying that they blame people, not guns. Well, thanks for stating the obvious. Guns are inanimate objects, they don’t do anything. Prof. Jones, it is a person pulling a trigger. In the old days every house had a gun hanging over the mantle, but mass shootings were rare.

  2. Ross says:

    So, what would you have a special session do? Follow the standard progressive mantra of banning so called assault weapons, more background checks, elimination of CHL, only allow firearms use by people “approved” by government? I haven’t heard a word from the progressive/Democrat side explaining to the hundred million plus gun owners who didn’t commit a crime today why they should give up their firearms. All I hear is ban, ban, ban, with an arrogance that is guaranteed to create opposition.

    The fact is that any sort of firearm confiscation/restriction is going to fail unless the affected owners can be convinced that it’s a good idea, are compensated, and aren’t treated like the pariahs the left makes them out to be on a daily basis.

    I get annoyed when the anti-gun side tries to say that the so called assault rifles have no civilian use. That’s incorrect on its face. The rifles that are the main subject of conversation are used all over the country for a variety of competitions, hunting of varmints, target shooting, etc. They are also functionally identical to firearms that have never been the subject of ban discussions. In general, the opposition seems to be based on the fact that the rifles are “scary looking”, which is a stupid reason to ban anything.

  3. asmith says:

    Ross, this is the texas lege we’re talking about. There not going to do anything like you suggest. Matt Schaefer’s tweet probably speaks for about 84 members in the texas house and 21 senators. The house and senate majority is owned by TSRA/NRA. There will barely be a chance for a strong mental health bill to get to Abbott’s desk.

    As long as one side is held hostage by an absolutist organization, nothing in the middle will get done.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Here’s what I just can’t seem to put together.

    According to the left, the US has:

    actual concentration camps where we are killing both children and adults

    a president that is literally Hitler

    bands of violent white supremacists running around killing and beating people of color

    Knowing all that, the left’s solution to that is to enact laws that would make it more difficult for people of color, the people being killed in the camps and killed in the streets, from actually being able to buy firearms that they need to defend themselves from not only the government, but also from those millions of violent white supremacists.

    Closing the gun show loophole will pretty much put a stop to immigrants and people of color from buying guns legally, because they don’t have ID. So now, in addition to disenfranchising them from voting, we’ve managed to keep them unarmed, too.

    Making the background checks more involved is going to disqualify….people of color, who have been overcharged and over prosecuted by a racist judicial system that treats people of color more harshly than whites.

    And passing unconstitutional ex post facto laws outlawing certain guns and magazines already in circulation will just make criminals out of tens of millions of Americans who aren’t going to hand over shit. Looking at you here, Beto. And guess which of those tens of millions are going to get arrested FIRST for not handing over their guns? Yup, people of color, who are more likely to be searched by law enforcement.

    Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face. You folks better hope that Gregg Abbott doesn’t succumb to the “we’ve got to do SOMETHING” hysteria. Even identifying people who we thing are unstable or capable of going postal, like the guy in Odessa is fraught with peril. Who makes the determination of who is a dangerous ticking time bomb? Would y’all trust ME to make those decisions? Probably not. Likewise, I wouldn’t trust anyone who calls me crazy because I don’t support the ‘green new deal,’ for example. Do you want Trump appointees determining who we go full Minority Report on? No? That’s why red flag laws are a bad idea, too.

  5. C.L. says:

    Bill and Ross are correct – we should do absolutely nothing to help slow down the mass killing of our fellow Texans by folks who own military-style assault rifles with 30 round magazines….’cause this is ‘Murica, dammit !’

  6. Jules says:

    walmart is now asking customers not to open carry in their stores, which still does not make walmart a gun free zone, no matter what stupid comments are made on this blog.

  7. Manny says:

    The left does have a way of making the fascist, the right, look like the haters they are. The fascists know claim they want to make sure that people of color are well armed.

    They the fascists do one thing very well, they lie, and they lie, and they lie some more. Banning assault type of weapons is not confiscation, it means they won’t be sold. That is what happened when Clinton was president. Beto has said that the government should buy they them, that means people get compensation.

    Within 15 years most weapons will be illegal to own, the way the fascists are acting.

  8. Ross says:

    Manny, please define the term “assault rifle” because the 1994 bill only banned scary appearing rifles, not actual assault rifles, which are generally illegal for us normal citizens to own already.

  9. Manny says:

    Ross, it does not matter how I define it, it was meant to show how fascists lie about taking arms away.

    I will say the feeling toward ownership of weapons designed to kill, some exceptions, is changing and if the fascists keep up their no compromise on gun laws, I fully expect that the “Leftist”, as you call them, voices will get louder to where it will drown out the fascists.

    Extremist 2nd amendment believers are a small minority, a very loud minority but a minority.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    Manny’s Wiki article ‘defines’ it for him. It’s just cosmetic virtue signaling, much like everything else Manny espouses:

    “Definition of assault weapon

    Under the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, the definition of “assault weapon” included specific semi-automatic firearm models by name, and other semi-automatic firearms that possessed two or more from a set certain features:[14]

    Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

    Folding or telescoping stock

    Pistol grip

    Bayonet mount

    Flash hider or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one

    Grenade launcher”

    Meanwhile, weapons actually used in war, like the M-1 Garand and the SKS (replete with actual bayonet) were still sold during the ban period. People collect them even today. Heck, Uncle Sam will sell you an M-1 Garand via the CMP, because even the US government understands the historical significance of those guns.

    The mini-14’s were still sold (maybe because based on the A-Team, they were unusable to actually shoot people with). Semi auto AK’s (not weapons used in any war) were still sold, but with their bayonet lugs ground off and no flash suppressors. And the ebil, ebil, black rifle….the AR (read: Armalite, not Assault Rifle, by the way) was still sold, but with fixed stocks only, and with no flash hiders,and no bayonet lugs. Same guns, just a few cosmetic modifications. To people like Manny, the ban period guns would look exactly the same as the non ban period versions.

    Did any of the mass shooters that used an ebil black rifle or AK make use of a bayonet during their rampages? Did any of them actually use a folding or collapsible stock? Did any of them care whether the muzzle flash from their guns could be seen, in broad daylight (hint: a flash hider is only useful at night)? Would the absence of those features make a crazed gunman any less lethal? They wouldn’t, but they’d make Manny feel better, because “we did something!”

  11. C.L. says:

    Every day I find myself more and more alarmed with American’s love of the gun.

  12. Ross says:

    Manny, all firearms can kill. That’s what heavy projectiles at a relatively high speed do when they impact certain parts of the human body. For 50+ years. I’ve been listening to the anti gun people pull out the whole list of tired, invalid arguments for controlling, read banning, certain firearms. Everything from “don’t need” to “no legitimate use” pops up, always empty of logic or an understanding of what the 2nd Amendment actually means. The left is driven entirely by the end goal, with no care at all for the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution is seen as an impediment to the progressive utopia.

    As for no desire to ban firearms, Diane Feinstein would have banned so called assault weapons in 1994, but didn’t have the votes. And th hsts just one example.

  13. Manny says:

    Ross, so can a rock kill, the Bible tells so as much. Rocks were not designed by God to kill. Guns were designed to kill, but a 22 is much less likely to kill someone, not that it can’t. A shotgun with birdshot will probably not kill. That is why I made an exception. I understand that the fascists love guns, Ross, that is why they always come up with excuses.

    Bill, you are beyond help, you live in your own hell and want others to to feel your pain.

  14. Ross says:

    Manny, what excuses am I coming up with? Do you know what a fascist is? I don’t think it means what you think it does.

  15. Jules says:

    Ross, I’m confused about which guns you think should be banned besides “actual assault rifles”.

  16. Manny says:

    Ross, I don’t think you know what a Leftist is.

    Excuses like why not universal background checks for anyone who owns or is in possession of a gun, gun includes rifles.

    Excuses why weapons that have a history of being used in mass killings should be banned?

    Excuses for anything having to do with regulations of weapons.

    Fascism is a form of far right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. That is what I believe fascist is, the German Reich under Hitler is an example, there are others. Not much different than Stalin or Mao. Putin would be a good example of someone like that at the moment. But I know that Trump lovers lover Putin, I imagine there are exceptions.

  17. Ross says:

    @Jules, I don’t think any firearms should be banned. Including full auto firearms, silencers, mortars, bazookas, artillery pieces, etc. as long the owner can find a place to use them without harming anyone else. That’s the key, not harming anyone else. If you harm someone else, then punishment should be swift and severe. Restricting ownership of inert pieces of metal, plastic and ceramic is stupid.

    @Manny, cool, you can copy from Wikipedia. Apply that knowledge on those occasions when you accuse others of being fascists.

    With your logic, someone who kills 5 people with a hammer should result in ownership restrictions and bans on hammers. I prefer to punish those who do bar things, rather than restricting the rights and privileges of the millions who don’t do bad things.

    If Congress changes the law to allow private use of NICS, I will think about supporting universal background checks. I refuse to support laws that would force anyone to pay an FFL holder to do a background check on their behalf, since that would screw the parties out of their money for little overall benefit. And that’s ignoring the fact that background check laws for private party sales are unenforceable until after violations are discovered.

    I’ve known what leftists are for decades. Living in the UK in the 70’s gave me plenty of knowledge about the various shades of politics.

  18. […] Ross on The Lege will not take any action on guns […]

  19. Manny says:

    Ross, typical right wing fascist response. Also, very typical illogical conclusion about a hammer, that is not what most rational people would conclude. But I can tell you this much, that I would rather face a person with a hammer than one with a gun, I may be able to outrun the person with the hammer. I know that is too complicated for you, but I tried.

    Like I stated earlier right wing fascists like you, always come up with excuses as to why it can’t be done.

    Ross I guess than you support Iran and any other country having nuclear weapons or chemical weapons. Like I stated, right wing fascists will say anything for an excuse.

    Define a leftist Ross.

  20. Manny says:

    Ross you sound like someone that engages in gun sales to supplement your income. Ever hear about passing the cost to the buyer, the buyer is the one seeking no background checks. But that is not the reason, the reason is that than those gun buyers will go to someone else that will circumvent the law, like all those drug dealers that cause so many deaths, but not as many as guns do. 40,000 a year die by gun.

  21. Ross says:

    Manny, fuck you and your stupidity. I am not in any way, shape, or form, a fascist, nor do I support fascist tendencies. If you want to take this to personal insults, I can get as nasty as you want.

  22. Manny says:

    Ross, nice to see your real side come out, you failed to state what a leftist is? You stated you could do that because you met some in England in the 70s.

    Ross you engage in name calling, leftists, but you object if a label is placed on your views, how quaint.

    While I support Warren, I agree with Beto as to what should be done in regards to AK and AR weapons.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/beto-o-rourke-guns-take-sell-government-ak-47-ar-15-democrats-a9087091.html