While Gov. Greg Abbott may be feeling a tad squishy on gun rights at the moment, there are a lot of people in the state of Texas who don’t share that sentiment. They’re pro-gun and they recognize that new laws won’t actually stop mass shootings such as the deadly attack in El Paso that kicked off much of the recent gun control debate.
They’re pro-gun and as Abbott’s “gun violence roundtable” kicks off, they want to make absolutely certain the governor hears them.
While Gov. Greg Abbott assembled his first “gun violence roundtable” inside the state Capitol in the wake of the El Paso shooting, gun-rights supporters gathered outside the south entrance of the pink dome to rally against increased gun-control measures currently being floated by Texas lawmakers.
“We’re here today because we know that armed civilians save lives,” said Gun Owners of America Texas Director Rachel Malone. “We know that our ability to legally own and carry guns without government secures all of our freedoms.”
Meanwhile, inside the Capitol building, Abbott joined Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen met with the newly formed Texas Safety Commission. Second Amendment activists were outraged earlier this week when Abbott appointed Ed Scruggs, the president of the gun-control advocacy group Texas Gun Sense, to his Texas Safety Commission.
Mike Cox of the Texas State Rifle Association, the state’s chapter of the National Rifle Association, was also appointed to the commission, but many activists present scoffed at their inclusion due to their consistently anemic advocacy in the state legislature.
“Texas gun owners have a lot to bring to the table in a conversation on public safety, but we are gravely concerned that our voice is not being heard and our liberties are not being protected,” said Malone.
Malone later called for fewer restrictions on guns and where they could be carried. That’s an argument that may be a tough political sell…
…but not because it’s wrong. It’s not. More guns in the hands of private citizens increases the potential for someone armed to end the next El Paso before more lives are lost. It’s a kind of herd immunity for criminality, and not just for mass shootings.
However, a lot of people have a hard time understanding that, which is why I see it as a tough sell. In the wake of a mass shooting, people think emotionally. They don’t look at the subject with any depth. The killer used a gun so we should go after those. They never think about how the killer could have used any of a number of other tools and killed as many, if not more, people. They’re looking at it two-dimensionally.
So while Malone is right, it’s not likely to convert anyone but the previously converted.
Yet his presence and the presence of everyone else outside will do one thing. They’ll remind Abbott and the others involved in these discussions that the state of Texas doesn’t want gun control. Maybe Abbott will come to remember that.