Texas mayors demand special legislative session on guns

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Texas is a pretty pro-gun state. This isn’t groundbreaking news, by any stretch of the imagination. We know folks there like their guns and the state is known for this.

Yet it also was the site of a grisly mass shooting nearly a month ago that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

As a result, it’s not surprising some are asking for gun control.

Now, a bipartisan group of mayors is calling for a special legislative session to address guns.

More than a dozen mayors representing Texas’ biggest cities — including liberals and conservatives alike — asked Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday to call a special session and usher in legislation that would address guns and mental health.

“We represent a continuum of political ideology and have come together because we know most Texans have a strong desire for common sense reform to protect our children,” the letter said. “As mayors, we believe the legislature and executive leaders can come together to find the right solutions for Texas.”

The measure cites five particular areas the mayors want to see addressed. Those include red flag laws, a ban on people under 21 being able to buy semi-auto rifles, and universal background checks, along with increased funding for school resource officers and mental health efforts.

Yet as noted, these aren’t just the Democratic mayors, either.

The signatories include Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Arlington Mayor Jim Ross, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen and Plano Mayor John Muns.

The letter is significant because of its bipartisanship: While they hold nonpartisan offices, both Parker and Muns have described themselves as conservative Republicans.

Of course, I find it hard to believe anyone who is actually a conservative would support things like restricting the rights of law-abiding adults among other infringements of people’s Second Amendment rights.

Yet there’s also an important reminder here. When it comes to our gun rights, we can generally figure Republicans are less likely to want to infringe on those rights, but even in a place like Texas, you can’t assume that just because someone says they’re a conservative or a Republican that they won’t try and take them anyway.

The truth is that even in a pro-gun state like Texas, we’re constantly up against a wall. We need to hold every lawmaker accountable.

While Parker and Munn may be able to hold onto their jobs while making it clear they have no respect for the Second Amendment–and I don’t care what they say in regard to that, their actions are clear–it’ll only be because urban areas are more forgiving of that kind of thing than the rest of the state as a whole.

The question now becomes whether Abbot will listen or not.

Frankly, this is the same legislature that passed constitutional carry. I’d be shocked to see them now turn around and pass gun control–measures that really wouldn’t have necessarily saved anyone’s life, despite claims to the contrary.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t. We’ll, unfortunately, have to wait and see.