Houston mayor pushes gun control for Texas

Houston mayor pushes gun control for Texas
(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

In the United States, we typically know how political lines fall. Big cities tend to support things like gun control while rural areas don’t. The higher the percentage of a state’s population lives in those bigger cities, the higher the likelihood that the state isn’t real big on supporting the Second Amendment

It’s kind of how things go.

So it’s no surprise to see the mayor of a major city call for gun control. Not even in a pro-gun state like Texas.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the number of mass shootings increased after Governor Greg Abbott signed the permitless carry bill last year.

Abbott signed the bill in June 2021, and from June 13, 2021 to June 13, 2022 the number of mass shootings in Texas was 65. From 2020 to 2021 Texas had 40 mass shootings.

“The numbers are more alarming when you consider the victims of the mass shootings,” Turner explained. “In the one-year period before the bill was signed 187 people were killed and injured during mass shootings in Texas. In the one year after, 375 people killed or injured in mass shootings in Texas.”

That 100 percent increase has Turner advocating for gun laws to be changed.

“Not one gun law has been changed since the mass shooting in Uvalde,” Turner added. “Those who are 18 years old can have a gun with no background or training; there are more guns than people.”

OK, let’s back up a second and look at the “killed and injured during mass shootings” numbers. After all, this is a prime example of trying to mislead using statistics.

First, how is Turner defining mass shootings? Based on his numbers, it looks like he’s referring to how Gun Violence Archive defines them. However, that’s a website founded in an effort to push gun control onto the American people and, as such, created an overly broad definition of “mass shooting” that skews the numbers upward.

Second, let’s look at his sample size for a moment. One single year?

Let’s remember that 2020 and 2021 have been weird years in a lot of ways, as has 2022 to some degree. A sample size like this is simply not enough from which to draw any conclusions. Especially when using a definition like Gun Violence Archive’s.

After all, we don’t know exactly what those shootings were. One of the problems with that definition is that it conflates gang warfare with something like Uvalde, which are two very different issues. Both are problems, but the path to solving them is going to be very different.

The truth is that while Turner wants gun control, much of the rest of the state doesn’t. He and his constituents don’t decide what Texas is going to do simply because they believe something hard enough. Using a single year on either end of a law’s passage isn’t exactly proof that the law is causing a problem.

Correlation doesn’t equal causation, after all, and that seems to be all Turner has to offer with regard to his criticisms.

Well, that and that Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t trip over himself to pass gun control in the wake of Uvalde, which is just evidence that Abbott is smarter than people like Turner.