No, Uvalde won't lead to gun control

No, Uvalde won't lead to gun control
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

In the aftermath of Uvalde, a lot of people started demanding gun control in Texas. Granted, this is the same Texas that just passed constitutional carry, but they somehow thought the legislature should start considering gun control.

As we gear up for legislative sessions all over the nation, we’re once again seeing articles about Texas and gun control, such as this one titled, “After the Uvalde mass shooting, will the Texas Legislature pass meaningful gun reform?”

The Texas Legislature is back for the first time since a teenage gunman entered Robb Elementary School and fired a semi-automatic rifle.

Since the shooting, Duran and other victims’ family members have been calling on lawmakers to consider a series of bills they say could help prevent the next mass shooting.

But, history shows it’s unlikely Texas Republicans will add any new gun restrictions.

Among the proposals Duran is pushing for are the implementation of “red-flag laws,” enhanced background checks for gun owners, and raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, is carrying some of those bills this year.

“We can do a lot better in this space and we deserve to do a lot better, not just for these families, but for all of Texas and for the safety of every child in Texas,” Gutierrez told The Texas Newsroom. “We have to make it harder for these young men to get access to these types of weapons.”

Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, said he’s working to convince some in the Republican majority to support his legislation.

How about Gutierrez starts by crafting legislation that will force the cops in Uvalde to do their jobs first instead?

Look, I won’t pretend that all of those kids died because the police went against standard procedures and opted to evacuate the rest of the school first. But a whole lot fewer of them would have, that’s for damn sure, yet where is that in Gutierrez’s grandstanding?

What happened in Uvalde wasn’t just a police failure. It was a failure of just about everything. The killer had a history of actions described as “red flags,” but at least one, pointing BB guns at people, should have landed him a felony charge. Had that been in place, he couldn’t have lawfully bought guns. That’s true of so many mass shooters as to be downright painful to see again.

Then there was the troubling behavior that could potentially have had him adjudicated as ineligible to own firearms.

None of that happened, though, and kids are dead.

If the systems already in place failed, why are we looking to create more barriers for law-abiding citizens who did nothing wrong? Why would we be deluded enough to believe now, suddenly, government policies will work to stop this kind of thing when they haven’t ever before?

Uvalde was tragic and awful, but it’s not an excuse to pretend that the failings of the past were because of not passing gun control.