The state of Texas has had its unfair share of mass shootings. We’ve all seen them through the years, too. From the tower at the University of Texas to a rampage on the streets of Odessa to an El Paso Walmart to a school in Uvalde, we can remember them and shudder at the carnage.
But what Texas hasn’t done is pass a great deal of gun control.
For folks on this side of the debate, that’s how it should be. For folks on the other, it’s insane.
Which brings me to an op-ed from Texas that appears to me to be predicated on faulty assumptions.
It has become a mournful pattern. Following mass shootings, lawmakers in many states have taken stock of what happened and voted to approve gun control legislation to try to prevent additional bloodshed.
In Colorado, the Legislature passed universal background checks in 2013 after a shooter at an Aurora movie theater killed 12 people. After 58 people were shot dead during a 2017 concert in Las Vegas, the Nevada Legislature passed a red flag law that allows a judge to order that weapons be taken from people who are deemed a threat. And in Florida in 2018, then-Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that raised the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 after a teenager with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire at a Parkland high school, killing 17 people.
But not in Texas.
In the past six decades, the state has experienced at least 19 mass shootings that have killed a total of nearly 200 people and wounded more than 230 others. Yet state leaders have repeatedly batted away measures that would limit access to guns, opting instead to ease restrictions on publicly carrying them while making it harder for local governments to regulate them.
Ah, yes. Texas has refused to pass gun control laws despite all the horrors.
Yet let’s look west from there to California. In the span of just 44 hours–not even two full days–California saw three mass shootings that left 19 dead.
Sure, that’s a tenth of the Texas total presented above, but that was over the span of just a couple of days.
California has been responsive to mass shootings, at least by the definitions the authors would likely give to the term “responsive.” They’ve passed gun control laws in the wake of numerous mass shootings, including those in other states. They have extensive regulations, the kind that would never fly in most of the United States. They’ve done pretty much everything they can think of to restrict guns and prevent mass shootings.
None of it worked.
You see, the authors of this piece have predicated their entire op-ed on the idea that gun control is the only possible response to such a shooting, that there’s nothing else people in the state of Texas could reasonably do in the wake of such violence.
That’s where they’re wrong.
Gun control doesn’t work as advertised, as we’ve seen in California. It doesn’t stop mass shootings. The most it does is make it less likely a good guy with a gun will be there to prevent such things from happening.
The authors here should check their premises and try again.