Op-ed on Texas State Fair Misses One Key Point

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The shooting at the State Fair of Texas was always going to garner a great deal of attention. It was a shooting in a pro-gun state at a high-profile event that allowed firearms for some parties.


People were going to talk about it.

That doesn’t bother me. We probably should talk about it, at least briefly. We should look at what the rules did and didn’t do and then move on with our lives and help those who were injured move on with their lives.

But a lot of people aren’t really interested in doing that. They see it as an opportunity to attack gun rights, so that’s precisely what they’re doing.

Take this op-ed from the Dallas Morning News by an intern who was at the fair that day.

Staring up at Big Tex, his boots adorned with bluebonnets, I realized that this state is great because of people who continue to buy into traditions like these. Most of the way back home, I thought of the diversity of people taking photos around him, brought together by something so quintessentially Texan.

What followed that evening was quintessentially Texan too. Thousands of fairgoers were evacuated after I left because of a shooting. Luckily no one was killed, but three people were wounded. I got back home around 7 p.m., but if I had stayed at the fair just an hour longer, who knows what could have happened.

I swiped feverishly through news articles on Twitter that night. When I read about the State Fair’s policy on weapons — that licensed gun owners were allowed to carry their weapons in a concealed manner in most areas of the fairgrounds, I wasn’t even surprised.

Gun violence has become an inseparable part of Texas’ reputation and culture, more than all the other wholesome things the State Fair pays tribute to. I just hope that it doesn’t become the state’s legacy.


Now, the writer, Angela Mathew, correctly notes the policy on guns at the State Fair of Texas.

What she fails to note anywhere in this piece, however, is that the gunman was not licensed.

See, the rules in place allowed those who have permits to carry them concealed, but it didn’t give carte blanche permission to bring guns on the premises. The gunman in this case carried a gun into the fair without permission.

That’s because some people don’t follow the rules. Granted, he’s apparently claiming self-defense, but he still willfully brought a gun somewhere that the rules said he couldn’t. That alone shows he’s someone who wouldn’t follow the rules in place at the fair.

Mathew talks a lot about how much she loves Texas, and that’s great, but then why is she misrepresenting what happened in order to try and pressure the state she claims to love to change and become like somewhere else?

Yes, guns are fundamental parts of many states, Texas among them. If you can understand that, learn to embrace it. Especially when the event you’re trying to use to justify changing it doesn’t make the case you want it to.


Especially since the omission of how the alleged gunman wasn’t licensed and thus was breaking the rules is kind of glaring.

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