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By Senator Borris Miles
The month of August was incredibly tough for us as Texans. We laid to rest 29 people and cared for more than 50 wounded from the El Paso and Midland/Odessa Mass Shootings. Texas seems to be leading the nation in deadly mass shootings, but the response from our Republican-led state leadership is to hold more committee meetings and roundtables. These hollow solutions don’t bring closure to victims and their families and tell the public we plan on doing nothing. Doing nothing is unacceptable, and the victims, their families and the public deserve better.
I’m a gun owner and have a License to Carry a Handgun, but I also believe we need sensible gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of those who would commit acts like the ones last month in Texas. There is widespread support, even among gun owners, for sensible gun legislation, which includes, red-flag laws, universal background checks, and a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high volume magazines. These bills have been proposed in the Texas Legislature and in Congress, but Republicans bury these bills and make sure that they never see the light of day.
In poor and minority communities, we see gun violence on a daily basis, with many acts committed by perpetrators who illegally own guns. Like you, I want our children safe and want to end the mass shootings and the daily violence on our streets. Enacting comprehensive gun reform will not solve all the problems, but new legislation will save lives.
Every day that goes by is a day too late and continuing to talk about gun violence is not going to solve the problem. Recently, the governor issued eight executive orders on mass shootings but they do not enact any new reforms that will curb the violence. The governor failed to list any common-sense gun reform in his orders. The time for comprehensive gun reform is now. I join my Democratic colleagues and demand the governor to call a special session on gun reform. If the leaders in Austin and DC aren’t willing to listen to the people, instead of the NRA and enact common-sense gun laws, then we need new leaders and lawmakers.
Keep the faith, Keep the fight!