Parable of the Prodigal Gun
By: Laisha Harris
HOUSTON-The NRA (National Rifle Association) Convention was held this weekend at the George R. Brown Convention center, open only to members of the NRA and their families. The convention was held in the same week that 21 children and adults were slaughtered by an 18-year-old in Uvalde, Texas. Succumbing to political pressure, Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick did not attend the convention in person but spoke on a pre-recorded video. Musicians set to perform included Jacob Bryant, Don McLean, Larry Gatlin, Lee Greenwood, and Danielle Peck, and they all withdrew from their performances set at the NRA convention in light of the violence in Uvalde. However, guest speakers like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz stood their ground, loud and proud to deliver “an important address to America” as they continue to pray for the victims, their families and for [the] entire nation—we are all in this together,” Donald Trump said.
The NRA denounced ’the acts of the ‘lone, deranged gunman,’ and remained extremely silent on the many issues relating to gun regulation. The shooter in Uvalde waited until his 18th birthday before being able to lawfully purchase two assault-style weapons. While the purchases were lawful, many are pointing out that it is easier to purchase automatic assault-style weapons than it is to obtain an abortion or even baby formula.
NRA Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre thinks he’s “fighting against partisans who would rather disarm law-abiding Americans than protect the innocent and our God-given rights.” Somehow, convention goers like Ryan Busse believe that enforcing stricter gun laws would not have prevented the school shooting and that they are “unfairly targeting law-abiding gun owners’ rights.” Let’s unpack that.
“Law-abiding Americans/gun-owners”- In 2009 and 2014, there were two mass killings carried out at Fort Hood Army base. In 2017, 26 people were killed at First Baptist Church during Sunday morning service in Sutherland Springs. In 2019, a racist in El Paso opened fire at a Wal-Mart. The shooter in Buffalo, New York drove 1,700 miles to kill 10 black people. The shooter in Uvalde, Texas shot his grandmother before driving to a school and opening fire on children. The mass shootings of people of color are motivated by racism and hate. In no capacity are we intending to suggest that law-abiding Americans are included in those who commit acts of racial violence. However, a hit dog will surely holler.
“Rather disarm than protect our God-given rights”- I’m going to be completely honest: I have never read the Bible entirely, front to back. I am 1000% sure that God does not give us, humans on Earth, the right to bear arms. I may not be a former President or an Executive Vice President of a multi-billion-dollar organization that funds private prisons and produces weapons of mass destruction, but I am pretty sure that the Second Amendment was a right granted by the white men who wrote the Constitution, not God himself.
“Stricter gun laws would not have prevented the shooting-” In reflection, that actually might be correct. Whites believe in the right to arm themselves with whatever weapon of their choosing in case there is a need to defend themselves or their property. Whites have never shied away from their use of firearms. In fact, guns are how they were able to colonize the globe with little to no resistance from the people who did not have or know what firepower was.
We are at a point in history where the whites are letting their guard down, removing the niceties and letting us know how they really feel. Police officers stood in the parking lot as an armed gunman shot brown children. They did not care about the cries of the parents. They did not care about the lives of the children. They do not want to do anything about the racial violence. Now, more than ever, it is obvious that we are not in this together.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.