‘We have to do something’: Texas gun control laws rise after latest deadly attack | Texas school shooting

Texas leaders are under increasing pressure to step up arms control measures given data that the state is leading the US. UU. in mass shooting deaths, while Republicans have steadily reduced gun restrictions and cut spending on mental health.

As the funeral of the 19 children and two teachers begins Tuesday in the small, devastated town of Uvalde, South Texas, a week after a primary school shooting, state Democrats – and some Republicans – are demanding special legislation.

Right-wing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has called for a special legislative session to weigh in on legislation, and state Senate Democrats are calling for raising the age for buying any weapon to 21 years.

They also want to force them to check the background of all arms sales and regulate civilian ownership of high-capacity magazines, Austin subsidiary ABC KVUE reported.

They also call for “red flag” legislation to allow the temporary withdrawal of weapons from people who pose an “imminent danger to themselves and others” and urge a law that requires a period of “cooling” when buying a weapon.

“We have to do something, man,” Democratic State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, told Abbott at a news conference. “Your own classmates tell me, call me, and say an 18-year-old shouldn’t have a gun.”

The gunman who took a military-style assault rifle and a backpack with ammunition to Robb Elementary School last Tuesday and shot his victims in two adjoining classrooms was an 18-year-old local, Salvador Ramos.

He reportedly posted violent threats and bragged about weapons on social media, and was shot dead by federal agents after local police waited for more than an hour in the hallway where state officials said it was “the wrong decision.”

“We are asking for changes in gun control. I ask you now to bring us back [for a special legislative session] in three weeks … that’s enough, call us, man, “Gutierrez said.

Several Texas Republicans are also pressuring Abbott to act after the Uvalde tragedy. “Governor Abbott should call us to special sessions until we do SOMETHING to the FBI or the DPS [Texas department of public safety] BELIEVE will reduce the chances of the next Uvalde tragedy, “said Republican State Senator Kel Seliger. said now tweet.

“We have to wait and pray every day, but DO SOMETHING,” Seliger added, without presenting any specific proposals, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Republican Representative Jeff Leach he tweeted his call for a special session, saying, “Texas lawmakers have work to do. Talks to participate. Deliberations and debates to have. Important decisions to make.”

Abbott has sole authority to convene lawmakers before the next legislative session begins in January 2023. He said all options are on the table.

But Texas has responded to the many mass shootings that have plagued the state over the past 15 years by loosening and not tightening arms restrictions.

And data from Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy for gun regulation, indicates that Texas has killed 201 people in mass shootings there since 2009, significantly more than any other state.

California suffered 162 such deaths, while Florida, the third most populous state with 22 million people compared to 29.7 million in Texas and 39.6 million in California, accounted for 135 such deaths, according to Everytown, which defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people die, excluding the shooter.

It was not immediately clear if Uvalde was included in the Texas toll. Texas also leads U.S. in school shootings, according to US News & World Report.

The Texas Tribune reported that state lawmakers relaxed gun laws during the last two legislative sessions, including the passage of unlicensed firearms in 2021. That easing of gun laws was passed less than two years after the shootings. Odessa and El Paso massifs. left 30 people dead.

Some right-wing Republicans in Texas called for more guns last week.

“We know from past experience that the most effective tool for keeping children safe is enforcing armed law on campus,” said U.S. Sen. Ted. Cruz told MSNBC.

Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general facing fraud charges, expressed similar sentiments and predicted more mass shootings.

“People who shoot people, who are killing children, are not following the murder laws. They are not going to follow the gun laws.” Paxton told the far-right Newsmax. “I prefer law-abiding citizens to be armed, trained so they can respond when something like this happens because it’s not going to be the last time.”

Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor and challenged Abbott at a news conference last week, he tweeted on some of the recent mass shootings in Texas, saying, “Abbott should have acted after Sutherland Springs, after Santa Fe, after Midland-Odessa, after El Paso. He refused. Let’s vote for him and get to work saving lives.”

He too beat the weakening of arms restrictions and left a mark during his failed candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidacy by advocating a ban on assault weapons for the general public.

38,000 Texans have had their transportation licenses denied, revoked, or suspended for the past five years because law enforcement considered them too dangerous to carry a loaded weapon in public.

But thanks to Greg Abbott’s new law, they no longer need a license to carry.

– Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 29, 2022

Abbott, meanwhile, blamed Uvalde’s carnage directly on mental health issues in his first press conference after the attack.

But mental health advocates told ABC News that Abbott neglected mental health care, saying he took money from Texas agencies in charge of providing services. CNN also reported on such budget cuts.

“We, as a state, as a society need to do a better job with mental health. Anyone who shoots another person has a mental health problem. Period. We, as a government, need to find a way to address this mental health challenge and do something about it, “Abbott said last Wednesday, the day after the Uvalde shooting.

Debbie Plotnick, executive vice president of state and federal advocacy for the nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA), told ABC that mental health was a common scapegoat. “Hate is not a mental illness … having a mental health condition does not make someone violent,” he said.

This spring, Abbott shifted $ 210 million from the state agency that oversees public mental health to fund a controversial security program on the U.S.-Mexico border.

‘We have to do something’: Texas gun control laws rise after latest deadly attack | Texas school shooting

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