What If Troubled People In Our Nation Didn’t Have Ready Access to Assault Rifles? What If Our Politicians Didn’t Stoke Hate, Fear, and Division?
“America’s moms are asking those and related questions after a weekend when eight people died (at least four of whom were Asian American) and seven others were wounded after a man opened fire with an assault rifle at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas. This was just days after another man with an assault rifle opened fire on his neighbors in Cleveland, Texas. There have been close to 200 mass shootings so far in 2023, and it is early May. We will soon note the one-year anniversary of the horrendous mass shooting of schoolchildren and teachers that seared Uvalde into our consciousness forever.
“The response from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and other pro-gun Republicans has been inexcusable, infuriating, pathetic, even pathological. Lawmakers in Texas have increased access to guns, including instituting permitless carry in 2021 so that anyone in Texas can carry a handgun without a license or training. They preempt conversations we need to have about gun safety measures. They talk about mental health as if ready access to assault weapons doesn’t make mental health problems more lethal. They use hateful rhetoric, terms like “invasion” and “Chinese virus,” that can inspire hateful actions; the shooter in Allen was a confirmed white supremacist. They offer platitudes and misdirection as the carnage mounts.
“America’s malls, homes, schools, grocery stores, nightclubs, movie theaters, churches, temples, mosques, workplaces, and streets are not safe. America’s moms are heartsick about the gun violence that is taking lives every day in this country. This is not how we want to raise our children.
“Mass shootings are preventable. Weapons of war do not belong in the hands of civilians. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was not enough. Using hateful rhetoric and glorifying guns are not acceptable. It’s time Congress pass comprehensive gun policy reform, beginning with an immediate ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. We must stop the gun violence that is taking lives and destroying our communities. Any politician who doesn’t understand that must be replaced.”