It is unconscionable that we are mourning the victims of yet another mass shooting, this time in Allen, Texas. It was just over a week ago that we mourned the victims of a mass shooting in Cleveland, Texas, and less than a year after we mourned the death of the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. In all three cases, the victims included children and the weapon was an assault rifle.
The response from our elected officials has been predictable: prayers for victims and calls to “harden” targets. Not good enough! People have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That does not include living in fear of going to a shopping mall, grocery store, school, or park. It is not reasonable to “harden” all the places where we live, work, and play. A child’s life, everyone’s life, outweighs anyone’s right to own military-style weapons.
The legislature is in Austin right now and right now there is plenty they could do. That starts with:
- Preventing House Bill 636, which would allow election judges to bring guns to polling places, from becoming law.
- Passing House Bill 2744, which prevents the sale of high-capacity assault rifles to anyone under the age of 21.
The League of Women Voters calls upon our elected officials to take responsibility and take these actions immediately.
Right now, Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature can enact sensible gun laws including:
- Background checks on every gun sale or transfer.
- Three- to ten-day waiting periods after the purchase of a firearm.
- Restore licensing requirements for current and future handgun owners.
- Extreme risk protection “Red Flag” laws so family members or law enforcement can ask courts to keep people in crisis from accessing firearms.
- Prohibit abusive domestic partners from accessing firearms.
- Ban the sale and transfer of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
- Limit ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds.
- Increase safe storage of firearms and firearms training.
Our community is in crisis. Our politicians should pass sensible gun laws that the majority of Texans want and need.
Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Joyce LeBombard, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. The League of Women Voters is one of America’s oldest civic nonprofit organizations. Formed in 1919, the Texas League represents more than 13,500 grassroots advocates and 34 local Leagues across the state. LeBombard is pictured above.
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