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It was random luck that my son was a graduate, not another statistic

Firearms


Regarding “Editorial: Abbott’s record on mental health stinks. After Uvalde, his talk must come with funding.,” (June 3): At my son’s high school graduation two weeks ago, flags were already at half-mast for what had just happened in Uvalde. It occurred to me that it was just random luck that my son was a graduate, and not another statistic. Since then, I’ve cycled through sadness, rage and disgust. But I keep coming back to rage.

Rage at the vacuous inanity of gun fetishists who insist that nearly any civilian should have unrestricted access to an AR-15. Rage at NRA puppets who insist that the solution is to arm teachers — presumably the same teachers they accuse of indoctrination and sexual grooming — when 19 professionally trained “good guys with guns” were outgunned by one 18-year-old, resulting in one dead child per good guy. Rage at the pro-life hypocrites who place nebulous blame on a sick culture while they pose in political ads fondling military-grade weapons, softly advocating violence, if necessary, to take “their” country back. Rage at a governor who blames this on mental illness a month after slashing more than $211 million from the mental health budget of a state already ranked dead last for mental health services.

In his tenure, Greg Abbott has done nothing but preside over a parade of catastrophes, choosing time and again to deflect blame rather than address problems. When Beto O’Rourke directed more-than-justified rage at him during a press conference, many dismissed it as political grandstanding. But in my opinion, O’Rourke has done the one thing that state leaders continuously fail to do: represent.

Robert Campbell, Katy

Legislation

Regarding “Schools to check exterior doors, beef up security under order from Abbott to TEA,” (June 2): It appears that our governor is, once again, striving to create an appearance that he is actually doing something following yet another tragic massacre of children with guns here in Texas. This time, the governor has ordered the TEA to create a strategy for safety in the wake of mass killings. Without commenting on his penchant for buck-passing I find that, surprisingly, I fully agree with his “order.” I also have some common-sense, practical suggestions for the TEA that will both adhere to his order and that might begin to actually address the state’s problem. First the TEA should mandate that all students 18 years of age, and those nearing 18, be registered to vote as a condition of graduation. Next, all students should complete a mandatory civics class. Finally, all students should be required to complete courses in critical thinking. We have no hope that the Republicans who control Texas will ever actually address the ongoing scourge of gun violence. So, it will only be by ridding ourselves — through the ballot box — of the Republican politicians who have created, simplified and dramatically increased the ongoing horror of murdered babies in our great state that the issue can truly be addressed.

Tanner Garth, Houston



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