There has been another deadly mass shooting in Texas, and Governor Greg Abbott responded with a flippant post that incensed social media users.
At least five people lost their lives in the shooting, which occurred at a home near Cleveland, Texas, which is located about 55 miles northeast of Houston. Three victims were female and two were male, including an 8-year-old boy. Police found three children underneath two of the women, Newsweek reports.
The suspect, 39-year-old Francisco Oropeza fled the scene and is still at large. The FBI has set up a local field office to assist in the search and a judge has issued an arrest warrant with a $5 million bond. Police report that Oropeza allegedly used an AR-15 style rifle, carrying out the shootings after the victims, who were his neighbors asked him to stop firing a gun in his front yard because it was keeping their baby awake.
While the shooting occurred on Friday, it was hours and hours before Abbott’s office issued an official public statement about the grisly shooting. He waited all the way until Saturday evening, and earlier in the day, just after noon, on his official Twitter, he shared a lighthearted photo of his dog, with the caption “All smiles for the weekend.”
All smiles for the weekend. pic.twitter.com/SygCZTYjtA
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 29, 2023
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If Abbott had done this at any other time, most of us would think “What a sweet dog.” But he did this knowing full well that a deadly shooting had occurred the day before. So it’s completely understandable why Twitter users were upset. He is receiving a well-deserved upbraiding, thanks to his lack of response. One of the people criticizing him is Brett Cross, a parent whose child was killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas last May.
“All smiles this weekend? No mention of the 5 that were murdered for asking a man to quit shooting so they could sleep?” Cross wrote. “The same damn smiles after Uvalde. The same damn smiles after Santa Fe. The same damn smiles after El Paso X2. F**k and your smile.”
All smiles this weekend? No mention of the 5 that were murdered for asking a man to quit shooting so they could sleep?
The same damn smiles after Uvalde.
The same damn smiles after Santa Fe.
The same damn smiles after El Paso X2.
Fuck you and your smile. #chickenshitabbott https://t.co/5nPsTZbLX8
— Brett Cross 🟧 (@BCross052422) April 29, 2023
The Texas Signal, which brands itself as the “largest progressive media company” in Texas, succinctly responded “No shame” to Abbott’s post and included a link to another tweet about the situation.
“Most Texans woke up to the news of the horrific killing of an innocent family by a lethal AR-15,” the Signal’s official account wrote. “Greg Abbott is tweeting about having a great weekend. He signed permitless carry into law last session. We deserve better than Texas Republicans.”
No shame. https://t.co/zLDlbWvRMk
— Texas Signal (@TexasSignal) April 29, 2023
Yes. We do. We deserve better than Republicans. Especially those who benefit from the financial largesse of the NRA and the gun manufacturers. And Abbott is one such Republican who has benefited. He’s received at least $20,000 in contributions from gun rights groups— mostly the NRA and the Texas State Rifle Association, Truthout reports. But the amount Abbott has received seems piddling when compared to the gun lobby’s donations to Sen. Ted Cruz (R), which, as of May 2022 totaled $749,000 over his career.
And according to The Dallas Morning News, the NRA has funneled more than $2 million in lobbying the Texas legislature. This amount is more than double what the organization has spent in any other state, according to FollowThe Money.org.
This is why I know mass shootings are going to continue. As long as politicians benefit from corrupt organizations like the NRA, this isn’t going to stop. Classrooms, churches, and places of work will continue to be wiped out because Republicans will continue to say “thoughts and prayers” as the blood money pours into their pockets.
Oh, and Abbott did seem to get the message that his tweet was stupid and insensitive at least because he added this later. Of course he had to mention that the innocent people who lost their lives were “illegal immigrants”:
Announcing a $50K reward for a @TxDPS top 10 fugitive who is in the country illegally and killed five illegal immigrants Friday night.
I also directed #OperationLoneStar to be on the lookout for the criminal and any attempts to flee the country.https://t.co/SLJcBRPrmO pic.twitter.com/2RWrSDkRBa
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) April 30, 2023
I’ve announced a $50K reward for info on the criminal who killed 5 illegal immigrants Friday. Also directed #OperationLoneStar to be on the lookout.
I continue working with state & local officials to ensure all available resources are deployed to respond. pic.twitter.com/SpkUgKqKGe
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 30, 2023
Other people on Twitter had thoughts on Abbott’s insensitive tweet.
Five more innocent people dead because of gun violence. I guess this is Greg Abbott’s way of thanking them for their sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/VxkLkRRb3y
— Marlene Robertson (@marlene4719) April 29, 2023
And Greg Abbott responds— with a photo of his dog. Pro-death governor of Texas. https://t.co/KP4wf5GGOn
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) April 29, 2023
Congrats on making Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State!
Any chance you’ll do anything to protect the people of Texas, too, or is it just the guns you love? pic.twitter.com/2AfllFAeyp
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 29, 2023
Two of the children who survived the shooting were found under their dead mothers but cute doggo.
— Andrea R MD (@AndreaR9Md) April 29, 2023
While Texans get murdered daily, women’s rights are taken away, and you waste money on fake border stunts. pic.twitter.com/a3hVqIRZPR
— TPBlue💔 (@TPBlue4) April 30, 2023
Texas official state toy is an A.R. 15
— The_JL_Podcast (@The_JL_Podcast) April 30, 2023