'We did nothing': Texas GOP lawmaker criticizes state lawmakers for failure to incorporate stricter gun laws
A Republican lawmaker in the state of Texas has admitted that his colleagues failed to do anything to prevent further gun violence in their state. During an interview with CNN's Don Lemon, State Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Texas) weighed in with his perspective on gun legislation in Texas following the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
Seliger's interview comes amid his plans to join Democratic lawmakers in calling on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to hold a special session to address the issues surrounding current gun laws.
“What would you like to see happen?” Lemon asked.
Responding, Seliger said, “What I would like to see happen is a special session in which we can pass legislation, pretty quickly. Otherwise, we wait until January of 2023, where we will address thousands of issues.”
According to Seliger, if Abbott refuses to address the concerns, his actions would reportedly fail to acknowledge the “immediacy we must feel in a case like this.”
Referring to the latest mass shooting that took place in Tulsa, Okla., on Wednesday, June 1, Seliger predicted: “It’s gonna happen again.” Lemon also agreed as he recalled the previous mass shooting that took place in Seliger's district of Odessa, Texas back in 2019.
“Right,” interjected Seliger. Lemon went on to ask Seliger how he has personally been affected by the Uvalde shooting which led to the deaths of 19 children and two teachers.
“I haven’t slept well for eight days because I sat there in 87th legislature [in 2021], and the attendant couple special sessions, and we did nothing,” Seliger answered. “I’ve spent sleepless nights since then because we should have done something.”
He added, “There are parents right now, that are scared to death to send their kids to school tomorrow."
Seliger and Democratic lawmakers may face an uphill battle pushing to reform gun laws in Texas. Since 2003, the state's chambers of government – House, Senate, and governor’s office – have been controlled by Republican lawmakers. However, Seliger believes the recent mass shootings that have taken place in Odessa, El Paso, Santa Fe, and now Uvalde.
“We should consider everything,” Seliger said at another point during the interview. “That’s why when you have authoritative sources like [the Texas Department of Public Safety] and FBI come in and say, 'In our experience – substantial – these are the things that will lessen this.'"
He concluded, “All things ought to be on the table. We could argue that if 18-year-olds could not buy assault rifles, this young man would not have gone into the Uvalde school so well-armed.”