'A political tragedy born from political calculus': Texas newspaper blasts Greg Abbott for 'reinforcing' a 'failed status quo' on guns

'A political tragedy born from political calculus': Texas newspaper blasts Greg Abbott for 'reinforcing' a 'failed status quo' on guns

Only three days after a gunman attacked Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — killing 19 children and two teachers on May 24 — Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the National Rifle Association’s annual convention remotely and argued against enacting any new gun control laws in his state. The San Antonio Express-News’ editorial board is highly critical of Abbott’s May 27 speech in an editorial published on June 3, lamenting that Abbott’s stubborn loyalty to the gun lobby is preventing him from encouraging any type of meaningful reforms.

“To the people of Uvalde and Texas, Abbott has only promised ‘laws,’ not gun safety laws, in response to the nation’s second-deadliest school shooting,” the Express-News’ editorial board argues. “And to recent NRA convention attendees, he has made clear he views gun safety measures as an ineffective and unnecessary response to gun violence. He is a guardian against gun safety reforms, even after an unspeakable tragedy.”

The Express-News’ editorial board adds, “Taken together, his comments signal there very well may be laws that emerge after Uvalde, but there almost certainly will not be any new gun safety laws in Texas despite the murders of children and teachers. In a position to meaningfully change our broken political discourse around gun safety, as mass shootings ravage our nation, Abbott has, time and again, opted to not only maintain but enhance a failed status quo.”

The Express-News’ editorial board describes Abbott’s opposition to even moderate gun control as “a political tragedy seemingly born from political calculus,” noting that he “expressed no interest in rolling back lax gun laws such as permitless carry” during his NRA convention speech and “threw shade on universal background checks.”

“As an alternative to gun safety laws, Abbott has repeatedly emphasized improving mental health care,” the Express-News’ editorial board notes. “And while we are fully on board with improving mental health care in Texas, this, too, rings hollow given the state’s failure to expand Medicaid and dead-last ranking among the states for mental health care access by Mental Health America.”

Abbott, in response to the Uvalde massacre, has declared that “the status quo is unacceptable’ — a “status quo” that, according to the Express-News’ editorial board, the Texas governor is doing nothing to change.

“Yes, the status quo for mass shootings is ‘unacceptable’ — it is infuriating — but Abbott reinforces this status quo with his fealty to Texas’ lax gun laws,” the Express-News’ editorial board laments. “With all his power, he does nothing.”

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