It has been clear since the Uvalde shooting tragedy that Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are more committed to pleasing the gun lobby than protecting the lives of 29 million Texas residents, including five million public school children.
But they still go through the motions of pretending to address public safety and school security, while refusing to address the real issue – sensible gun reform laws to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people who shouldn’t have them.
Abbott has ordered schools to make sure their doors are locked, ordered safety audits of campuses and, just this week, added another high-level employee to the state bureaucracy – the chief of school safety and security.
Patrick, meanwhile, has come up with the absurd idea of enacting a law to require a 10-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of using a gun while committing a crime.
Ten years? Sounds tough, huh? That’s what Patrick wants people to think. But think about it again. Threatening a mass shooter with a 10-year prison sentence would be less effective than throwing a bucket of water at a wildfire.
Had the Uvalde shooter survived, he would have been eligible for the death penalty, as all convicted mass murderers potentially are in Texas. Mass shooters don’t think about the consequences. Many probably expect to die in a shootout with police.
And mass shootings aside, Texas already has laws providing the potential of 10 years or more in prison for many other crimes involving firearms. So, there is little, if any, violent crime prevention or deterrence in Patrick’s proposal and absolutely none for mass shooters.
Patrick’s plan would keep the gun lobby happy though because it would do nothing to restrict gun sales to potential murderers, robbers, rapists and other violent criminals.
But what else would you expect from Dan Patrick? Last year, he passed a law, which Abbott signed, to allow most adults to carry firearms without a license or any safety training.
“Texans are fed up with violent crime and skyrocketing murder rates,” Patrick says in a campaign ad.
Texans also are fed up with anti-crime imposters.