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Editorial

OUR VOICES: Either They do Something or WE Will

By Pamela E. Ice

The twenty-seventh U.S. school shooting of 2022 occurred 24 May 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. It is too much to bear. I am tired of politicians talking about praying for the families of the victims. It is high time we – they – DO something.

I don’t want to hear about mental health, candle-light vigils, the second amendment, or anything else except commonsense gun laws. President Biden says he’s tired of these massacres, well so are we all. And I can’t imagine how the people feel in every city in which these massacres have occurred.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was disingenuous when he talked about gun laws in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York not reducing gun violence. Sure, there is gun violence in those cities, but not mass murders in elementary and high schools, churches, and Walmart, for goodness’ sake. Since 2009, there have been over four mass murders in Texas. I’d say there’s something bad wrong here that the Texas legislature can do something about. But I’m not counting on them.

Since 2009, the legislature has done nothing but loosen restrictions on guns. Rather than improving the “wild West” ethos in our state, we now have open carry laws, permitless carry, and gun buyers are not required to be trained on firearm use. People carry long guns openly. And who needs a semi- or fully automatic machine gun? They only are used for killing people.

It is a travesty that Governor Abbott, Senator Cruz, and others stood before us the day after the massacre at Robb Elementary School and talked about improving mental health care when Abbott and the legislature refuse to expand Medicaid. Texas has more uninsured folks than just about any state. But I digress.

The Texas Governor and legislature need to ACT. Immediately. Abbott can call a special session and show Texans and the nation that he is serious about reducing gun violence in our schools, churches, department stores and other public places. If the governor and the legislature do not act, and soon, I say we – you and I – take our discontent to the streets as many did in 2020 over the murder of George Floyd. This time, it’s for 19 dead children and two dead teachers that we protest.

Yes, WE must do something, too.

Pamela E. Ice is an educator and essayist. The Fisk University alum hails from Detroit, MI.
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