Among the latest victims are 19 children and two small-town teachers Uvaldewest of San Antonio, where on Tuesday a gunman opened fire inside an elementary school in the nation’s deadliest mass shooting in nearly a decade.
Each of these tragedies in Texas – which has killed more than 85 people – has occurred in the past five years.
But as the horrors of Uvalde thrust America into yet another debate about gun violence, Texas and its Republican-controlled government have now demonstrated what is likely to happen next: barely Nothing can restrict access to guns.
Lawmakers are unlikely to impose any significant new limits on guns. Last year, gun laws were actually relaxed after a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a 2019 racist attack targeting Hispanics.
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Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes Uvalde, said: “I just can’t wrap it up. “As a policymaker, it’s unsettling to me that we can’t do anything more than make these militarized weapons more accessible to anyone who wants to. they.”
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott identified the gunman as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. The gunman was killed by authorities.
The cycle in Texas – one mass shooting followed by few if any new restrictions on guns – reflects the GOP’s efforts to stave off stricter laws in Congress and ensure the rule of law. outrage from Democrats and advocates of tighter gun control.
President Joe Biden angrily launched a new move on Tuesday night in the wake of the tragedy in Uvalde. “When in the name of God shall we stand in the gun corridor?” he asked in an address from The White House.
The Texas shooting comes days before the National Rifle Association is set to hold its annual meeting in Houston, where Abbott and other Republican leaders are scheduled to speak.
Even as Biden’s party has thin control over Congress, gun violence bills have stalled in the face of Republican opposition in the Senate. Last year, the House passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases, but both were defeated in the Senate by a 50-50 margin, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome opposition from opponents.
“It’s focused on mental health. There seems to be consensus in that area,” 2nd Senate GOP leader John Thune said of how Congress should respond to the Uvalde shooting. He did not specify what that would be.
In Texas, any changes to gun rights won’t come until lawmakers return to the Capitol in 2023. In the past, calls to action have gone.
Abbott, who will run for re-election in November, said the Uvalde shooting was made “horrific, incomprehensible” to children. He did not immediately say how Texas would respond or whether Texas would respond to this latest mass shooting at the policy level, but since he became governor in 2015, the state The state has only become more relaxed when it comes to gun laws.
Exactly a year before the Uvalde shootings, the GOP-controlled Legislature voted to remove one of the last major gun restrictions in Texas: mandatory permits, background checks, and training for proximity 1.6 million registered pistol owners in the state at the time.
Abbott signed the bill, at the end of the Texas Legislature’s first opportunity to act after the Walmart attack.
A year later, a man on a freeway opened fire in a West Texas oil patch, killing seven people, spraying bullets at passing cars and a shopping center, and killing one employee. United States Postal Service officer when he robbed her truck.
After a shooting at Santa Fe High School in 2018 that left 10 people dead near Houston, Abbott has signaled support for so-called red flag laws, which restrict gun rights to those deemed dangerous. for yourself or others. But he later withdrew amid protests from gun rights advocates.
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who won the GOP’s nomination for a third term on Tuesday, told Fox News after the Uvalde shooting that the best response would be teacher training. and “hardening” the schools.
Democratic Representative Joe Moody recalled hoping he felt that the Walmart shooting in his border city could eventually lead to reform.
“And the only answer you get when we get to the Capitol is, More guns, less restrictions,” said Moody. “That’s it.'”