The parade of the protectors of assault weapons and their manufacturers continued in Texas on Friday as their Republican governor, Greg Abbott, held another press conference to run cover for corporations that profit from death. It was just more of the same stubborn defense of lethal firearms, and deflection of blame to inadequate mental health services, for which Abbott and his ilk are also responsible.
On Thursday Abbott’s pro-gun presser was interrupted by the Democratic candidate for governor, Beto O’Rourke, who chastised Abbott for doing nothing to stop the “totally predictable” slaughters that recur way too often in America. Equally predictable is the coverage by Fox News and other right-wing outlets that are intent on shutting down the sort of dialogue that O’Rourke was attempting to encourage.
On Friday Abbott’s affair was interrupted again. This time by Roland Gutierrez, the Texas State Senator whose district includes Uvalde, TX. Gutierrez pleaded with Abbott to take some proactive measures to prevent future bloodshed (video below):
“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow. We’ve asked for gun control changes, I’m asking you now to bring us back in two weeks. I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. […]
“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to. I know you feel it too. We have to do something. Your own colleagues are telling me, calling me and telling me, an 18-year-old shouldn’t have a gun. This is enough. Call us back. Just call us back.”
Abbott smugly ignored Gutierrez and asked if there were any other questions. But just at that moment, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace cut into the telecast to deliver some pertinent background information about what was taking place. Saying that “We’ll listen, but we are not gonna let [Abbott] gaslight anybody today,” Wallace continued…
“I want to provide a little bit of context to the gentleman who stood up to Gov. Abbott right there inside this press conference. We believe that was Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez who called for a special session. He and others have pressed this governor of a state in which nineteen third and fourth graders were slaughtered by a weapon that Gov. Abbott doesn’t believe should be illegal, in a process that Gov. Abbott doesn’t think should be illegal, without a background check that Gov. Abbott doesn’t think is necessary.
“Gov. Abbott’s solution for making sure that the slaughter at Uvalde doesn’t happen again is mental health services. And, again, he slashed $211 million from the state’s mental health services. The state of Texas comes in 50th in terms of access to mental health care that it provides to its citizens.”
That’s precisely how these sort of self-serving “news” conferences should be covered. The dishonesty of bought-and-paid-for politicians like Abbott needs to be revealed at every opportunity, and right when it occurs. The cretins who keep trying to lay the blame on mental health know that it’s a phony excuse designed to shield the gun lobby from responsibility. Many other countries also have people with mental problems who are not butchering their fellow citizens.
However, even if you were to take their excuses seriously, the people clinging to them are the same ones who oppose providing adequate health care for their constituents. It’s the same story in Washington as it is in Texas. Republicans have obstructed every common sense gun reform measure for decades. Usually making utter fools of themselves as they struggle to articulate a coherent argument against reforms that the vast majority of Americans support. And, sadly, this will continue until voters manage to expel every one of these unrepresentative slimeballs from office.
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