Mike Gomez

Mike Gomez

There’s not much President Joe Biden and the late Chief Justice Antonin Scalia had in common politically but they both stated that the Second Amendment is not absolute. So why are some still believing that it is? Let’s move on.

Not that it matters but I’m not going to bore you or lie to you to qualify my stance on the AR or AK-type weapons. I do not come from a long line of gun owners because there was never a gun in the house when I was growing up nor do I own one today. I don’t think that matters but to some, it might. They might automatically call me a gun grabber. I can still see why gun owners want a gun for protection. I live in the city with the same concern but I have a security system that serves my needs. Not judging.

I will repeat what I have been saying since last Thursday. What kind of a civilized country like ours would allow an 18-year-old to legally purchase two assault weapons, 375 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammo, and a vest without a driver’s license and without as much as a raised eyebrow? And then our Texas legislature made it even easier by not requiring training or a 21-year of age requirement. In fact, you can carry that weapon to protest inside the statehouse or buy a loaf of bread at Walmart.

I don’t fool myself because I know how difficult it will be to ban the AR or AK type weapons which I call assault weapons as the 1994 crime bill labeled them. Today, automatic weapons are deemed assault weapons but not semi-automatic ARs and AKs. Who cares, it’s a distinction without much difference.

We have a unique gun culture in the United States where 393 million guns are in circulation or about 121 guns for every 100 residents. The favorite is the AR-15. There are 11 million AR-15s in the country. Since less than 1% of them were used in a crime they are mostly novelty items. To the mass shooters, those assault rifles are the weapons of choice because they can kill more people in the least amount of time. Those weapons can penetrate body armor and a single bullet can rip a body to shreds. The weapon commands fear, so much so, that 19 armed officers were afraid to confront the shooter. And some want armed teachers to be the front line of defense. I think the Uvalde school shooting finally put “a good guy with a gun” as a creditable talking point, to rest. Yes, an off-duty CBP agent finally killed the shooter but how long did that take?

School shootings may be over for the summer, so now the young males' ages 18-24 will set their sights on synagogues, mosques, churches, malls, and celebrations using their weapon of choice, the AR-15.

I think misinformation and scripted talking points are the biggest impediments to a meaningful discussion. For example, I’m confident in my stance because not only do polls back it up but right-wing politicians like Rick Scott, Dan Patrick, and Greg Abbott advocated for the same policies. After the Parkland shooting, then Gov. Scott and the GOP Florida legislators replaced their gun laws to raise the age of gun ownership to 21 and passed Red Flag laws. Governor Abbott established a task force after the El Paso mass shooting to prevent more mass shootings. Abbott and Patrick were for raising the age limit and looking at red flag laws but then Patrick flipped. Patrick told Abbott his Senate would vote down any measures he proposed and proved it by passing even more permissive gun laws.

Remember during the bump stock debate after the Las Vegas shootings when President Trump said “banning them should be easy.” Trump looked over to Senator Toomey and asked if they were looking at raising the age to purchase a gun to 21 and Toomey said they were not? He said they were afraid of the NRA…lol

I saw a poll that stated that 75% of Republicans think the Dems are for gun confiscation.

Just this past weekend an NRA convention attendee told a reporter that hammers are used more to murder people than guns. He challenged the reporter to Google it. The reporter did and found out that handguns led the way with 8,029 to hammers and blunt objects with 393. The attendee concluded with “I have my second amendment right.”

We need to disregard Ted Cruz’s single-door idea. It’s a fire marshal’s nightmare. The only thing sillier is being promoted by the local GOP chair. He said he is willing to be a Kamikaze pilot of sorts because he’s old and will not be missed. Those ideas are coming from a United States Senator and a local political leader.

Mitch McConnell has commissioned Senator John Cornyn as the GOP point man to meet with Democrats to see if they can come to some kind of agreement. Senator Murphy has already said an assault weapon ban will not likely be on the table. The more progressive wing of my party will like to call Murphy weak but the senator knows the math and the map. He knows that 13 states whose population is less than 5% of the national population, can together block any bill or amendment.

I don’t discount mental illness, video games, poor parenting, and missed opportunities as reasons for the mass shootings but guns must be in the conversation. Every country has those issues but we are the only country with easy access.

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Michael Gomez is a retired, opinionated left-of-center, political junkie who likes to discuss issues, as opposed to ideology.

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Michael Gomez writes a politics blog on VictoriaAdvocate.com.

(6) comments

Mike Gomez

Thanks Brian…. bipartisan legislation has a longer shelf life because each side has buy in. They’ll come back in the next session to strengthen what they passed.

Glen, was that the same protester who started with a half a dozen or so for their first protest? The second protest he didn’t have any followers. I remember seeing protesters arm with A.R.15s shouting at DPS officers demanding they be allowed in with their weapons.

I remember seeing armed protesters outside a venue where President Obama was speaking. The Secret Service could do nothing to prevent the armed protest.

Even after representative Gabby Giffords was shot, there’s nothing preventing protesters from being bringing their guns to a rally.

I guess the right doesn’t trust law-enforcement or the freedom to carry overrides common sense security measures.

Glen or Janice Ullman

Mike, until Trump I never saw protesters marching down Navarro or Deleon Plaza, with arms in hand, front page of the advocate. I guess I figured some one in the law enforcement field around here would have stepped up to let people know that we do not need to be carrying our guns to town.

Glen or Janice Ullman

Everytime the gun debate resurfaces, after tragedies usually, the Grand Old Party, with great sympathy, does something to encourage good people to carry firearms. Their flawed thinking which allows more guns in more hands, with little regulation is somehow going to make it more difficult for the criminals and the insane to do harm. I’m a responsible gun owner that cringes at the thought of having to pack everywhere I go, but that is the mentality the GOP is trying to instill upon us through fear. When the gun subject comes up around Victoria, I flashback to the controversial statue in our courthouse square and the protestors who felt the necessity to arm themselves to make a show of it. What were they trying to prove? It proved to me that our local laws need to be beefed up to make up for our increasingly lax state laws. To steal a line from your last blog. What have we become? Thanks for your thoughts Mike….Glen

C Droost

No offense, Mr U, but I really think you’ve gotten something terribly wrong here. The GOP has *never* “with great sympathy” done something to encourage good people to carry firearms … it’s always encouraged unrestricted carrying, and the use of, firearms with both great glee and scornful disdain for the preferences of the majority of their constituents — of both parties. As far as I’m concerned, the GOP should never again be referred to as the Grand Old Party. It may have — in the far, far past — been able to lay claim to that name, but today, and forever after, I will only recognize it as the Guns Over People party. They’ve earned the label. Let it stick.

Glen or Janice Ullman

No offense taken, Mr. Droost, the sympathy I was referring to was that offered up for the victims. No realistic solutions, just their standard prayers and sympathy. I like Guns Over People, good comparison. I have a habit of reminding republican friends and family that they are the Grand Old Party because they are all in denial of what they have become.

Brian Vandale

Mike very well written. Our lawmakers need to start finding solutions and quit blaming each other. I commented on a post my cousin had posted back home, about mass shootings and gun control. My comment was" It's time for Republicans and Democrats, to check their ego at the door. Their ego's are getting in the way of rational thinking". This is just my opinion.

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