We Have an Issue: Another Day of Gun Violence in America

Do gun owners honestly think we don’t have a problem here?

Photo by David Brendan Hall

This past weekend I did something I haven't done in over a year: I went to the mall. OK, the Domain, so it's outdoors, but still. It was a milestone. I clomped around looking for something cute to wear for my birthday on Sunday (no luck), and I bought my first pair of glasses with progressive lenses (I plan to skip candles and stencil "OLD AF" in frosting on top of my birthday cake instead). Afterward, my two best friends and I went for burgers and sat in the sun, soaking up the blissful ordinariness of it all.

Less than 24 hours later, at an apartment complex near the Arboretum shopping complex, former Travis County Deputy Stephen Broderick allegedly shot and killed his ex-wife, her high school-age daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend, a young athlete.

I cannot fathom the grief their families must feel right now. And yet – and I mean no disrespect to the victims or their families when I say this – there is a terrible ordinariness to this tragedy. On Sunday alone, there were 174 instances of gun violence across America, four of which constituted mass shootings – in Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin – as reported by the indispensable Gun Violence Archive. Gun violence did not go away during the pandemic, but as we all start emerging from our cocoons, it certainly feels like it's accelerating.

The solution for this runaway violence – according to Texas Republicans, at least – is to make guns even more accessible; see their 2020 state party platform, which aims to "Restore Firearms Freedom" by unshackling handgun owners from the awesome burden of having to procure a permit to carry their guns, openly or concealed, and which opposes any checks on possession and carry, including "government-mandated location restrictions such as those in K-12 schools."

I don't think there's any talking sense into the Texas GOP, a ruling party that has somehow convinced its followers that they're the oppressed ones, in the same kind of unhinged, up-is-down logic that defined the Trump era. But I earnestly ask gun owners: Do you honestly think we don't have a problem? Do you really think you're the victims here?


Photo by Jana Birchum

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gun violence, Texas GOP, Stephen Broderick

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