Gun control is a bit of a complicated issue but no matter which side of the argument you fall on, it’s painfully clear that it’s time for change.
In 2019 alone, there have been almost 400 mass shootings. And with the National Rifle Association doing just about everything humanly possible to maintain the status quo, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is one of the countless American citizens openly questioning where the allegiances of our elected officials lie.
“I don’t want to see their little smug faces about how much they care about law enforcement when I’m burying a sergeant because they don’t want to piss off the NRA,” Acevedo said outside the Houston medical examiner’s office, where the body of shooting victim Police Sgt. Christopher Brewster lay.
He pressed McConnell and Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn: “Make up your minds. Whose side are you on? Gun manufacturers, the gun lobby—or the children that are getting gunned down in this country every single day?”
Acevedo’s rage stems from the Senate’s failure to renew the federal Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law in 1994 and puts provisions in place to prevent domestic abusers from purchasing firearms. And guess who vehemently opposes the VAWA? The NRA.
From Huffington Post:
Under federal law, individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses against their spouses or family members are already barred from owning firearms. But the law does not apply to individuals who abuse their dating partners. The VAWA reauthorization bill would fix that, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”
It would also prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses―which experts believe can be a predictor of future violence―from owning or purchasing firearms.
On Saturday evening, Sgt. Brewster responded to a domestic violence call and was reportedly killed by the armed, abusive boyfriend of a Houston woman.
Acevedo believes the bill is stalled “because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends.”
He added, “You’re either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you’re here for the NRA.”
He’s also kept that same energy on Twitter:
“It is past time for @senatemajldr, @JohnCornyn & @tedcruz to lead & get the Violence Against Women Act to @realDonaldTrump,” he tweeted. “Lives are being lost & destroyed due to inaction. Lock yourselves in a room in conference & don’t come out until you hatch it out. LE will gladly help.”
In response, a spokesman for Cruz issued the following statement to CNN:
“For many years, Senator Cruz has worked in law enforcement, helping lead the fight to ensure that violent criminals — and especially sexual predators who target women and children — face the very strictest punishment,” the spokesman also said in the email to CNN.
Cornyn’s office responded by pointing the finger at Democrats for the delay in the VAWA’s renewal:
“The Violence Against Women Act is still fully funded despite what the Chief implied. And he’s got it backwards — Democrats in DC walked away from negotiations and that’s when it fell apart,” Cornyn’s office said in an email. They also pointed to Cornyn’s remarks last month in which he said Democrats “took the easy way out and simply walked away and introduced their own partisan reauthorization, one that they know has no chance of passing.”
“Despite the games being played here, my Republican colleagues and I are working to put in the hard work that it takes to actually accomplish something and legislate,” he said at the time.
If only all the finger-pointing would be replaced by action, empathy, and accountability then maybe—finally—we could make some actual headway on gun control.