I moved to West Texas about two months ago.
I was happy to be living in Texas until I realized that next month, the person sitting next to me in church could be carrying a gun. Legally.
I don't typically chat openly about politics, I don't consider myself a Democrat, I don't consider myself a Republican. I follow policy and discussions within politics and support those whom I agree with. Recently I read about Texas "loosening" their gun laws and my heart sunk in fear. The 10 new pro-gun laws will be effective on September 1.
NBC reports that Texas houses about 1.4 million gun owners and has had five of the 20 deadliest shootings in American history.
These laws include:
- Licensed gun owners can keep their gun in a locked car on school grounds
- Foster homes are now allowed to keep guns on their property if they are locked in a safe location with the firearm's ammunition
- Landlords can no longer prohibit residents from storing and/or carrying a gun on their property
- If disaster strikes, people can no longer be charged for carrying handguns during an evacuation
- Licensed gun owners can bring their guns to church and other places of worship
There are always two sides to look at: A person will either feel safer knowing that someone around them is carrying a gun OR a person will feel on edge and scared knowing that even though the man next to you is carrying a gun, he may not have it for the right reasons.
Texas has opened the door for those who want to kill but can visibly fly under the radar and avoid suspicion.
I can't help but feel the anxiety of wondering if today I will be one of the however many people shot and killed in a mass shooting.
I don't like feeling like I need to look in the room I am in for an escape route just in case, God forbid, I need it in that kind of dire emergency.
I don't like looking around and passing judgment on people I don't know and wondering if they are mentally stable or if they have a vendetta and they are going to pull their gun from their holster and open fire.
I don't like thinking that maybe I should also get a gun to feel safe in public spaces and being the object of that same judgment to the girl next to me, who is wondering if I am mentally unstable with a vendetta who is going to open fire.
I want to feel safe. And I don't want to feel safe because the guy next to me can protect me. I want to feel safe knowing that my government values human life enough to at least think about the fact that opening the doors for anyone to carry a gun with a license, in the places I should feel the safest, is not a deterrent for shooters to shoot.
This video shows comedian, Trevor Noah, expressing his opinion on the ignorance of action toward gun violence in this country.
You're not saying "get rid of guns" you're saying, "try to minimize the chances of this happening."
People always say the same thing to me, "Trevor, you don't care about the Second Amendment..."
Yes, but the second amendment fundamentally, fundamentally, if you think about it, is about protecting human beings...what is the good of writing a law that now protects the guns as opposed to the human beings?
This couldn't have been said any better. Trevor Noah said it several times through this statement, why don't we just try? What actions have actually been taken to protect humans instead of their right to own something?
There is nothing wrong with owning a gun if you deserve to own a gun. But there are no measurements out there to decide if someone is worthy except for a vague background test.
Yes, guns don't kill people, people kill people, but normalizing guns in public areas is making it easier for those who have these vendettas to kill to put their thoughts into action.
The El Paso shooter, who took the lives of 22 innocent people, purchased his gun legally. The Dayton shooter, who took the lives of nine people, purchased his gun legally, and according to USA Today, didn't have a record that would cause him to fail a background check to obtain his AR-15.
It is not hard to get a gun.
It is not hard to have a gun for the right reasons.
It is also not hard to shoot a gun. It's not hard to get through the background test and also have those ill intentions.
But it is hard to live in a country where guns become the priority over human life.
Texas, please, for the sake of those who are scared and want to live their lives in peace, get your shit together.