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A vivid disconnect on deaths and guns

December 28, 2018

Re: “Step by step, 6-year-old survivor finds his way back,” Front Page; “Gun bills face legislators’ concerns,” Metro, Sunday

Two stories in the Sunday edition of the Express-News reignited my outrage at the inability of this country and this state to enact sensible gun-control legislation.

First is the poignant story of seven-year-old Ryland Ward, who survived the wounds he suffered at the hands of the Sutherland Springs shooter, but who lost his stepmother and two sisters in the massacre.

He has made remarkable progress, thanks to the doctors and therapists at University Hospital, but he will spend the rest of his life recovering from the physical and psychological damage done to him.

Then there is the news that some 19 bills will be introduced in next year’s Texas Legislative session for logical changes to gun laws in this state. I was immediately struck by the term “nonstarter” in relation to the red-flag proposal, temporarily removing guns from people deemed dangerous by a judge.

Gov. Greg Abbott has already said he will not sign this bill proposed by two El Paso representatives. Republican legislators are also not likely to consider changes to the gunshow loop hole, allowing for the purchase of firearms with absolutely no required background check, or the ability for anyone to acquire plastic 3D printer guns with the right technology.

Alice Tripp, lobbyist for the Texas State Rifle Association, says sweeping gun-control legislation is unlikely. She says that she’s watched for 20 years as protections for “law-abiding gun owners” override gun-control advocates “capitalizing” on terrible things that have happened.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported an alarming statistic that nearly 40,000 people were killed by guns in 2017.

While 60 percent of those deaths are attributable to suicides, that leaves almost 15,000 others the result of accidents or homicides.

Any other epidemic on this scale would require those in power to do something to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

Yet we watch day after day as the violence continues to make headlines and those who can do something about it turn their heads the other way.

Janice Miller lives in San Antonio.

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