Texas Governor Greg Abbott facing criticism over inaction and failure as the state has witnessed five major massacres since 2017. The governor has been accused of ignoring the latest mass murder in the state, which killed a three-year-old boy and his parents, security guard, engineer and another innocent victim and left over half-a-dozen injured. The governor who traveled to Robstown to launch a Tesla facility with Elon Musk did not address the Allen tragedy nor did he accept questions from reporters. He addressed the tragedy, however, through an emailed statement by his office on Saturday.
The Allen massacre is not the only tragedy to occur during Abbott’s tenure as Governor. The Santa Fe high school and the mass murders in Sutherland Springs, El Paso, Midland and Uvalde tragedies are a few cases when the Governor failed to take action. After the Santa Fe incident, Abbott abandoned the red flag laws, which were later replaced by mental health services for children. Multiple efforts to relax gun laws in Texas, even at the expense of public safety, notably, open-carry, allowing anyone to carry a firearm without the need for a concealed weapons permit or any training, were backed by the Governor.
Despite these tragedies, the Governor continues to maintain that mental health and not gun laws is the long-term solution. However, mental health support services do not appear to be generating the desired results. The failure to keep Texans safe is widely considered to be a failure of leadership— a fact that Abbott has been accused of by his critics.
A recent poll by the University of Texas at Austin studied the opinions of Texas voters about raising the age limit to purchase firearms from 18 to 21. The poll demonstrated that 76% of Texas voters favored the change, including 64% of Conservative Republicans. These statistics were measured before the latest tragedy in Allen occurred, leading to calls for Abbott to consider the stronger enforcement of gun laws.
The governor’s lack of accountability and action time and again following mass shootings have led to wide concerns and accusations of leadership failure. Texans remain concerned about their safety and call for stronger action to be taken to prevent such tragedies. Ultimately, they aspire to attend worship, school, and shopping activities without fear of being killed.
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