Reviews | Texas AG Paxton blames God for the Uvalde massacre.
In a podcast interview recorded the day after the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School and discovered last week by Salon, North Texas pastor Trey Graham asked Paxton what he could tell families of victims.
“I have to say, look, there’s always a plan. I believe God always has a plan,” the attorney general replied. “Life is short anyway.”
It was all in God’s plan. It is a suggestion we often hear from pious and well-meaning people when other words fail in the face of an unspeakable and inexplicable tragedy. The idea is that one day we will all understand the larger purpose of our suffering. It’s supposed to be a balm.
But those words sound more like a shrug when an elected leader — and in this case, the most senior law enforcement official in his state — offers this as an explanation for an avoidable horror and exacerbated by human error. Worse, it is a breach of responsibility and the imperative to do something to prevent something like this from happening again, as it has happened time and time again.
What Paxton doesn’t want to consider, he clarified, is that the Uvalde events have nothing to do with gun laws, which have been significantly relaxed in Texas in recent years. years. He will not even accept proposals for a red flag law allowing courts to order the seizure of firearms from people considered an imminent threat. This, he said, “becomes quite risky for our freedom.” The only new gun measure he has indicated he might support is one that requires schools to train and arm teachers to defend themselves in the classroom.
Graham also asked Paxton why mass shootings happen more often in Texas than in other states. (The Dallas Morning News notes that Texas leads the nation in the number of people killed in mass shootings since 2009, and is second only to Nevada in the number killed in a single episode.) state,” a replied Paxton. It could just come down to “the law of averages,” he said, adding, “Other than that, I don’t really have an explanation.”
Paxton, it should be noted, is a popular politician with Republican voters in Texas, although he was charged with securities fraud shortly after becoming attorney general in 2015 and more recently under investigation. from the FBI for allegations that he abused his office to help a wealthy donor. . (He denied any wrongdoing; his office also did not respond to my request for comment for this column.)
On the day of the Uvalde shooting, Paxton easily won a re-election GOP primary runoff against Lands Commissioner George P. Bush, which may have ended the Bush dynasty in the Lone Star State.
In the meantime, the intensity of emotion surrounding what happened at Uvalde may already be fading. The last of the funerals, that of Layla Salazar, 11, was held on Thursday. The television channels that abounded in the city have largely evolved. As a special committee of the Texas Legislature investigates what happened — and didn’t happen — in Uvalde, and has been tasked with making recommendations for the future, Gov. Greg Abbott (R ) resisted Democratic calls for a special session.
In Washington, the Senate left town Thursday for the weekend after getting bogged down over a bipartisan deal that aims to produce the first major expansion of gun laws in three decades. Their framework agreement was announced with great fanfare the previous weekend, but fleshing out the details in real legislative language that can cross the 60-vote threshold needed to pass the Senate 50-50 is proving to be a difficult challenge.
However, it is possible to hope that this time may be different. This sensible and long-awaited gun reform might really be possible. That schools and stores and, yes, even places of worship no longer have to worry about being singled out as the target of the next depraved person with access to guns.
Or at least we can pray that real change can happen. God willing.