“Bankrupt conscience”: Houston Chronicle torches Greg Abbott’s “cowardice” after Texas shooting

Chronicle editorial board slams governor's "bald face lie" on shootings after he loosened gun laws

Published May 25, 2022 10:30AM (EDT)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

The Houston Chronicle's editorial board is pushing back against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) remarks in response to the tragic mass shooting that claimed the lives of 21 victims at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school on Tuesday, May 24.

Abbott on Tuesday addressed the shooting as he vowed to use the state's resources to "do everything that is necessary to make sure that crime scenes like this are not going to be repeated in the future."

Although Abbott described the shooting as "horrifically, incomprehensibly" and vowed that "never again" would such tragedy happen in his state, the editorial board isn't convinced he'll do his part to prevent a repeat of this from happening. Dissecting the governor's speech, the Chronicle offered a blistering assessment after carefully reviewing his words.

Highlighting the governor's use of the word "horrific," the board wrote, "The first word is apt — especially for the moms and dads who dropped off their little ones at school Tuesday morning, maybe lingering a little bit in the car line, just to crane their necks back and watch as that precious little body, that floppy ponytail or that lanky little string bean frame, laden with backpack and lunch box, made it safely through the schoolhouse door, where, it seemed, they would be safe."

The board added, "Horrific was the moment they got the news. Horrific will be their nights of endless tears. Horrific will be the bright, sunny mornings when they remember it wasn't a dream. The bed is empty, no little lump beneath the blankets, waiting to be awoken."

However, his use of the word "incomprehensibly" was described as a "bald-faced lie." "The second word Abbott used — "incomprehensibly" — is just as much cowardice as it is a bald-faced lie," the editorial board wrote.

According to the board, the state's Republican-run legislature has contributed to the gun problem due to the lenient laws in place when it comes to acquiring firearms.

"Whether it's a handgun, rifle or semi-automatic invented for war, the governor has supported and the Legislature has passed law after law that have obliterated any semblance of good sense regulation — laws so permissive that they've even defied the objections of police chiefs and gun safety instructors, including the 2021 permitless carry bill that the governor bragged on Twitter allows any eligible Texan to carry a gun in public with 'no license or training' needed. As though that were progress," the editorial board wrote.

It continued, "Texas lawmakers won't even pass universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people even though about 80 percent of Texans support them."

"Texas had 1 million registered weapons in 2021, more than second-place Florida and third-place Virginia combined. The United States leads all wealthy nations with its gun murder rate, and all nations in the rate of suicide by gun. And since September 2018, Texas has far more than its fair share of victims of mass shootings. Of the 2,000 such deaths recorded, 195 happened in Texas, far more than any other state."

The board concluded with a challenge for the Republican governor. The board wrote, "We call on Abbott, whose campaign war chest is comfortably overflowing in his reelection bid against Democrat Beto O'Rourke, to replenish his bankrupt conscience and do something, anything, to stop the blood of children and the tears of parents."

By Meaghan Ellis

MORE FROM Meaghan Ellis

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Alternet Greg Abbott Partner Politics Texas Shooting