Mass shootings should be mourned. We should examine them deeply and have hard conversations about prevention by looking at the root causes; however, we must also recognize it is impossible for government to stop every act of violence. When the policy goals for preventing an attack are an affront to the Second Amendment, we have diagnosed the incorrect cause from the start.

Many politicians believe their role is to right all of society’s wrongs. While improving the lives of Texans is a good goal, conservatives understand the most fundamental job we have as elected officials is to protect the individual rights of the citizens we serve. We also must recognize when those rights are not infringed and the risk of destruction is lowest, and each Texan is given the maximum opportunity to flourish.

Removing or modifying the basic right to bear arms would be a terrible policy. Many mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. Cities all across the country with the strongest gun-limiting laws also have some of the highest murder rates. Taking firearms from law-abiding citizens does nothing for the safety of individuals. Criminals do not follow the law; they will still find a way to get their hands on weapons and do harm to others.

We all deserve the right to protect ourselves and our families.

A legislator’s job is not to grant or take inalienable rights, but rather to protect them. Therefore, I will not only oppose gun confiscations currently being pushed by Democrats nationally, I will also oppose all steps that lead us down that path. This, unfortunately, even includes policy proposals being pushed in Texas by fellow Republicans.

If Republicans take up talking points of the radical left and push our own version of gun control, we will have not only lost our defense of the Constitution, but we will have, additionally, turned our back on the people we serve. On the darkest days, we should cling to our closest principles and let them guide us forward.

I will never stop defending the rights of Texans; this includes our Second Amendment right, the foundation for defending all of the others. Democrats should end their assault on law-abiding Texans. Though I do not count on that, Republican lawmakers, at the very least, need to assure our constituents they will not join the Democrats in their gun-grabbing ways.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to

Tony Tinderholt

State Representative Tony Tinderholt is a father, veteran, and conservative Republican from House District 94.


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