In the wake of the horrific mass shootings that rocked the country this past weekend, politicians and political commentators scrambled to voice their proposals to the growing epidemic of senseless gun violence in America.

While opinions voiced over the weekend generally fell within the usual ideological lines of conservatives defending the Second Amendment and progressives calling for increased gun control, the first signs of breakage in the Republican mainstream began to emerge.

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) became an overnight celebrity upon his election to Congress last November. His pleasant demeanor, rugged appearance, and former Navy SEAL status gave the Republican Party a fresh name to endorse and build upon.

For the first time in his short political career, Crenshaw may have lost some fans. Following the emergence of details about the political motivations of both the El Paso and Dayton shooters, Crenshaw took to Twitter to express his condolences and distress over the horrific tragedies that occurred over the weekend.

The Texas congressman followed up the first tweet in the thread with an observation that many politicians and even those in the press often neglect to acknowledge: The criminals who commit these heinous acts almost always fit into a certain profile.

However, the third tweet in the thread is why some conservatives are upset with Crenshaw. Hoping to propose any sort of solution to the elephant in the room, the representative shared a policy endorsement few conservative champions have dared to voice before:

In endorsing “red-flag” gun laws at the state level, Crenshaw not only breaks with the conservative mainstream on gun rights issues but associates himself with a policy proposal that many figures in conservative circles have outright condemned. From gun rights activist groups to federal politicians, the greatest concern with “red-flag” gun laws is that guns could be confiscated without due process from those suspected to have mental health issues.

One such example of a “red-flag” law was Texas House Bill 866, filed in 2017 by Democrat State Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso. That bill quickly died, to the relief of conservative activists in the Lone Star State, but the battle over gun rights in Texas is far from over. Gov. Greg Abbott has especially come under fire for his possible endorsement of “red-flag” laws in the past.

Crenshaw and other politicians have noted that a large component of this growing social crisis stems not only from the availability of guns but also from the behaviors exhibited by the shooters themselves.

Crenshaw, like all of us, is searching for an answer; however, stripping law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights isn’t it.

Grant Hillman

Grant Hillman is a Senior at Baylor University, majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of Baylor's Young Conservatives of Texas chapter.


7/22/2024 The Problem with Democrat Chairs Is…

-Another Democrat Chair Faces GOP Demands for Interim Studies on Lobbying, Illegal Immigration, and Taxes -Cornyn Urges Defense Department to Block Chinese Wind Farm Near Air Force Base -Lorena Parents Ask State Board to Suspend School Admins Over Sex Abuse Scandal