Gun laws are up for debate yet again following the tragic Uvalde massacre, as the left pressures federal and state officials to “do something.”
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) announced eight specific efforts he wants enacted before the 2022 fall semester begins.
But while the Legislature is not in session, Phelan’s requests only require the action of the Legislative Budget Board—which is made up of Phelan, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and the budget-writers in both chambers.
Phelan’s plan to increase mental health services includes expanded telemedicine access, pediatric crisis stabilization and response teams, coordinated specialty care for youth experiencing their first episode of psychosis, increasing mental health bed capacities in hospitals, and increasing Multisystemic Therapy.
In regards to law enforcement, Phelan is seeking more funding for training; funding for a Texas School Safety Center to coordinate training, assessments, and planning among school districts; and funding for school districts to purchase silent panic technology.
According to Phelan’s estimated costs for these increased mental health services, the state would be paying more than $110 million this year, with additional funding in the years to come as the number of Multisystemic Therapy teams increases.
Former State Rep. Jonathan Stickland commented on this state interference in healthcare:
I remember a time when the @TxFreedomCaucus believed government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare. Especially mental health. How sad. #txlege https://t.co/KZgXrWercO
— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland) June 13, 2022
Meanwhile, law enforcement training and silent panic technology would cost the state more than $32 million.
Phelan said, “The option of using surplus appropriations to the Foundation School Program will be more than sufficient to cover the cost of all these actions and will not impact funding for any school district in the process.”
Most of the comments on Phelan’s announcement disparage his plan, while leftists continue calling for new gun regulations, such as instituting red flag laws and raising the minimum age to buy a rifle to 21.
State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park) responded to various calls for red flag laws yesterday:
Per a 2019 study: “Red flag laws had no significant effect on murder, suicide, the number of people killed in mass public shootings, robbery, aggravated assault, or burglary. There is some evidence that rape rates rise. These laws apparently do not save lives.”
Link to study👇
— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐢𝐧 (@BriscoeCain) June 13, 2022
Meanwhile, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke is once again calling for gun confiscation, despite data showing that gun control measures actually decrease safety in society.
As politicians wrestle with “do something-ism,” potential plans and regulations will be put forth for consideration. However, until the Legislature is in session, little action can be taken.
In the meantime, concerned citizens can contact their representatives to learn where they stand on gun rights.