Well, he’s at it again.
On the heels of the awful tragedy at Sutherland Springs’ First Baptist Church, in which a deranged gunman killed 26 and injured 20 more before being stopped by a local citizen with a gun, a prominent Republican lawmaker is seeking to exploit the suffering of others, seize media headlines, and open up a statewide debate on gun control.
“The panel will be chaired by an appointee of the governor, with the co-vice chairmen appointed by the lieutenant governor and speaker of the house,” writes Villalba. “The commission should include four senators (two from each political party) and four members of the house (two from each political party) and four members who shall be a law enforcement specialist, a mental health expert, a member of the clergy and an ethicist (in each case to be chosen by a majority of the appointees of the chairman and vice chairman).”
“To be perfectly clear, the commission shall focus on ALL possible causes of gun violence in Texas including lax or deficient gun control laws and regulations in Texas. No shibboleth shall be off limits,” writes Villalba.
“THERE NEEDS TO BE COMMON SENSE GUN CONTROL REFORM IN TEXAS! If we expect a change in the outcomes, we must consider all inputs,” he adds. “The time is now to DO something. Whatever that may be.”
One of Villalba’s colleagues, State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R—Bedford) was quick to condemn the idea that citizens’ gun rights are up for negotiation.
— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland) November 8, 2017
Sadly, this isn’t Villalba’s first rodeo. It isn’t the first time Villalba’s made war upon the constitutional liberties of Texans. Heck, it isn’t even his first time beclowning himself in attacking Texans’ gun rights.
The good news is, Villalba’s far out of touch with Texas voters and his quixotic crusade will probably end before it even starts.
Public statements from all of Texas’ leaders including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have all expressed similar sentiment: this shooting was a tragedy and should not be exploited for political purposes.
Likewise, each of them have also expressed that none of Texans’ rights, especially the right to keep and bear arms—a right which protects all the others—should be up for debate in the Lone Star State.
After Villalba published his op-ed, Texas Scorecard reached out to the Texas State Rifle Association which has historically supported him in spite of his openness to gun control and hostility to Texans’ gun rights and asked if the group would continue to support him in his re-election campaign.
They refused to respond.
However, one of Texas’ genuine Second Amendment advocacy groups, Lone Star Gun Rights, is turning up the heat. In a Facebook post, the group refers to Villalba as a “RINO” and a “Texas Turncoat” and urges Texans to sign a petition against any new gun control proposal.
Most Texans reading this won’t be surprised that Villalba’s penchant for foolishness has caught up to him again, but they shouldn’t be so quick to write this off.
While Villalba himself may be harmless, his outcries are actually something conservatives should pay attention to. Though only a cog in the coalition government of the Texas House, Villalba serves as a canary in the coal mine to alert conservatives of what threats to liberty are on the near horizon.
As a result, gun owners should be ready to defend open carry, campus carry, and push constitutional carry when the Texas Legislature returns.