Four of 10 deadliest massacres in the modern US occurred in the state but its governor has stuck to the NRA playbook
Hours after Texas suffered its latest mass shooting, when a gunman drove through Odessa on Saturday shooting randomly from an assault-style rifle and killing seven people, the states Republican governor, Greg Abbott, declared that hed had enough.
I have been to too many of these events as governor, he said. I am tired of the dying in Texas. Too many Texans have lost their lives. The status quo in Texas is unacceptable and action is needed.
His sense of urgency was all too understandable. Texas has been the scene of four of the 10 most deadly mass shootings in modern US history, including the Walmart massacre in El Paso last month in which a white supremacist murdered 22 people.
Abbotts call to action was surprising given the unique position he holds within the US gun debate. Under his leadership, Texas Republicans have forged a template for the rightwing response to mass shootings that has been emulated across the country and found a willing accomplice in Donald Trump on the national stage.
That template was fully on display on Sunday, the day after the Odessa shooting. As he was proclaiming that hed had enough, nine new laws were coming into force all of them signed by Abbott, all of them loosening gun controls.