Another terrible shooting in Texas has happened a few hours away from us in Houston. As a new parent, this one was particularly sad to learn about. Of course, bullies always target the weak and innocent because they really are cowards. How is a parent expected to protect their child, or ourselves, from bullies with military-style guns? My family’s hearts are broken. We are crying along with the many parents that lost their precious boys and girls; and the families that suddenly lost dedicated teachers.
If the people of Greece are struggling to understand why such a tragedy happened – again – I don’t really have an answer for them. This is uniquely an American tragedy.
The gun manufacturers are very successful in selling their deadly products. They hire lobbyists through the NRA (National Rifle Association) and donate heavily to Republican officials. Here in Texas, the large cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio vote Democratic, but the rest of the state supports the current Republican agenda. We hope to overcome their numbers in the November 2022 elections.
Mental health is also something that America needs to pay more attention to and money on. In almost all cases, it’s been a troubled young man who does the murdering. In 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas, it was a Greek-American teenager who slaughtered ten people. Our community is not immune to mental health issues or their consequences. Again, universal health care that includes mental health benefits is something that one party wants and the other blocks.
The courts and American judges also share in the bloody blame. The Second Amendment of our Constitution has meant for over 200 years that states were allowed to have arms for their “militias” and the federal government could not take them away. Our 1789 Bill of Rights is a document that defined rights between the new federal government and the existing states. Then in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court redefined the Second Amendment to give individuals, not the states, a right for the first time to possess guns. Now it is easier to legally own a gun than a car or a boat, or to cast a vote.
The inability of our current Congress and current Texas Republican leadership to impose gun control measures that the judges will uphold will continue to lead to violations of my rights as a new parent and those of the grieving parents in Uvalde, Texas, and elsewhere, to enjoy life. America aspires to be about “life, liberty, and freedom” but we have failed our innocent children and their teachers once again.
As Greek Orthodox Christians, we just celebrated Pascha. We just rejoiced in Christ rising up to crush the devil and trample death. We must take these words and prayers and turn them into action. We too must overcome the death of these innocents.
James Cargas is an energy lawyer and former Democratic congressional candidate living in Houston. His grandparents immigrated from Amykles and Tripoli. He is married to an Athenian.