Texas has a reputation as a gun-totin', gun-lovin' state — and for good reason.
The Lone Star State has more licensed firearm dealers than any other state in addition to some of the loosest gun laws in the nation. The National Rifle Association held its 2018 annual convention in Dallas, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has publicly stated, "I will sign whatever legislation reaches my desk that expands Second Amendment rights in Texas."
But not all Texans are opposed to reasonable gun legislation.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo shared his response to the Santa Fe High School shooting on Facebook. Photo via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
After the Santa Fe school shooting, Houston's police chief shared a heartfelt Facebook post shutting down gun rights advocates.
Eight students and two teachers were shot and killed by a gunman at Santa Fe High School, located less than an hour outside of Houston on May 19, 2018. Police Chief Art Acevedo took to Facebook to share his thoughts.
"Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I'm not ashamed to admit I've shed tears of sadness, pain and anger," he began.
Then he spoke straight to gun rights advocates: "I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I've hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue. Please do not post anything about guns aren't the problem and there's little we can do."
Like many Americans, Acevedo seems to be fed up with people responding to the gunning down of children in their classrooms with defense of guns and tired arguments that there's nothing that can be done.
He decried the "hatred being spewed in our country" then addressed the routine "thoughts and prayers" response from lawmakers.
"This isn't a time for prayers, and study and inaction, it's a time for prayers, action and the asking of God's forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing)."
Take note, politicians: He is done with all the apathy. And he's not alone.
We need more voices of authority and influence to speak out for reasonable gun legislation.
Acevado leads a department of 5,200 sworn law enforcement officers and 1,200 civilian support personnel in Houston. Before that, he led a department of 2,500 officers and support personnel in Austin. As a highly visible, well-respected leader in law enforcement in one of the largest jurisdictions in America, he has more influence than most.
When people like Acevado speak, others will listen. And we need more of those people to make their voices heard in the ongoing debate on gun violence in our nation.