Houston's police chief says he's 'hit rock bottom' with gun rights arguments.

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.

Image via Art Acevedo/Facebook.

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.

Image via Art Acevedo/Twitter.

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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