Congressman Tony Gonzales, whose Texas District 23 includes the City of Uvalde, met with President Biden when he and Jill visited the city Sunday. Gonzales was able to briefly speak with Biden and ask for three things that are needed in Uvalde.
While Biden is busy bloviating about gun grabbing and claiming that neither the Second Amendment nor the Constitution is absolute, Rep. Gonzales focused on what could truly help the small, rural town. He spoke with Biden about funding for a mental health hospital, a radio system for better communication between various first responders, and an emergency center. Gonzales said that when Biden arrived, Biden said he didn’t want to make anything political. The congressman said he thought the president did a pretty good job of doing that. That may have been Biden’s only non-political moments over the weekend.
Gonzales spoke with KENS 5, a television station in San Antonio, about the president’s visit. When gun control questions began, Gonzales shifted the focus on the need for mental health services in Uvalde. The interviewer tried to nail him on previous votes taken on gun control bills that Gonzales voted no on. He mentioned that past legislation passed in the House would have done nothing to change the tragedy in Uvalde.
I voted NO on two gun control measures in the House today. I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and will do everything I can to oppose gun grabs from the far Left.
— Tony Gonzales (@TonyGonzales4TX) March 11, 2021
KENS 5 asked Gonzales again if he has changed his stance on guns since the shooting. He said, ” I believe in the Constitution. I believe in ensuring that the Constitution is fully enacted. And we have a legal way to do that.”
He then discussed prevention of violence going forward, first touching on his personal life.
“Here in San Antonio, I grew up in an abusive environment. I spent time in the San Antonio Battered Women’s Shelter. So for me, school was my safest point. That doesn’t happen in America anymore. People are afraid to go to school. So, how do we change that? What I don’t want to do is this: we get into the politics and people are pushing politics. Right now, the House Democrats are pushing this HR 8. Well, guess what? HR 8 passed in the House last year. If it passed in the Senate this year, and even if the president were to sign it, that would not have stopped this Uvalde shooting. So what I’m getting at is this is about an opportunity for us to have meaningful changes. I think it starts with mental health and it goes from there.”
Get ready for non-stop finger-pointing and blame coming from Democrats, painting Republicans in the House and Senate as the opposition to gun control. Let’s hope so. If Joe Biden’s statements are indicative of how the Democrats are going forward, the solutions they will put forward are mostly on the gun-grabbing variety. Republicans must focus on a broader approach and that includes mental health treatment as well as cultural issues.
Gonzales “five minutes with Biden” were spent asking for common sense solutions to provide more effective responses from first responders, as well as asking for the funding for a mental health hospital.
“If you have five minutes with the president, what are you going to ask? That’s what I had yesterday. And what I asked for, I asked for three things, in particular, for my community. I asked for a mental health hospital that’s $25 million. I was able to secure $2 million last year. I need $23 million. I asked for $13.5 million for a radio system where all responders can talk to one another. This is important. There’s so much misinformation going on because not all the responders were on the same channel. But you have firefighters. You had all these other areas. The other thing I asked for was another emergency center. To your point, as far as the politics in it, this is very important because what’s going to happen is they want to divide us. This is a uniting moment.”
That all sounds reasonable, right?
Gonzales, a father of six children, said if the starting point can be talking about mental health, conversations with everyone involved will be able to start. “Can we agree on one thing? Can we agree that we need to address the mental health issue in this country? Can we start there? If the answer is yes, then I think we can go on from there. If the answer is no — if you can’t if you can’t agree on mental health — what can we agree on?” The news anchor asked about the Protection of Texas Children Act which was passed in the Texas Legislature in 2013. The law allows school employees to carry weapons. The newsman asked if we need full-time police officers for each school district and if teachers who pass background checks and receive training should carry guns. Gonzales said the solution lies in an all-of-the-above approach. He said everything should be talked about.
Gonzales welcomes a federal investigation into the mass shooting in Uvalde. “I think we absolutely need to find out the facts. And before people chime in and say different things that have no idea what was happening on the ground, we need to find out the facts. I listen to folks on the ground every single day.” He’s right. We’ve seen how mixed up the stories coming out of Uvalde have been from various law enforcement agencies. Timelines have shown a lack of coordination and actions that should never have happened. There is much to learn and discuss going forward.