Senator Cornyn: Hold the Line

Dear Senator Cornyn,

As one of your constituents, as a teacher, and as a mother, I beg of you: hold the line.

This weekend at the Texas Republican convention in our hometown of Houston, your party’s comportment was a new level of shocking. Not only were their boisterous boos against you disconcerting, but the party solidified their disdain in an official rebuke of you and eight other Republican senators on their Report of the Permanent 2022 Platform & Resolutions Committee.

Your crime? Modest proposals to curb the uniquely American gun violence crisis that has touched our state once again in the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last month.

Scott Braddock captured your reaction: “”I’ve never given in to mobs,” you stated to a few close to you that day, “and I’m not starting today.”

The truth is, Senator, many Texans like me are counting on exactly this type of courage from you right now. This mob might’ve been a dispersed spattering of radicals in the past, but they’ve unified and usurped your Texas Republican Party. Their radicalism not only includes the rejection of common sense gun measures embraced by a majority of Americans (even according to Fox news polls), but there’s a litany of lies and absurdities on their new platform.

Rejecting the results of the 2020 election and perpetuating The Big Lie.

Rejecting fellow Republicans who identify as gay and labeling homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”

Rejecting the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the reach of decisions of the Supreme Court in general.

Rejecting the 16th Amendment which establishes a federal income tax.

Rejecting the impartiality of classrooms by advocating for “ prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments being returned to our schools.” Rejecting “the teaching of sex education, sexual health, or sexual choice or identity in any public school in any grade whatsoever” while simultaneously requiring that “students should learn about the Humanity of the Preborn Child, including life-affirming definitions of life and the study of life, life begins at fertilization.”

But the most radical Republicans in your party rejected basic rationality and respect when they attempted to attack my Congressman Dan Crenshaw, a veteran and once-popular figure from your team. Thankfully, there were no guns present or the headlines would’ve been very different. Is it that difficult for us to image that possible outcome?

Senator Cornyn, if Texas Republicans are able to drown your words in boos, demean a wounded Navy SEAL, and chant to “hang Mike Pence,” there’s no doubt that it will take your maintained moral fortitude to fight back against this MAGA mob.

Hold the line.

It is past time for rational Republicans to grab the wheel and redirect the trajectory of this violent vehicle. It is past time for reasonable Republicans to stand in solidarity against spite and sedition.

The first step in this process is to stand firm in your negotiations to reduce gun violence in America.

Hold the line for the 70 women who are slaughtered by intimate partners — both boyfriends and husbands — every single month. Measures like closing the boyfriend loophole can help save some of these victims.

Hold the line for the 24,000 Americans who kill themselves with a gun every year. Incentivizing Extreme Risk Protection Orders which have reduced suicide rates in states who embraced them like Indiana by 7.5%.

Hold the line for victims whose lives have been taken by criminals who should never have had access to a firearm. Enhanced criminal background checks which include reviews of juvenile records would help curb the violence committed by 18–21 year-olds which make up 17% of homicides even though that age groups only makes up 4% of our population.

Hold the line for our children who are more likely to die because of a firearm than a fire or a car accident or drown in a pool.

Hold the line for the over 45,000 Americans who died of gun violence in 2020 and the over 76,000 of us who are wounded every year.

I know these efforts will take courage and carry a political cost; however, hold the line against the mob that attempted to silence you and the majority of Americans desirous of change who hope for a safer and saner future.

Hold the line, and pass this framework for firearm safety into law.

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