Texas Goes Permitless on Guns, and Police Face an Armed Public

Oct 26, 2022 · 679 comments
David N (Monterey, CA)
I recently moved to Texas, to a medium sized town an hour or so from Austin. I have only seen two or three people carrying openly or with an obvious bulge in my travels all around the state. The local news has fewer stories of gun violence than the local news did in Salinas CA. So far all we have is individual stories but no hard facts about any increase or decrease in gun related crime. Common sense would say "more guns, more shootings" but we will have to see.
dlb (washington, d.c.)
@David N That is what common sense would say but not everyone has common sense, just wait and see.
expat (Japan)
@David N The flip side of that is "No guns, no shootings". I've seen that for the past 40 years, until a nutter with a homemade gun shot the former PM earlier this year.
jack sherman (Maine)
@David N too bad your local "knowledge" is a fantasy. check the CDC website for gun deaths. Texas is at 14.2 per 100K and CA is at 8.5. so there are more deaths by guns in Texas than CA. Google really helps us learn the reality.
Larry (NY/NJ)
This is what happens when people are systematically denied their constitutional rights. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and this is it.
Blossom (The Buckeye State)
@Larry Who was denied a constitutional right here? The gun owner who killed this child? Or the child, who was denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Tom (Cleveland)
@Larry Excellent point Larry, we shouldn’t deny people the right to own a gun so that they can be part of a well regulated militia. Bring back the well regulated militias and ensure that everyone who owns a gun belongs to one! Constitutional Rights restored. I can’t wait to see you march.
j m (midwest)
@Larry No one has systematically taken away the American peoples' right to legally own a gun, so how is killing an innocent child an equal and opposite reaction?
MAS (Fairview PA)
I'm a Republican 2nd Amendment buff, and I think that part of the problem stems from President then candidate Biden stating to Gayle King in an interview that he would never sit and talk with the NRA. All this sort of talk does is cause polarization & defensiveness , "hunkering down" on my side. . My dream ? I'd like to see the NRA sit down with the BATF for serious discussion.
Mark (Co)
@MAS I remember pre-Presidential candidate Biden advocating using a shotgun for self-defense. Who needs an AR-15 shooting multiple shots when you can fire multiple projectiles all at once?
HarveyB (Westchester, NY)
@MAS Yes, this is President Biden's fault. Buffy, perhaps you can explain what happened to the 'well-regulated militia' clause. This shooter was not well-regulated in any rational definition of the term. What I also want to know, Buffy, is if I go out and buy an AR-15, can I march in front of Justice Kavanaugh house as long as I stay on the sidewalk, do not say anything threatening, and do not trespass? I suspect rather strongly that SCOTUS will come up with some rationale for why I can't do that.
The Stable Genius is Neither (Oregon)
@MAS My dream is the NRA standing for Not Relevant Anymore We have a huge gun problem. Travel to other countries and experience a different way with lower shootings.
james (USA)
What's so amusing about this headline is the fact that criminals never cared about having a legal permit to carry. Criminals were always caring weapons the only people that couldn't were law-abiding citizens.
Leonard (Chicago)
@james, which law-abiding citizens couldn't get a permit before? The guy who shot an innocent girl did more damage than most "criminals".
jack sherman (Maine)
@james You are DEAD WRONG. this is a myth. Criminals in MASS abide by the gun laws--and sell their drugs without using guns. any smart criminal will not risk a 5-year prison sentence for breaking a law he does not NEED to break. why this myth is so pervasive is a mystery to me. It's one of the biggest lies of the 20th century. Google it! learn the truth! gun homicide rate in MASS (plenty of crime BTW) is 2 per 100,000. in Alabama? try 24 per 100K. gun laws work. the states with the restricted laws are the safest--and NO--Chicago is NOT a state.
Kay Johnson (Colorado)
Or people who can’t shoot, are vigilantes, or shoot your kid.
RamS (New York)
Here's the surveillance video. These guys were having a shootout in a crowded street: https://www.aol.com/news/grand-jury-declines-indict-texas-174256162.html
George & Veronica B (Near DFW)
We hope the family of the killed nine-year old sues the shooter for every penny he and his family has!
DavidJ (NJ)
This put a stop to me ever vacationing where everyone else is armed.
Faye (NC)
Is there some kind of poison in the water in Texas? Too many lead pipes? They need to start building old-timey saloons with batwing doors so now that everybody can have a gun all the time, the shootouts will be so much easier. No abortions, but it's OK to kill anybody already born, such as a nine year old child.
jkw (nyc)
Of you're trusted to vote, you should be trusted with a weapon.
DK (South Delaware)
We need to send the GoP supporters of the NRA and guns all to live in Texas . Build a wall around Texas . Not Mexico. LOL i would never want to visit a lawless state like that and with the GOP in charge in America every state will be guns without permits. And the GOP political ads are saying the Dems are soft law and order . I feel safe with them in charge compared to the GOP
reader (CA True North)
Texas is careening to a wild west scenario. Law enforcement have been silent if not supportive of the gun permit free society. Good luck with that. The whole macho ,2nd Amendnent distortion, MAGA, fantasy is going to explode in Texas. If you go there strap a sidearm you may need it.
Lynn in DC (Here, there, everywhere)
Texas sounds like a Matt Dillon-free Dodge City. No thanks.
Chris Gerhard (Cambridge, MA)
Heartbreaking, Arlene Alvarez deserved better. And so, frankly do her parents (and family). There is no greater tragedy then having to bury one of your children. The gun laws in Texas are insane.
Scott Cole (Talent, OR)
So in Texas, killing children with guns is ok, but abortion is not?
Naj Wikoff (Keene Valley, NY)
So a person who shoots and kills a little girl because his aim is wrong is not responsible for her death? Tell that to the parents, imagine if that little girl was yours.
Beldar (East Coast)
No consequences for the killer, even though he was clearly negligent and careless. Unbelievable and pathetic. This is America in the 21st century. Expect more of the same as everyone starts carrying handguns.
Jess (New Jersey)
I grew up proud to be an American. Now I hang my head in shame.
Marty Ruprecht (New Jersey)
Texas just went on my list of places I won’t visit.
Jacob Nataki (California)
Violent crime is up because of republicans dumping guns on society and their right wing rich club media stoking civil unrest on top.
John S (Long Beach, Ca)
What's killed more people constitutional carry or decriminalization of hard drugs ala Oregon?
CB (Baltimore)
One more reason to move to Texas. The second amendment is clear, we have the right to bear arms. If I were a criminal I’d think twice about messing with people. Go Texas!
Ed (Oklahoma City)
The corporate CEOs who own Greg Abbott and his party's leadership continue to aid and abet Texas Republican's insane anti-people, anti-climate policies because the state is so business friendly. Jesus weeps.
Lucy (NYC)
When in the Texas Longhorn Cattle industry, I loved visiting Texas. Never again.
Josh (Seattle)
Sounds like the chickens are coming home to roost in Texas. I wouldn't want to be in public life down there right about now.
Alan (Germany)
I hope those parents can sue that killer of their child for everything he has, everything he had and everything he ever will get. Put the "responsible" back into "Responsible" Individual, since clearly Texas grand juries are just fine with killing random innocents.
Bryce (New York, NY)
This man's life was upended? What about that poor girl's or those of her devasted family? Is Texas truly such a backwards place that being robbed entitles this man to not only attempt to murder the robber but also murder an innocent passerby? Would the grand jury have ruled so callously if the slain child was white?
Manny Pedi (Depends Upon The Month)
I guess until the senator or congressman gets killed by a wayward bullet in a unlicensed carry state, nothing will change
Judi (North Carolina)
Is this a surprise? Macho, macho boys and their guns. Such ignorance in (supposedly) the most educated country on the planet.
alan (MA)
"Tony Earls hung his head before a row of television cameras, staring down, his life upended. Days before, Mr. Earls had pulled out his handgun and opened fire, hoping to strike a man who had just robbed him and his wife at an A.T.M. in Houston. Instead, he struck Arlene Alvarez, a 9-year-old girl seated in a passing pickup, killing her." Governor Abbott making Texas safe???
dmgrush1 (Vancouver WA)
Why do so many people think they will have to "defend themselves?" With what kind of paranoia are you constantly walking around thinking that you might need a gun in the first place?
Mark R Engel (Las Vegas NV)
Pro-Gun, Pro-Life, Pro-Trump Pro-Police but who will Bury the Policemen, Schoolchildren, the Suicides in the Texas State of Gun-Insanity!
tjcenter (west fork, ar)
We really are at peak stupid. Golly, gosh, who would of thought more guns is the answer wouldn’t lead to more senseless shootings? No sane person. The party of pro life is literally killing us with their “guns in every hand” policies.
barbara (santa cruz ca)
an ex marine friend told me that you are not given a gun right off but only after a long period of training. aimed at a robber killed a 9 year old. only a fool would want a gun without taking specialized training in combat shooting, practice. tou don't pick up a guitar and b ecome jimi hendrix
Joan (Wisconsin)
The current Republican leadership in Texas doesn’t seem to have any common sense! Hopefully, Beto O’Rourke has inspired enough rational Texans to vote for him for governor and for other Democrats! Remember Beto’s compassion after tragedies like in El Paso and Uvalde! Vote Beto and Blue!
Dactta (Bangkok)
Ah yes ….. unlimited carrying of hand guns could be why gun violence may have declined somewhere at sometime the NYT reports straight faced. Meanwhile the rest of world go….. um yeah right …. To think the punter who can’t hit a tennis ball over a net, or the hot head who road rages over some trivia, can be trusted to fire, with accuracy under prudent circumstances…
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
I'm waiting for some Republican to claim that, "This child died in order to save this country from tyranny!"
Michael (Washington State)
For Christ's sake, you can "accidentally" murder a nine year old, but because of poor "marksmanship" you're allowed to walk? And Americans want to hand the reins of power to the Republicans, who enabled this? Absolutely speechless. VOTE, people VOTE.
Bfrank4fr (Saranac Lake NY)
There is nothing well regulated nor a militia in this guy’s situation.
Fran (in Toronto)
Quite simply, this is insane.
Will (Minnesota)
Republicans: When guns are outlawed, outlaws will have guns. Reality: When guns are lawful without permits, killing nine year-old girls is permitted.
Marc Castle (New York)
Texas continues its descent into complete right wing madness.
SisterLove (CT)
What could go wrong?
Ernest Z (Sacramento CA)
“Mr. Earls had pulled out his handgun and opened fire, hoping to strike a man who had just robbed him… Instead, he struck Arlene Alvarez, a 9-year-old girl seated in a passing pickup, killing her.” Just further evidence that innocents, even children, are mere collateral casualties in the war 2nd Amendment fanatics have foisted on this country. They have zero accountability, zero responsibility, and zero liability for wanton and brutal actions that take the lives of others. They don’t care. In texas, murderers like Mr. Earls are heralded and cheered as law abiding citizens, simply exercising their rights. In any rationale and sane place, Mr. Earls would be brought up on charges, arrested, incarcerated, tried, and (if the evidence warrants it) convicted of a careless and savage act of violence against a 9 year old girl who sadly happened to be in his presence. “Whoops!” is the most Arlene Alvarez gets from Mr. Earl. Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to texas.
Lael (Nevada City)
To all the folks who think shooting at a fleeing robber is going to make any future potential robber think twice about robbing someone in Texas, because they may be carrying and will shoot to kill you...let me clue you in. Next time the robber won't just grab that cash and run - no, next time he will just pull out his gun and kill you - in the "better safe than sorry" robber lore.
Angus Malden (Silver Spring, MD)
More than 20 other states have permitless carry including three in New England. But now it’s a Texas thing?
Mike in America (America)
Australia got it right. Repeal the Second, confiscate all the guns, imprison the holdouts. That’s what we should do. We won’t, but we should. Because this, all this, is nuts.
Jonathan (USA)
If the so-called right-to-life fanatics really believed in the right to life, they'd be demanding the banning of all firearms.
Barry G (Los Angeles)
This is lunacy squared. Stay safe - stay out of Texas, with apologies to the good people in the state.
Glen Ferrier (Leavenworth WA)
God, Guns and America. Praise the Lord and pass the ammo, I'm all shook up. Texas is now a Third World Country. How could anybody in their RIGHT Mind want to live in Texas. The Republican Party has been 100 percent radicalized, common sense is gone. Our country is in big trouble!
Jay Arr (LA CA)
We can only hope Texas citizens come to their senses after major shootouts occur across the state. I wouldn't ever want to live there and pay taxes that support mentally disturbed people with guns. And where is the GOP on dealing with mentally impaired people with guns? There's no plan, no initiative, notthing.
Longtime Dem (Silver Spring, MD)
Can a civil suit be issued against Earls for wrongful death? It is appalling that he can kill a child and get away with "Oops"!
Joe Rockbotttom (California)
Proof that republicans are determined to eliminate all traces of a civilized society in the US.
Curious (Marfa, Texas)
Frightening. It’s no longer the eyes of Texas, but the guns of Texas. Tougher to fish in some parts than to carry a gun. Next thing you know they will be selling hand guns next to to caramel popcorn at Buckeyes.
Edward Gobbo (New Jersey)
And that is what stupid looks like when you bottle it. All of the research done on gun violence, regulation and licensing and no one in Texas is capable of reading any of it. The trope is still repeated that places with more gun laws have more violence. Also the one about the good guy with the gun. Ask the police if they really feel safer that everyone around them has a gun just like they do. If hysterics were an argument style, the Republicans have the floor. It is not a great idea to circulate a billion guns to people that are not particularly trained. But, then again, I guess we'll end up with even more interesting studies about Texas and their little social experiment.
DWO (Virginia)
Seems like it hasn’t dawned on a lot of people that citizens armed for self protection and our police are on the same side. Mentally off people, no matter what age, who use guns to terrorize and kill are violent criminals and should be treated as such. It’s a terrible tragedy when innocent people are killed in any circumstance. You should also publish stories about little girls saved by regular citizens. That happens too.
Teresa D Hawkes Ph.D. (Eugene, OR)
A society becomes its laws. In many states, including Texas, you can carry a gun whether you can use one or not. Take that gun (or guns) with you everywhere. If you have a gun it is because you are good. How simple is that? The Second Amendment, written confusingly centuries ago before weapons are what they are now is meaningless, but according to those living in the present, it means you can have any gun you want, even if that is 500 guns like AR-15s. LIfe itself is meaningless. It is okay to kill that 9-year-old girl who had nothing to do with why you are personally going to kill. Killing.Is.Okay. Kill that girl. It is okay. You will pay NO social consequences. There are too many of those we don't like anyway. Kill. It is hard to use a gun well. It takes years of training. So.What. Have gun. Use it. The results of this belief and practice will happen over time. This is what we are seeing. Is seeing believing? No. Denial is a key trait of the primates that humans are. You believe and collect the evidence that supports what you want to believe. Even scientists do this at times. If you don't want to be killed by a gun, don't go to the states in which that is super okay. If you don't care if you or someone else is killed, go there. School kids? Kill them. It is part of being alive in the USA. If you don't want your kids killed at school, homeschool them. If you don't believe you can be killed by a gun, go there. We will see how this goes over the next 30 years.
David (The Bronx)
Re: Arlene Alvarez How is this not manslaughter at the minimum? For all of Texas' talk about protecting life (of the unborn) they sure do care more about your right to fire your weapon all willy-nilly than the rights of a 9-year-old child sitting in the back seat of a car.
Carolyn Nafziger (France)
Why are so many people paranoid in the States? To imagine that you have to walk around with a gun everywhere to "protect yourself" is to me - unimaginable. And the idea that the man was considered "justified" in killing a child by mistake is morally abhorrent.
Nmtm (Mi)
Still thinking about spontaneous shootings. Is that like spontaneous combustions? How does a gun spontaneously shoot? Is there a person involved? Does the gun suddenly jump up and go off? Language is important. There is NOTHING spontaneous about a gun being shot. A human has to put bullets in the gun. They have to take the gun out of were ever they are keeping it. They have to pull the trigger. I suspect they also aim it at another human being. I'm sickened by the headline that minimizes all that goes into shooting another human being by calling them spontaneous shootings.
Todd (Arizona)
It's very scary. We have had this in Arizona for a long time. There are some real weirdos out there carrying. You realize that anything could happen. Somebody might take you out just because you accidentally turn in front of them. I saw an obviously disturbed guy awhile ago in line at the WallMart, ready to draw at a moments notice. I grew up in Wisconsin when guns were for hunting. They had to be unloaded, cased, and carried in the trunk. We need to get back to that. This is ridiculous.
ogn (Uranus)
It seems New Zealand, Australia and Canada became thriving democratic countries with far less gun violence and lower rates of gun ownership without having to resort to armed insurrection. American Revolution 2.0 is coming, but next time it will be to overthrow our republic and install a dictator. Maybe a white male elitist council of religious elders will make policy/pass laws, and, HOORAY!, no taxes.
Turbobob (Albany NY)
Guess the Wild West lives on in Texas. More guns on the streets will surely bring the crime rates down. NOT!! And I’m also sure the men and women in blue will feel much safer out there doing their job.
X (USA)
I don’t hear anyone offering this poor 9-year-old the right to conceal and carry. Yet she becomes the victim - she can’t defend herself against idiotic untrained gun owners. And as for 18-year old adults’ rights to wield guns, let’s please keep in mind the timeline for the brain’s development of risk assessment doesn’t mature until about 25 years of age. Please don’t give us this. We need to take care of America’s children.
DaveT (Pennsylvania)
How can you kill a 9-year-old and not be charged with a crime? At the least, Earls is guilty of reckless endangerment. Pro-life state, eh?
chickpea (California)
Republicans create an environment where everyone everywhere at all times is armed to the teeth, and then they run for office saying they’re going to be be “tough on crime.” This is the circus Republican voters vote for.
MrMac (Texas USA)
The remedy for the epidemic of gun violence is more guns? So that must mean the remedy for DWI deaths is more alcohol. And the remedy for the opioid crisis is more OxyContin. Who'd'a thought the answers were so simple? Thanks NR(epublicans)A!
John (Hartford)
Well of course there is going to be an increase in gun deaths in Texas. It's statistical probability. Add together certain metrics with a causal link and you get predictable outcomes. In this case Crazies + Criminals + Guns. This is not rocket science.
Jim Brokaw (California)
Remember, Texas's lax gun laws were brought to you by the Republicans, the "law and order" party. (Except, of course, when it comes to their leaders...). Remember, Texas's lax gun laws were brought to you by the Republicans, the "pro life" party... "pro life" right up until birth. After you're born, you take your chances. That beautiful girl made it nine years - pretty good, considering. The contradictions, the hypocrisy, the double-think is just awesome. Republicans - the pro gun people... whatever the consequences. Texans, do you feel safer? Texas law enforcement, do you feel safer?
Michael N (Sydney Australia)
There’s much to admire about America, but the obsession with guns it not one of them. No matter how you dress it up, civilians routinely carrying guns in public is nuts.
Ad Astra (NYC)
There is a need for people to arm themselves in bad neighborhoods or rural areas where the police are scarce or unwilling to patrol. But it is far more frightening to walk around a world where the majority is armed. Unless you live in a high crime neighborhood, the odds of encountering some a random, violent criminal are extremely low. The odds of encountering a regular person having a bad day or bad attitude is much higher. Imagine that neighbor, brother-in-law, ex, or coworker that you really don't get along with. The roads and bars are full of angry people. What a dystopian nightmare. Then again, so was South Africa where Apartheid Elon grew up. No wonder he moved Tesla to Austin.
Tom (CA)
Here's the problem: in the U.S., it's "justifiable" to shoot and kill someone who is running away with some cash he took from you. In most of the civilized world, that is beyond ludicrous. The problem goes much deeper than the availability of guns.
James (Waltham, MA)
Most telling, the annual NRA conference, often held in Texas, does not allow attendees to carry firearms at the conference venue.
Welcome Canada (Canada)
Well, that is one way of making sure population growth is kept to a minimum! With Republicans in charge in far too many states and with the help of republicans in DC, we were looking at America going back to the 1950's. I was wrong. With this nonsense, America is going back to the Far West, circa 1870's, 1880's,... Do not forgot to say you love your your family members when going out, you may not see them again...
Lily (USA)
On one hand, the GOP extremists and FOX are lying about crime in the bad blue states, saying it's so dangerous. On the other hand, they are encouraging more people to buy more guns. Go figure.
Not Pierre (Houston, TX)
The article made it sound like he wasn’t defending himself, but pulled out a gun AFTER he was robbed and just pulled it out to “shoot the bad guy.” I wish we had more details. I fear going vigilante is going to rise and rise now. It’s getting so bad here in Texas I don’t why any company would relocated here. For tax breaks? What you and you’re employees getting killed and slaughtered while raped children are now forced to have babies? This is a ZERO morality state.
MV (Arlington VA)
How on Earth does a grand jury not indict a man for shooting and killing a 9 YO girl? The right to carry a gun without a permit doesn't mean you're not responsible for what happens when you shoot it. What is happening to this country? I'm definitely not going to Texas again.
Martha (Atlanta)
Wy is it that the first part of the 2nd amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is always ignored?
WinTeca (Earth)
Foreign countries ought to issue travel warnings: certain areas in the US such as Texas have become no-go zones when you are a hapless tourist.
Newton Guy (Newton, MA)
Guns, guns, guns. We are like children in this country.
Canadian Roy (Canada)
So outside active war zones and civil wars, Texas stands alone; it's nothing to be proud of.
HMB (nJ)
Republicans simultaneously want Americans to vote with them on crime, and be allowed to gun down little girls in the streets without punishment? What is a crime, if not this? Is this really what people want? Enough is enough. Vote.
John Grillo (Edgewater, MD)
Permitless = Mindless. America continues its robotic march into oblivion, destruction, and death. The U.S.A. was a pretty good country while it lasted.
Michelle (Richmond)
What's next for Texas? Will the implement a Purge? 24-hours of do whatever you want without consequence? It's like the Texas political leaders think they're living in a video game.
loomy2 (Sydney, Australia)
“There’s really no reason why a legal adult should not be able to defend themselves.” Rachel Malone, of Gun Owners of America. Perhaps. But why is it justifiable under Texas law to shoot people dead for shoplifting, theft, trespass, burglary, robbery (when the shooter is in no way under threat or needs to defend themselves) or by accident? However...if anything should happen to that baby a Woman is carrying...regardless of how or by whom that baby carried came to be and the trauma , harm and permanent damage carrying that baby is causing its carrier...every second of every day...THAT woman will most likely be arrested and charged with murder than these people shooting at others despite not being in any danger or needing to protect themselves. Under Texas law...THAT woman risks a murder charge...and doing anything that prevents a fetus from reaching full term even if it is the result of a violent Rape /sexual assault by a Stranger or even worse a relative....her own Father...she cannot act in any way , including defending herself in any way from the consequences and permanent harm and damage that will continue to affect her , long after the crime committed against her now takes a continuous and life long toll until she dies or it kills her in a trauma and torture that cannot ever end. Guns are nothing...having a womb is a much greater threat to the life and wellbeing of its owner...you cannot even defend yourself from its unauthorized/criminal use according to Texas Law.
Rocky (NY)
Obviously, we can now extend Mr. 45's "wall" around the entire state of Texas. This is sheer madness. How many people will die before sanity prevails?
Vic (Maryland)
Despite having relatives in TX, I will never visit that state again. Permitless gun ownership? Unconscionable.
JoeGiul (Florida)
Criminals face an armed populace. What is wrong with that?
Pligrim (Maryland)
Why bear the tax burden of armed police if the whole citizenry is armed?
Charles Vermont (Over Here)
Guns conquered this continent and built this country. Untimately, our love affair with guns will destroy us. The clock is already ticking.
LMC (Indiana)
I grew up Texas proud. I loved my state. Now, I am Texas ashamed. Policymakers are so extreme that they fight like the dickens for the unborn but refuse to make sure that these same children can make it to recess safely.
Annette Kovite (Sun City Center,FL)
Who took the "well regulated" out of "well regulated armed militia"?
Hector (Bellflower)
It's a loco idea to lower the carry age to eighteen and let youngsters bust some caps too. Most eighteen year old boys I know are still children. Bad idea, bad.
Cristina (Alameda, California)
I used to love Texas. All of it -even the weather. But every time I read something like this my heart sinks. My condolences go out to this little girl’s family. What craziness and out of control it seems to be now. I’ve been living in the Bay Area for 5 years and even though it doesn’t feel quite like home, I feel safer here and not in constant fear for my daughters’ lives’. I am so so sorry for your loss. We can’t even comprehend mass shootings like Uvalde and then these stupid things keep happening.
cat (MI)
No mention if the good-guy gunman will be facing a civil suit for recklessly blowing away a child over a few hundred dollars, at most. I imagine he will, and I imagine it will be an interesting day for the coverage lawyers at his homeowners' insurance company.
Tom (Boston)
Why stop here texas? How about allowing guns in movie theaters, colleges, cruise ships. Also airplanes, golf courses, gyms. What could go wrong? This is madnees pure and simple. Children will be killed by accident. No one will want to be a police officer. Drunk bar room fights will turn fatal. People will cary extra guns in their cars. The insanity is endless
Seldoc (Rhode Island)
Now every fender bender is a potential homicide.
C. (Harlem)
I won’t be going to Texas any time soon! And where is the justice for Arlene?
phacops1 (superal)
"It really puts law enforcement at a disadvantage because it puts more guns on the street that can be used against us." The above statement pretty much sums up what police really are concernwd with. Apparently only the police. Kick the habit, Dump Abbott! Oops, forgot we pay for his body guards.
Mark A (St. Paul)
Texas is Forced-Birth, Guns Everywhere, and keeps electing Ted Cruz. That’s three unforgivable strikes.
Off White (Washington)
Is it legal to shoot anyone carrying a gun because they make me fear for my life? No telling what they'll do with that weapon, safer if I shhot them preemptively, right?
SaneAmerican (Sacramento, CA)
"But a series of recent studies has found a link between laws that make it easier to carry a handgun and increases in crime, and some have raised the possibility that more guns in circulation lead to more thefts of weapons and to more shootings by the police." Duh! This is insanity! Truly insane, inhumane and abhorrent to let basically Anyone roam around with loaded weapons anywhere... with the obvious result of more innocent people being shot. Little baby Arlene is Dead because Mr. Earls had a couple hundred bucks stolen from him. And it's totally legal to kill this innocent baby. So, I presume, someone in Arlene's family could shoot and kill Mr Earls claiming they were robbed and Mr Earls just happened to get in the way of them trying to shoot the robber, making vigilante justice legal. Then someone in Mr Earls family will find a legal reason to shoot an Alvarez family member. And the LEGAL killings continue. The madness will never end until Mr Abbott or Mr Cruz or any of the other high powered, gun-fetishizing Repub politicians is "accidentally" shot, right? They never do anything right by the public until they are personally affected. Madness.
Bram (NY)
Good thing Mr. Earls was a law-abiding citizen. Otherwise he might have committed a crime by shooting and killing a 9-year old girl.
Fred Salle (Italy)
How it's possible that a 9y old killer is sent free? he aimed to offenders, shot dead an innocent girl. this is not about carrying.. this is about justice. None justice will be delivered to those parents. it's a shame.
Mike (NC)
The race to the bottom led by NRA and the Republican fringe. We're doomed as a country.
themodprofessor (Brooklyn)
“Our progress in degeneracy appears to mr to be pretty rapid.”
688LTV75 (Herzliya (Israel))
The USA has sunken to the lowest level of amorality and legal murder since slavery. I left 25 years ago, have never returned, and haven't regretted it lne moment. Americans cannot lecture any other country about terrorism and oppression until it puts an end to its own. Americans kill their own people by the thousands, just as Iranians do: with legal sanction. You may now have the last word.
Vijay (India)
I think the real problem here is that 9-year olds aren't allowed to carry guns and defend themselves. Texas, shame on you - stop discrimination against adolescents. Enough is enough. Time to make guns _mandatory_ in schools.
Ernest Z (Sacramento CA)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” The MAGA/NRA crowd have clearly and gleefully shown that these Creator-given rights can, in fact, be taken away. That these rights are not inalienable nor self-evident. The 9-year old girl, Arlene Alvarez, had her supposedly god-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness summarily revoked by one reckless and wantonly violent act. What god gives, the 2nd amendment takes away.
We are better then this (Germany)
Someone please wake me up when this nightmare I'm having is over!
Df (Ny)
I have avoided Texas for quite a while and will continue to. Have only passed through Alabama so it won’t be that hard to avoid these places where I might get shot if I take someone’s parking place. Talk about regressive!
Bowwow (CA)
If everybody is armed, and the police can shoot anybody with a gun, the police can kill anyone in Texas because by default, every cop would rightfully fear for their lives every time they encountered a person.
ntyb (ny)
Innocent or not murdering a helpless child requires justice.
Bruno (Columbus, Ohio)
Imagine republican states showing same enthusiasm to get poor people out of poverty or providing child care assistance as they do with passing all this 2A laws
Jerry S (Asharoken)
As they say; Careful what you wish for!
crystal (Wisconsin)
I have already visited Big Bend National Park in Texas (BTW, it is beautiful). I see no other reason to ever set foot in Texas again.
atb (Chicago)
I have only ever been to Texas once, a long time ago. I will never go again. How can people want this??
CD Chase (San Diego CA)
Am never going back to Texas or any place else where they have such a cavalier attitude towards violence and such a high amount of fear to allow people to be armed without any accountability.
Marc Panaye (Belgium)
On NOV 25th you've got 'black friday' in the States. People going crazy to buy stuff. I'm afraid it will turn into red friday in Texas and other places where the answer to gun violence is to allow everybody to have guns.
DL (Nyack)
In this crazy country of ours, the sanctity of life only exists until birth. After birth, not so much.
Max (An American in Europe)
If it's good enough for the US military and America's police force, then it's good enough for all Americans! Wait, what? You mean military members and police folk have to undergo extensive training before they'll be issued a weapon to carry?? What insanity is this? How are we suppressing their constitutional rights like that, to just pack heat when they want? It's just "well regulated" for our defense force you say? Well, that's just...umm...uh...oh...sensible I guess.
Tom (Cleveland)
Glad I left. Red states are the Wild West where children are murdered in the street by “good guys with guns” and no one does anything about it. Texas is a very dangerous place to live. Trust me, I lived there for nearly a decade. Shootings every day like clockwork. Unfortunately they’re doing the same thing here in Ohio. Hopefully we wake up before I need to move to New York or Vermont to keep my kids safe from stray bullets.
Boutiquewaste (Connecticut)
Time for a warning on travel to Texas. As US embassies issue travel advisories as they did in Nigeria and South Africa this week on potential terroist threats in public places, Texas should be Catergory 4..Travel should be avoided...No one is safe from even law abiding citizens.
HapinOregon (Southwest Corner of Oregon)
Who would want to live in such a place? The mind boggles...
Becket (Cincinnati)
Some people have suggested that the parents of the 9 year old girl who was "accidentally" killed sue the shooter for the wrongful death of their daughter. Where would you find a jury in Texas that convicts a white, gun toting male for "accidentally" killing a Mexican child who happened to get in the way?
James Dalziel (Toronto)
So much for tourism. Have these people lost their minds?
Misty Dawn Odysseus (Beyond The Tracks)
"Licenses? We don't need no stickin' licenses!"
expat (Japan)
What could possibly go wrong?
PGreider (Los Angeles)
Maybe some of the Texans can use their guns to defend themselves from the tyrannical government in Austin. Isn’t that their rationale for the 2nd Amendment?
Bet (Syracuse)
I hope circular firing squads become popular in TX. Last person standing wins. Sounds like fun.
MinnRick (Minneapolis, MN)
'Police Face an Armed Public' Try again. Criminals face an armed public.
AKG (Right Here)
The one thing we can be sure of, suicides by firearm will go up in Texas. The top three states in gun ownership, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana are, in order also the highest states for suicide by firearm. I'm a gun owner, and I'm not anti gun. But I am anti stupidity, and having everyone walking around armed is truly stupid. This is especially apparent when one does enough reading to learn that almost all murder victims knew their attacker. For female murder victims, at least 2/3 were killed by their intimate partners. "Honey I feel so safe now that you have a loaded gun in the house. Can I get you another drink? "
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Did you ever try to talk to a guy wearing a sidearm? I didn't. He was wearing a sidearm.
Daedalus (Rochester NY)
One thing no state law can change: "Every bullet comes with a lawsuit attached".
Charleston Yank (Charleston, SC)
I stopped yelling at bad drivers. Not worth getting killed for someone who cuts me off.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
What percentage of police officers vote Republican? The prosecution rests. BTW: I think blue states, those that received bus loads of immigrants from red states, should start taking all of their confiscated assault weapons and start dropping them off, fully loaded, onto the street of red states like Texas and Florida. They don't want hard working immigrants? Fine. We don't want deadly assault weapons. So, let them have them. ALL OF THEM.
Claytronica (MA)
All good. Ted Cruz’s mask says “Come and take it from me” It’s not easy to see the smaller print below that, but it reads: “but please don’t boo me at baseball games” If Cruz ever found himself in a shootout, you pick: A: He valiantly has it out with the bad guys with his very awesome AR15. B: He’s on the next flight out to Cancun.
Rocco (Italy)
So, if the girl's parents steppes out of the car and returned fire, would it have been legal under the circumstances? Is this how a civilized state protects the security of its citizens? Texas is so on my personal blacklist now!
Mark Paskal (Sydney, Australia)
No charges laid against a man who shot and killed a beautiful 9-year old girl? I believe that many in America have lost their minds! No license to carry a gun? Insanity! I feel sorry for the reasonable, responsible, sensible humans who have to live in the areas where insanity governs. Shame!
Brandon (Oregon)
If a 9yr old girl's life is worthless to the Supreme Court, then what is your life worth? If someone can just pull a gun out and shoot someone, then do we still live in civilization or have we crossed back over to barbarism? What's the long term outcome of this? And it isn't just Texas. It's America.
CJ (Colorado)
This is like the wild west. A 9 year old girl is killed in a gunfight on the streets and no one, No One, is accountable. Outrageous
Feldman (Portland)
As Texas continues to careen toward state idiocy, watch its ability to attract anything interesting continue to fade. I know I would never live there again; I like first-world places mostly.
Alan (Spokane Valley, Wa)
Canada is looking more and more attractive...
Nmtm (Mi)
What is a spontaneous shooting?
lockwidow (Canada)
Most people are just children. They get wound up in an argument and settle with firearms. Gun regulation saves the lives of bright little girls like Miss Alvrez. The shooter would go to prison in Canada. I agree. Less guns equal a safer society. This is a lesson the US can't seem to learn. Tragic.
David (Portland, OR)
The Second Amendment should be repealed. Historically, it's done far more harm to American society than any good. And let's face the true reality that the vast majority of guns are really "toys for grown adults". Guns are essentially hobby toys like bowling balls and fishing rods, except for that they can and have been used to massacre entire classrooms of children.
Peggy (Sacramento)
Omg. I think this is a a good reason to move to Canada. This country is very sick. How anyone can put this out there is insane and terribly wrong. What is wrong with these people who allow guns anywhere? I’ve really had it, not safe to live in the USA anymore.
VSX (NJ)
This is scary. So basically, if I as a minority guy go to Texas, and someone bangs my car and I get into an argument, I basically have put my life in danger. This development is more monumental in the scheme of things American than many are giving credit for. Also, the more uneducated you are in Texas the more are the chances that you will carry a gun and shoot someone in temper. Crazy, crazy, crazy. And scary.
Jack Musselman (Austin Texas)
Is Lott the best expert to cite? He has a history of inventing people who support his research. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/2003/02/01/scholar-invents-fan-to-answer-his-critics/f3ae3f46-68d6-4eee-a65e-1775d45e2133/ and https://www.mediamatters.org/john-lott/discredited-pro-gun-researcher-john-lott-falls-apart-when-you-press-him). Does that make him credible on this issue even if he is influential in certain circles?
Mark (Melbourne)
'the man accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old Arlene Alvarez while shooting at a fleeing robber' - accused ??? There is no accused, he shot her and he killed her. The child would still be alive if he hadnt taken a gun from his pocket, pointed it in her direction and pulled the trigger. Seriously. No conviction after he killed an innocent child - beyond disgusting! So, as long as I claim self defence, I have zero responsibility for the weapon I fire. Joke!
A. Citizen (U.S.A.)
How on earth is the shooter not found guilty of anything after shooting and killing a child? If you get a free pass in Texas when you unintentionally shoot and kill someone then can you kill someone by every other method without risk of prosecution or punishment as well? There should be a civil suit against Mr. Earls for every penny he has or will earn the rest of his life.
Maxine Vandate (USA)
This gun stuff gets even more stupid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfqwMQ5DNVQ Luckily nobody was killed this stupidity, "only" injured. There is also an inherent asymmetry to state-by-state gun laws. States that allow the easy and permitless purchase of guns can flood adjacent states with firearms as a result even if their gun laws are different. However, states that wish to regulate gun purchases can't 'unflood' their own states or adjacent ones practicing laissez faire.
ronnyc (New York, NY)
“The weight of the evidence has shifted in the direction that more guns equals more crime,” said John J. Donohue III, a Stanford Law School professor and the author of several recent studies looking at gun regulations and crime. And another recent study shows that water is wet.
KPL (sarasota, fl)
This was so predictable. And if the police were truly opposed to loosening gun laws, they certainly did not speak up and make their voices heard by the people, press, or politicians.
PhoebeS (St.Pete,FL/Frankfurt, Germany)
I have always wondered why the police are not speaking up and fighting for common-sense gun laws. Having all these guns out there is making their jobs so much more dangerous.
Dan (Minneapolis)
If someone in Texas now robs a store or a bank, should they use a gun so they can avoid prosecution? If the answer to gun violence is always more guns what happens when those armed to the teeth stop buying them? Is it a pro-life mindset to carry and be ever-ready to use a firearm against others? How has Texas reached the point that questions like these even have a sliver of legitimacy? (no /S) Unregistered guns for all! What could go wrong?
T Elbert (Southeast)
I would not be at all surprised to hear that Texas has eliminated all driver’s licensing requirements and traffic lights, on the logic that we all have the right to own cars and drive them wherever we please without interference from the state. (Well, unless we are biological females seeking healthcare. Then apparently the state has every right to tell us precisely what we can and cannot do.)
Trulyours (New York)
Armed isn't bad when we can't count on the police any longer and laws have favored violent criminals. Progressives are to blame for this. They've denied crime exists as badly as election deniers promote falsehoods. Whenever democrats talk guns they focus on assault weapons and the too often yet rare by comparison to illegal guns in cities that claim lives each day. Why? Because one crime is usually committed by a white person and the numerous others are black. Punish illegal gun use and create federal offenses with mandatory sentences for trafficking and using illegal guns. Democrats refuse because one demographic would fill prisons. So please quit the talk of republicans love guns and won't take action. It's primarily democrats who have created a violent society by refusing to get tough on guns. Illegal guns.
D, (NEPA)
@Trulyours Wow, I'm sorry but you cannot be serious with your comment. The Democrats can't even say the word, 'gun', or even 'ammo', without the Republicans screaming about the constitution. You NEVER hear that insane argument from the Dems! Please stop thinking that today is "inside-out" day.
John Powers (Seattle)
Any fee becomes a tax that increases every year.
Justin (Buffalo)
The hypocrisy of arguing that the government does not have the right to regulate and restrict the right to bear arms while at the same time putting onerous restrictions on the constitutional right for a citizen to vote is baffling. You don't need a license for a gun but you better have one when you come to the polling station.
Ryan (Texas)
@Justin So very true but the GOP knows what is more dangerous to them, and its not guns...
Hope (Pittsburgh, PA)
The vigilante who shot and killed robbers at a drive through is praised? What if he missed and hit another bystander? If I were the drive through employee, I’d have preferred to let the police handle it. Appalling and dangerous on many levels. Robbery doesn’t garner a death sentence. What has happened to our society?
Jerry (Amsterdam)
Arming civilians because it will bring the crime rate down…… What’s next, public executions because it will make a criminal think twice before committing a crime ? Are we talking about a civilized country here or a lawless state ? You need a driving license to drive a car but in America everybody can walk around with a deadly weapon, it’s absurd.
Martin (Oakland, CA)
With all the hair-trigger tempers and people walking around drunk and armed in Texas, it makes you think twice about traveling there for ANY reason at all. Including conventions etc. How does the business community feel about these laws?
Cab (NYC)
Next thing the Texas Republicans will do is codify dueling to cut down on random shootings. Showdowns on Main Street will be a thing in Dallas once more.
J O'Kelly (NC)
Police will be more likely to shoot because they will assume everyone is carrying a gun.
Smartbetty (California)
Just read in the Houston Chronicle that it was a $20 ATM withdrawal. The unthinkable becomes a horrific absurdity.
B (CA)
So what you are saying is that with no gun laws, there are a whole lot more guns, and because of that, more shootings? Shocking
Ed Marth (Saint Charles IL)
Just unbelievable. The legislators in Texas and other places worry about crime but do all humanely possible to enable, foster, and encourage violent crime. Accidental killings are still killings and nothing in any legislature can bring the dead back to life. The innocent die as often or more often than the not-so-innocent; the young, the old, the handicapped, the schoolchildren, people in churches and synagogues, on playgrounds, in the automobile seat passing a gang dispute, sitting at home watching television when an AK-47 makes Swiss cheese out of the living room of a blameless family. Texas and other wild-west places where gun ownership is more important than the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Is the right to deal death like cards by a crazed youngster who did not feel liked in his classroom more prized than the futures of all the lives vanishing as fast as the trigger can be pulled? The rear end of the horse that these horseless cowboys imagine they are saddling up to has more sense than these riders of their own storms.
Bodger (Tennessee)
"...has led to more spontaneous shootings..." So you see that the legislature is not entirely incompetent -- they got exactly the result they wanted. Huzzah!
Innocent Bystander (California)
So what recourse does the family of Arlene Alvarez have? None? Just an "Oops, sorry"? How can shooting and killing an innocent bystander, especially a child, not have consequences? As for evidence of gun control having an aefect on crime, just look beyond our borders - Australia, the UK, Canada, Europe. There is nowhere near the problem with guns and associated crimes in those places as there is here in the "free" US. How free is Arlene Alvarez now?
Christine (OH)
So according to SCOTUS and the GOP you have a right to defend your life and health unless you are a pregnant person defending against pregnancy. We will see what will happen if women shoot men who won't take no for an answer, including domestic partners.
Turbobob (Albany NY)
@Christine very good point . The absolute hypocrisy and absurdity of this ‘right to bear arms’ is beyond belief. How about the right to walk the streets without the ever present and always increasing fear of being shot? Reminds me of that scene in the movie where the man cries out “you shot an unarmed man” The shooter replies” well he shoulda been armed”.
Concerned for Humanity (Everett, WA)
Can I wear a six shooter or a glock on one or both hips? Has the old west of the 19th century returned? How do the laws allowing the carrying of guns line up with firing bullets? Will there be shootouts between consenting adults? Asking for a friend y'all.
Todd (Arizona)
@Concerned for Humanity It is like the old west, but remember that the old west had gun control. In many old west towns, you had to check your gun in with the sheriff when you rode into town. They apparently had more common sense than we do now.
Nicky (Upper West side)
So why do I need a license and insurance to drive a car?
Todd (Arizona)
@Nicky Get government off our backs. Get rid of traffic signals. If I want to go, it's my right to go. As for a license and insurance, that infringes on my inalienable right to drive. I have a right to drink and drive. Nobody can tell me what beverages I can consume and what I can do after consuming them. It's freedom.
steven (LA)
The cops should be careful. they made this possible. Every single one that voted for Trump.
Anne-Marie Hislop (Chicago)
“There’s really no reason why a legal adult should not be able to defend themselves.” Apparently also no reason why a legal adult can't shoot off target, kill a 9 year old, and suffer no consequences. Yet another way our nation has gone mad - and likely shortly there will be laws enabling folks to carry guns in all places, including schools and churches - and the current SCOTUS will uphold them.
Eddy (Santo Domingo, DR.)
That is too way beyond madness. That cannot be real, you, New York Times, have to be taking about the next episode of Family Guy in which Peter Griffin in the governor of the state.
Dorothy (RI)
Texas: where the "right to life" of a fetus is prioritized over the bodily autonomy of the woman carrying them; but a person's "right to bear arms" is prioritized over the right to life of a 9-year-old child.
Joe Parrott (Syracuse, NY)
The robbery victim was reckless and irresponsible to shoot at the robbers. He was no longer in any danger or in fear of losing his life. Texas should change their motto to "The vigilante state."
Richard Skelly (Victoria, B.C.)
Tis said that most grand juries will indict a ham sandwich because prosecutors are essentially unopposed in presenting evidence. The fact that the shooter of the nine-year-old beat the rap suggests the prosecutor may well have thrown the case.
Sarah K. (California)
What is really chilling is that this permitless mess is happening in Texas, the site of the most heart-breaking mass shooting of this year and many others. Heartless people there now even want to lower the age of the permit-free gun law to 18, instead of 21. They don't care about teachers and children, and they feel safe themselves, being politicians who live in gated communities and probably drive around in bullet-proof cars and have bodyguards and well-regulated workplaces. This is a nightmare that would have been unimaginable at the time the constitution was written, so don't make that revered institution an excuse for this madness!
Wendy Levine (NY)
What’s next? Kids driving cars without permits?
lo (ca)
this article is the worst thing i've read in my entire life how is this happening? it's impossible to imagine that this is a way of life anyone could possibly want
Perry E (Denver, CO)
A surplus of Texas guns is no doubt contributing to rising murders and other violent crimes in other states including here in Denver Colorado where multiple teens get shot in single incidents, two or three times a week without fail. The Mexicans cartels who commit regular mass murders of innocent people in Mexico, get most of their guns from Texas. Due to America's gun culture, combined with toxic masculinity, Americans are far less safe than Europeans. How often do we hear about women using guns for violent attacks? it's rare. I would never want to reside in a state where guns are carried so commonly as Texas. It's not just the risk of random shootings. it's the whole idea that civilization is not really civilization if we never know who is going to do what with a gun. People go crazy even if they don't have mental problems when they buy a gun. People get mad. We live in a toxic morbid society where guns are now floating around everywhere, getting stolen constantly and robbing a lot of innocent people of their lives The very idea that we all need to be gunslingers to protect ourselves is exactly why millions of guns are falling into the hands of insecure toxic men along with gangs and killers. In Europe, where I've spent about six months visiting total, almost nobody is allowed to carry guns. Likewise, murders and gun deaths in Europe are rare even in crime infested areas. America is a sick and unsafe gun culture. Texas has long been at the root of this ignorance.
Arrgee (New Jersey)
So abortions have been banned but carrying without a license isn’t prohibited? So what is the State of Texas motive for all of this? More duels? More ghost towns? Increasing the sale of cowboy hats and boots?
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Ok everyone. It's time to leave. It's getting crazy now, just in time for the election. What don't you understand about that? Thanks for the warning Mr. Goodman. Everyone; Canada is to the North. Be very respectful of that peaceful nation. If you go to Mexico and beyond make a right turn before Texas and try crossing the border in Arizona or California. That's where all the immigrants get through so probably less wall. Trump won't keep us dollar slaves in for Wall Street.
Todd (Arizona)
@PATRICK I am sorry, but you are just making things up. You have obviously never been to Arizona as most of the border is very remote, and the only thing getting through are scorpions and rattle snakes. I live in Arizona very close to the border, and the border is not a problem here. I can't speak for Texas, but it appears that is where this manufactured problem is. By the way, Arizona has had permitless carry for years, so you need to do your homework.
Aaa (Nj)
“ there has been a rise in the number of homicides deemed to be justifiable, such as those conducted in self-defense, even as overall shootings have declined from last year’s high levels.” “some recent crime declines in Texas cities after the permitless carry law went into effect” The headline is a lie 100% disinformation. The article actually states multiple times that shootings and crime have gone DOWN with reports of people successfully defending themselves. This is a good thing
Andrew (Wilmington, NC)
As Republicans seek to blame Democratic leaders for increased crime and violence, perhaps they should consider how their 2nd Amendment recklessness and perpetually outraged, violent rhetoric have fueled the problem? But, oh how silly of me to forget: oil would accept water before a Republicans these days would accept responsibility.
Elizabeth (Athens, Ga.)
In reality, how many times have people found it necessary to defend themselves from a perp with a gun? Are there statistics that predate the ‘everyone needs a gun madness?’ Now that the NRA et al have convinced Americans they are unsafe without a gun, the fearful masses are arming themselves. When did this begin? When did the plague of fear begin? I think this has been building since the 80’s. Maybe a little before. I sense a much deeper problem than crime. A society that has been conditioned to fear behaves very differently than one that has been assured they are safe. Once we all felt safe. Now there is fear of neighbors, fear of what our children learn in school, fear of other drivers, fear of going to the grocery store, the movies, even to church? This is insane. Arming every Tom, Dick, and Mary is crazy. It is an invitation to kill over the slightest disagreement. To believe the problem is mental health and that somehow helps solve it is absurd. The problem is too many guns and too much ammunition readily available to anyone. Get rid of the guns.
Beldar (East Coast)
The killer wasn’t even defending himself. The robbery had already occurred.
Knm78 (VT)
Only about 3% of all mass shootings in the US are ever stopped by a good guy. Meanwhile, with guns more readily available, more criminals will become better armed and more dangerous. One has to wonder, how many Texan children will be killed before the adults come to their senses.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
You don't get Ms. Ogg. Houston is what rules the nation, frequently by force. They want an army to protect them. The law prevents military from doing so, so the next best thing was arming the Television and Movie gun fetish paramentalmilitary warriors of the living room fantasies. Houston is safe from justice, thus allowing the wars for oil to cointinue. I wrote that without the help of Mad Maga Zine, which someone ran out of business during the Trump Chumps years. But I remember.
Brian Z (Fairfield, CT)
Does anyone wonder why the number of candidates for law enforcement positions is dropping?
Daniel Messing (NYC)
Texas has become dystopian. Perhaps if the Secret Service would stop protecting these corrupt politicians and they started walking the streets in fear they will change these laws.
Todd (Arizona)
@Daniel Messing Texas has been an odd, depressing place for years. Miles on miles of endless sprawl. Driving through the Permian Basin is like driving through a wasteland with the smell of oil perpetually in the air. West Texas is remote and beautiful, but Elon Musk and some mining interests have plans to ruin that as well. It's been said that Texas is Mississippi with a better PR campaign.
Nasm (Katonah NY)
How many guns are sold to people who cross to border towns and bring them back to Mexico? Texas complains about the violence from South American immigrants but they are also supplying them and the cartels with weapons. Mexico has much stricter gun laws.
Bos (Boston)
In an attempt to own the liberals, the supposed to be the law-and-order GOP has now painted itself to the corner
Curious (Marfa, Texas)
So, one needs a fishing permit to fish in many places in Texas, but not a gun permit to carry a gun? Does this mean that the state of Texas now values fish over human life? Still, guess one never knows when the British Red Coats might be in town.
Paul King (USA)
Boycott all these states with deadly gun laws and forced birth laws. Especially companies that want a stable place to run their business. Let them swim alone in the insanity. Shun and isolate them.
RamS (New York)
I thought this would just be a normal article talking both sides but the opening paragraph broke my heart. I can't believe this guy got away with manslaughter! If you try to stop a robber by tripping them and you trip someone else by mistake and they die, wouldn't you be held responsible??? I hope those responsible for killing innocent people face th consequences of their actions one way or another.
Samuel (Brooklyn)
Why didn't that little girl have a gun of her own, so she could have properly defended herself?
PGreider (Los Angeles)
But at least you can buy a big house there. Which you will need since you will be afraid to leave it.
NE (ATX)
While I abhor the American infatuation with guns and—let’s be honest—violence of every kind, this article does little by way of providing useful statistics and a lot in the way of anecdotes. As a liberal transplant Texan who is seriously considering packing their bags and moving elsewhere, I would find it immensely helpful if the Times would add a little more rigor to these articles. Otherwise, it devolves into another “wow, those crazy Texans are at it again” lambast, rather than an incisive look into troubling legislation that requires data as a foil, not reactionary (not to say obvious) partisan finger wagging.
Abbey Halle (Delray Beach, FL)
Why on earth would the author give credence to an ideologically conservative academic who obvi can't hold down a job. Maybe UT will give him a place to land because he deserves to see the chaos of 18yo's carrying guns on a campus. Way back in 1973 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lowered the drinking age to 18. The result was fight after fight night after night among the youngsters drinking in bars. Good luck Texas.
T H Beyer (Toronto)
Corporations and other businesses based in Texas: Pull OUT of Texas! Companies contemplating locating there: Don’t locate there! Tourists thinking about traveling to Texas: Don’t go there!
Kas (Vermont)
Sick. Gun laws are lax in the very liberal state of Vermont as well. Not a lot of people realize it. This needs to change. This country is a hot mess.
Cityrose869 (Boston Ma)
Just how much cash did Mr & Mrs Earls withdraw from the ATM??? What was the value of the Arlene Alarez life., $50, $100, $200? Was he defending himself from a 9 year old child driving by? Who are these people? What is wrong with them? How do they justify not holding Mr Earls responsible for taking the life of an innocent young child. May he never have a peaceful minute in his life again. The Second Amendment does not give you the right to kill nine year old children.
moi (Los Angeles)
You know how there are gambling casinos crowded at the borders as soon as you enter Nevada? I wouldn’t be surprised if gun stores suddenly proliferate in Texas, crowded at their borders.
Sharon (Maryland)
If a gunman with an automatic weapon opened fire in a birthing center, killing hundreds of pregnant women and children, the do-called “pro-life” Republicans would rush to protect their gun rights to make sure every white man can get automatic weapons even more quickly and easily - IF there are any annoying little rules left to possibly inconvenience them! How can anyone claim to be “pro-life” when quick & easy access to automatic weapons are infinitely more important than any parent’s right to expect their child to come home from school alive vs in a body bag?
myles (ottawa)
Ordinarily, when I comment, I try to contribute something erudite, something that adds value to the discussion. Perhaps in this case I would write about cultural differences. But .... OMG! The people of Texas are allowing their fellow citizens to walk around armed and thus use their guns without any license to do so? Anyone can carry a gun? With all respect, what has happened to your society? .... May that sense of entitlement, that understanding of the "social contract" and meaning of the concept of "individual freedom" never, absolutely never, make its way north into Canada.
Chuck (Chicago)
Can fans bring their guns to go watch the Dallas Cowboys?
Dave (Auckland)
Based on Texas logic it should be legal for kids to carry guns so as to protect themselves from adults with guns.
Lee_18103 (Allentown, Pa)
@Dave Protect themselves from adults with guns. And Bullies.
Dorothy Wiese (San Antonio)
Soon in Texas no one will be found guilty of using a gun, when they claim self defense. Except minorities.
RyanK (Seattle)
Have fun Texas. Let us know how this works out. Meanwhile, hope y’all are feeling safer.
Christopher (Oregon)
I and many others will never ever visit Texas. And good and decent citizens that have justified fear of the masses of stupid people caring hand guns should leave if they value their health !
Beldar (East Coast)
I loved my two visits to Texas, but I doubt that I’ll go back. Too dangerous.
Sharon (Weaverville N.C.)
The Republican party of forcebirth proving once again they are anything but prolife.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Let's quite belly aching and get to the big picture. Texas is our nation's energy infrastructure. Kennedy fought them, he's dead, Republicans are in trouble, and arming the state to hide behind. That's the facts Jacks.
Robert (Leesburg)
Go to your local Walmart and imagine that every one of those people is armed, it's absolutely terrifying to consider. I see down in Texas the people that passed these laws made it so you at least have to have a license if you bring a gun into meetings where THEY congregate, how telling. Like most I considered Idiocracy just a stupid movie when it came out but now I realize it was a documentary. We are doomed as a country.
Michele (Wahsington)
Somehow I have a hunch that if the shooter was Hispanic and the little girl he killed was white, the grand jury would have arrived at a different conclusion.
Houston Transplant (Houston, TX)
Texas. Where you can kill a nine year old girl and get off for being a lousy shot. But a physician performing a D&C on a miscarriage to prevent hemorrhage or septic infection? It’s a murder charge and the death penalty for you, buddy. How is this normal to anyone??? VOTE like your life depends on it. Because in Texas, it does.
itsmildeyes (philadelphia)
So……OK at Minute Maid Park? Yikes.
Contributor (Florida)
Magnetometers are used to keep guns out of stadiums. FYI
PAB (Maryland)
You can’t support permitless gun ownership and then complain about crime.
NC (Fort Walton Beach,FL.)
The murderer of Arlene Alvarez should be in prison. This is ghoulish.
Science Teacher (Illinois)
You can count on Texas! Land of the free!
zach1 (washington state)
That poor little girl, killed by a man who valued money more than human life. I hope he has long and very miserable life.
Ski bum (Colorado)
I’d hate to be a cop in Texas. The state has no appreciation for the risks cops take and the dangers they encounter when everyone walks around with a gun. Carry a gun and be prepared to die by a gun.
Richard Bell (Edgewater, NJ)
"We have met the enemy, and he is us!" - Pogo (Walt Kelly)
Alex (FL)
I think it is a travesty to force people in Texas to wait to 18 to arm themselves. If they can pick up a weapon, they should be allowed to own it. In Texas, that is.
Smilodon7 (Gilead, The State Formerly Known As Missouri)
Nothing could ever possibly go wrong with this, ever.
Sam Marcus (New York)
Humm. So you need a license to drive a car, cut someone’s hair, tattoo someone, massage someone and more.  No further comment is needed. Just insanity exists.
isabelle Coutelle (France)
"America has leapt from barbarism to decadence without touching civilization." Ogden Nash, 1934.
Mike (NJ)
The second amendment does not guarantee the right to own a weapon. The Supreme Court stated that many times and every state including Texas had gun restrictions for the past 100 years. This gun nut stuff is out of control.
D.K. K (Florida)
I am waiting for the day when, by Texas law, high school graduation ceremonies include handing a gun to every graduate along with the diploma.
Al (California)
Call me crazy but it’ sure looks like it’s all part of a long term effort to arm and enrage righties for their next call to duty.
Robin (Rwanda)
Totally nuts. It begs belief that we think this is “better “.
citizen (US)
Texas, why stop on handguns? Why not claim that the Second Amendment gives the right for bazookas and grenades to every individual?
Bob G. (San Francisco)
I will never visit Texas if I can help it. If I drive across country I'll detour. Seriously, are these people for real?
Jimmy D (Cville Va)
I never realized Texas was such a dangerous place where everyone needs to carry. I'll pass on visiting. I would expect children accidently being shot or doing the shooting will increase, but Texas probably won't reveal those stats.
mark (California)
I want to invite the world's tourists to California. At our Disneyland no body is packing heat.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
@mark Yeah but give those kids time. They are addicted as babies to TV and movies and when they get older after being trained to automatically be a part of the video, all the gun portraysls will hook them.
karisimo0 (Kearny, Nj)
So people in Texas want the right to defend themselves with guns. Now it appears that as a result of their mentally impaired thinking, their wish may be granted. What's better than the right to defend yourself with guns? Not having to defend yourself at all.
Maymere (Lakeland , Florida)
I agree with others here that the 2nd Amendment has been misinterpreted, the situation that we have today is not what was intended by the Founders. In Particular, we need to take a really long look at what is meant by "well-regulated".
Sarah (Ann Arbor)
It's time for all of us to detest guns to strap on Nerf long guns and parade around wearing them. Mirror the fools.
Bucketomeat (The Zone)
@Sarah I love the idea, but it assumes the people who support this are capable of feeling shame. They are not. They have resolved themselves to accepting that the 2A requires a periodic blood sacrifice. It would seem that the Tree of Liberty is watered by the blood of patriots.., and little children, church goers, grocery store shoppers….
gm (syracuse area)
It;s official. We have gone over the top. Why not remove license requirements for driving and various occupations that best ensure competence. I always wanted to be a neurosurgeon but found the educational requirements for the license far to cumbersome.
JenB (CA)
So how does this work in Texas? Do the parents of the dead 9 year old seek retribution from the guy who shot their child by shooting someone in his family? How is this solving anything?
Tex (Austin)
I feel for the life and all that could have been in that young girl. Seems to me there is a contradiction in terms to protecting life our way. The civil suit I hope will take damages from the shooter. Just get one thing straight if you live our way, forgivenesses is one thing but when hurt a neighbor. A neighbor. A child. That means something. My suggestion to shooter is to move out of state. Thanks Greg. I guess it could be worse. Aint that right Greg.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Folks, no kidding. All indications are the Republican leadership that has been fomenting hate and anger, will finally instigate the country while the military is standing by to take over the country under false circumstances. I'm sorry but I tried to warn you for years now. It's a military coup and you are unprepared.
Marcy (Paris, TX)
I live in Texas, but do not own a gun. After what happened at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, I vowed not to own a gun in my lifetime. I'm doing it for the kids.
Ryan Biggs (Boston, MA)
If crime goes up, it will increase gun sales. Win win for the gun lobby.
Sylvia Worden (California)
Sendin’ my thoughts and prayers!
Teresa (Berlin)
So people have a right to defend themselves? Where was the little girl's right to grow up and have a life?
Dave (MN)
I never did understand how we went from “well regulated” to “anyone with a credit card.”
davravidumn (San Francisco)
"People get emotional." That's precisely why civilians should not be allowed to carry around guns. Arm your castle all you want--but don't put all of civil society at risk of your "getting emotional" in public.
Julie (Illinois)
I had to stop reading after the part where the jury declined to charge him for killing a 9yo. It’s too sad, senseless and infuriating to bear. And there is nothing anyone can do to change things. Voting doesn’t seem to make a difference. It is depressing to have to share our country with ppl like this.
Andrew (Taylor)
It is truly time to expand the Supreme Court and “reinterpret” the 2nd Amendment - no one has the “right” to have a gun. Total nonsense.
Dave (New Jersey)
Many in law enforcement apparently support permitless carry. Let's see if that continues after LEO's are killed and wounded.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
Why is it OK to kill a bank robber? I am not condoning robbery, of course, but if the robber were arrested, indicted, and sentenced, the death sentence would not be handed down. I say this in reference to the tragic death of the child, innocent, passing by the ATM robbery in a vehicle. OK, self defense. Though, from the account the robber is still at-large. How many times do we hear "just let them have" the object of the robbery, that "your life is more important"? And it is all permissible under Texas law. I know this is a simplistic example but I simply don't fathom the need for everyone to be armed. The escalation effect is terrifying, and clearly inexperienced gun handlers just add to the chaos. I'd like to know if armed robberies are on the decline since the perps know that more victims could be armed. Is that the point? To deter crime? Or to escalate the contests, since there's such a need to "defend" ourselves?
Lil50 (NOLA)
Involuntary manslaughter is often sought in cases against drivers who accidentally kill a fellow human being. How is this different?
R. George (USA)
@Lil50 : Answer: this is Texas.
Kyle (Minnesota)
Never mind the gun law, the fact someone can shoot and kill, even accidentally, and not be charged and tried with any crime is baffling. Another state I’ll stay away from.
Judi (North Carolina)
@Kyle I agree. I have relatives there but have decided not to mess with Texas. I’ve never seen the attraction.
Melby (nowhere)
The NYT got it wrong. Mr. Earls life wasn't upended. He was free to do what he did, and regardless of how it might weigh on his conscience, there's absolutely nothing stopping him from doing it again and making the same mistake. Meanwhile, Arlene Alvarez is dead and her family's life is what has been completely upended.
Amy (NC)
“But gun rights proponents prevailed in the Republican-dominated Capitol, arguing that Texans should not need the state’s permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.” I find it funny that Repubs pick and choose when big government has control over your choices. It’s okay to carry a gun and accidentally kill a little 9 year old with your gun. But a woman who chooses to have an abortion is breaking a law. There are so many things wrong with the state of Texas and the Republican Party. They take their lead from a book published in 1998, not factoring in crime statistics from the last 25 years. Supposedly, they support law enforcement, but don’t consider how this affects police. No training, no common sense, no problem. Give them a gun.
MF (West Village NYC)
“I think it would be appropriate to move the age for permitless carry to 18,” she told the committee. “There’s really no reason why a legal adult should not be able to defend themselves.” For off the rails immature teenagers who feel dissed? What planet are these gun advocates living on? It's like arguing that given the right dose, fentanyl is a drug enhancer we should advocate.
Doug (Pennsylvania)
“I think it would be appropriate to move the age for permitless carry to 18,” she told the committee. “There’s really no reason why a legal adult should not be able to defend themselves.” As I used to tease my kids when they claimed being 18 made them adults: but can you buy a beer? And why is it framed as if the only way to “defend themselves” is with a gun? The tragic part of this social and legal experiment is the number of lives that will be lost or irrevocably changed before the folly of it is apparent.
Deena (Chicago, IL)
The guy carries his gun everywhere and when the once-in-a-lifetime event of being robbed happened it proved useless. Then a 9-year-old girl died because of the main reason guns are fired: uncontrolled anger.
Civic Samurai (USA)
It's not just the NRA. Mostly liberal Hollywood is also responsible for the U.S. fetish toward guns. Consider how many movie posters show the star posing with a weapon. Meanwhile, our news outlets have discovered the goldmine of becoming partisan echo chambers that feed propaganda to the gullible -- at both ends of the political spectrum. This nation's grand experiment with self-government is sinking into a doom loop of self-indulgence.
Eatoin Shrdlu (Long Island NY)
A 9-year-old died because a man considered money more important than a human life. Even if the gunman had been trained, taking the time to become a skilled marksman - and shot dead the guy who robbed him at an ATM this would be a tragedy. Think of it - he considered his cash (at the most, if he and wife had each withdrawn maximum $1,000) a reasonable excuse to shoot someone dead. The amount involved was most likely far less. Armed robbery does not carry a potential judicial execution sentence, even in Texas. But one man, angry that he had been robbed of some cash, tried to shoot a fleeing thief in the back. Think about the implications. Our society is degenerating to the point where a life is worth less than a day’s wages? Dinner? And everyone can carry a gun. OK, everyone with a “clean record”. Maybe the robber was a first-timer. Or had never been arrested for anything, and had just as much right to carry a gun as the kid-killer. I don’t think I’ll be going to Texas, or any other state adopting such laws. I am considering a purchase, though - the best bullet-resistant body armor on the market. To wear every time I’m out of the house. Maybe one of the helmets bomb disposal teams wear. If NYS passes such madness, new heavy insulation for the house - 2-inch Kevlar matting should stop most handgun rounds, armored window glass is beyond my savings, though - and replacing my car with an APC, out of the question. The one thing I won’t do is buy a gun - and risk becoming a murderer.
Jomo (San Diego)
"The law still bars carrying a handgun for those convicted of a felony, who are intoxicated or committing another crime." Whew! Good to know. If someone is drinking in a bar and starts getting hot headed, he'll just say "hold on, I have to take my gun home before I have another drink." Or a crook will say "dang, I meant to rob someone but I can't, I have my gun on me." Very reassuring.
Elizabeth (Athens, Ga.)
@Jomo If it is permit less carry, how does the gun seller know if the buyer is a felon? As long as open gun sales exist and there is no background check required, this law is an absurdity.
Robert Weisbrod (Salida Colorado)
They should arrest and prosecute the politicians who passed the law for murder.
Linda hoquist (Topsham, Maine)
Huh. Guess it’s true. Republicans really dislike policemen. Anarchy.
Chuck (PA)
... and the GOP wonders why crime has gone up, and yet will blame everyone else?
Trulyours (New York)
@Chuck nonsense, crime is committed by illegal hand gun use. Everyone knows it and democrats refuse to crack down on it because of a demographic involved.
CTBlue (USA)
I can’t wait to see horses on the interstate 10, salons on the road side and drunk riders heading from Houston to El Paso. USA 2022.
Alejandro (Sarcophagus)
Glad to live in California, but really nowhere in USA is safe, not anywhere
Elven (Brooklyn)
So, essentially the state government of Texas has given away the 'legitimate use of force' to any old body. Well, that's just brilliant!
Scott (Long Island)
@Elven And in the case of the man who negligently shot the 9 year old girl, the illegitimate use of force. But since there were no charges I suppose I Texas murdering an innocent child while shooting wildly at a robber is considered "legitimate."
Avid Newsreader (North Carolina)
Look at the age of all the school shooters. How many are adults? Look at the drop in violent crime when assault weapons were banned, and what has happened since the ban was lifted. Did our forefathers have any knowledge of how deadly weapons would become? Of course not. What can I say except “you can’t fix stupid.”
Aaa (Nj)
@Avid Newsreader it had no effect at all, assault weapons are used in only 3% of shootings. If the number dropped to zero you wouldn’t even notice.
Avid Newsreader (North Carolina)
@Aaa—3% is too much if kids are in that 3%
Paul (Sunderland, MA)
So Republicans are campaigning on the increase in crime. More guns, more crime, more Republicans in power, and American citizens continue to die.
VS (Boise, ID)
A crime if you run over somebody by mistake but not if you shot them. What kind of world is this.
Caesius (LINY)
Whats the definition of insane? Besides Texas politicians. Doing the same things over and over, expecting different results. Loosening gun laws, or eliminating them, are not fixing the problem of evil, stupid, humans using them as tools to exert control over their emotionally uncontrolled and generally miserable lives by lashing out at others causing them frustration.
Don'tSellYourSoul (The World)
Twisted. Immoral. Inhumane. Texas politicians and their enablers.
Max Deitenbeck (Shreveport)
Mr. Earls tried to kill a person over a few dollars and a 9 year old girl was murdered instead. This is the nation we have become. Money is more precious than a life. Guns are more precious than life. Shame on us.
Josh Wilson (Kobe, Japan)
There's a straight line connecting rising gun ownership, with the GOP encourages, and rising homicide rates, which they quite successfully blame Democrats for every cycle. You don't need morals to win.
Yossarian (Boston)
Why stop at 18? Why not make it 14? Or 12? Or 6 years of age? I've been to Texas, Dallas quite a few times, Houston, Austin. But that's all in the past. I had already decided never to set foot in the place again for a variety of reasons. This is the nail in the coffin (no pun intended). Have fun playing cowboy down there. Y"all. I'll spend my tourist dollars elsewhere.
Bruce Thomson (Tokyo)
Why should random citizens fire on armed robbers robbing someone else? It’s certainly not self defense. What law allows this?
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
If your loved ones get killed in a cross fire shootout you can take solace in the fact that your loved ones paid the price so the crazy guy down the street can own and possess any and every gun he wants anywhere he wants. There is a coat to unfettered gun possession and we thank you in advance for paying it on gun owners behalf.
Mark In The Mist (Seattle)
The GOP asserts that many should not vote because “they don’t understand the issues “ yet are more than happy to hand guns to those who think they are Wyatt Earp.
Frank (Texas)
Now, Texas is deputizing citizens to kill criminals. It's that simple. "Last October in Port Arthur, Texas, a man with a handgun, who had a license, saw two armed robbers at a Church’s Chicken and fired through the drive-through window, fatally striking one of the men and wounding the other. His actions were praised by the local district attorney."
Martin (Oakland, CA)
@Frank If it was a black citizen shooting (and killing) two armed robbers at a Church's Chicken, you can bet that that black citizen would have been charged with murder. There is a racial angle to the politics in Texas (and throughout the deep south and midwest).
The End Is Where We Start From (Little Gidding)
So if, in the eyes of the GOP and the NRA, there are no constitutional limits who should carry a gun, why can’t a nine year old have one, too? Or a toddler for that matter? (Of course, don’t forget to just ignore that well regulated militia stuff.)
Reader (Ithaca)
Do I have this right? Converting Earls crime from guns to automobiles: if he was robbed, thought he saw the robbers get into a car, took chase and and rammed the wrong car with his own on the highway to stop the robbers, killing an innocent family, that too would be OK under Texas law, provided he testified that he thought he was trying to kill the robbers? I don’t think that defense would have legs in NY.
Kat (NC)
This must be up here already, but I am so scandalized by these developments. I couldn't legally get drunk until I was 21. If a moving vehicle's dangerous... I just don't get it. What needs to happen to change the tides and wash some of this madness out of our hair? We're cookin' with gas in the worst possible way.
Elizabeth (Athens, Ga.)
@Kat Check out the requirements to get a hunting license in Texas. You must be old enough, have fairly extensive training and until age 21 can only hunt with a licensed adult. Do Texans value the lives of deer, etc. more than humans?
David Ahern (Melbourne Australia)
The world has long shared its thoughts about America’s crazy gun laws. Unfortunately, Texas has taken that craziness to a whole new level. Gun advocates often cite their rights to carry a firearm but those maimed or killed by a gun have no such right. They are forever silenced.
Windy (Arizona)
Republicans are running on a crime agenda. A " law and order" platfom. They are why we have crime and deadly crime. It can all be traced back to Republican policies. Democrats want regulations, common sense gun laws, laws that actually get criminals off the street, laws that keep guns off the street, laws that protect the population. Republicans know more guns mean more homicides. They can argue whatever premise they want, the facts are guns kill or to satisy the Republicans, people with guns kill people. And there is no reason to justify the deluge of guns . To say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun right along with the fact more guns equal more homicides, makes only one of those statements relevant . The fact that we have more guns and more homicides means a good guy with a gun does not equal fewer homicides overall.
IndyDave (Indianapolis)
Facing an armed public is not the concern. Facing an armed violent criminal public is a concern, which police have been facing for years, regardless of any gun restrictions.
Robin (Rwanda)
@IndyDave I beg to differ. The nice guy who buys a gun legally who then gets drunk at a party and gets mad at his neighbor or wife or kids or the guy down the street is a far greater threat now that he owns a gun.
RMiller (San Diego, CA)
As the relaxing of gun laws is a favorite "hobby horse" of many right-wing Republicans, except immediately following the latest mass shooting, the unlicensed and open carry of handguns will undoubtedly spread with time across more States beyond the borders of Texas. Overall against this political momentum, I fear proponents of meaningful background gun checks and limiting the availability of firearms have simply lost the argument. Hence, in response, and in conjunction with toughening sentencing laws in crimes involving firearms, sadly, the "best solution" to protect the public going forward that I might suggest against this inevitable spread is that the proper handling of firearms needs to be taught in schools beginning at an early age and on through high school. Consequently, hopefully, this greater awareness will help reduce the increased slaughter in many jurisdictions that I fear will most probably follow from this ever-loosening of gun laws.
Elizabeth (Athens, Ga.)
@RMiller Please check out the requirements to get a hunting license in Texas and other states. Talk about cognitive dissonance.
Bender (Chicago, IL)
I only want to add three observations: Carrying a gun did not stop the crime from happening. Making sure people have easy and quick access to guns is making sure a gun is involved when bad impulsive behavior occurs. That little girl died for a guy looking for revenge, after the crime. Most people who fire a gun miss their target. How many gun firing impulse incidents happen in Texas every day we don’t read about because no one died or got gravely injured?
AKG (Right Here)
@Bender If you watched more TV you would think differently.
PA Resident (Lititz, PA)
Compare Texas and Switzerland, two gun loving places. Texas - no regulation, constant gun violence, no real respect for life, no security and consequently not a free state. Switzerland - well regulated, life protecting, secure, free. Where would I rather be? I don't want to step foot near Texas ever again. It is one example of the insanity, violence and lawlessness that has taken hold in our country.
LovelyAfterMidnight (USA)
Why have drivers' licenses? Why not let anyone drive and forgo the whole hassle of the DMW? Why not toss speed limits too? Let each person individually decide which speeds are acceptable. Could it be because a car has the potential to be deadly and therefore requires a level of responsibility to ensure the public is safe? Guns are deadly - their only purpose is to kill. So a potentially deadly item needs a license and an item designed to be deadly does not? We have gone backwards to the Wild West.
Patrick (USA)
A 33 year police veteran here and very happy I don't work/live in Texas. I couldn't imagine responding to a bar fight, knowing how many guns may be present. And please don't expect thoughts and prayers, the outcome was already predetermined by the voters.
Bruce (Australia)
There doesn't seem to be much mention of Arlene Alvarez's right to be alive. When it comes to balancing rights it appears in the USA a gun has more effective rights to exist than a person does.
Stacy (Santa Monica, CA)
May those we've lost rest in peace. Should the man go to prison for accidently killing the child? Yes. He had the right to defend himself and the innocent child had a right to live., & in this case, her right trumped his. The killing was an accident, and in response to a robbery, so maybe the shooter should get ten years in prison and five years probation. Ten years is low but the man didn't intend to kill the child, yet the child was killed. I'm pro self defense but gun owners need to understand when they bring their gun into play, they need to know how to shoot, be prepared to prevent perps from stealing their weapon from them, and be ready to be held to a higher standard. Weapons are a responsibility. Use them responsibly.
CalvinF (Virginia)
I tried living in Houston 30 years ago. The gun culture, among other aspects of Texas life, quickly made me detest the place in spite of the nice house I could afford. I begged my employer for a transfer back to New Jersey.
Dave (Boston-ish)
This boils down to letting people take the law into their own hands and making a split second decision that can have irreversible and often fatal consequences. It’s a step back in time to the 1800’s where the sheriff may be a day or more away and there weren’t many options to safeguard one’s money. Stepping further back the purpose of the Second Amendment was for our young country, with not much of an army, to be able the defend itself with citizen militias from a well equipped and well organized army that had tried to control our country. None of these conditions exist today. The proliferation of weapons in this country only feeds people’s fetishes and fears and makes the weapons manufacturers wealthy. It increases the risk to both every day citizens and to law enforcement. Added to the mix is drugs, alcohol, untreated mental illness and now disinformation. This is toxic for a society and very dangerous for law enforcement. In the end, all sorts of people will become injured or killed, with some of the shootings being deemed justified, others not and some just tragic accidents. Fortunately, there is a choice and there are still states where this sort of foolishness is not allowed. We can also choose not to do business with companies and individuals based in these states.
Lisashap (MD)
Of course this has led to more spontaneous shootings. When people get angry and they have a gun strapped on they feel powerful and they use it. Humans are not good with anger, so having a gun will simply and logically result in shootings. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. While we are most afraid of mass shootings, it is the everyday shootings that kill the most people. And per capita, one has a higher chance of being shot dead in a red state with these kinds of laws than anywhere else. The data shows that clearly and logic supports it too. Who wants to go into a bar where folks are drinking and packing a gun? Not me.
❣️ WWJD ❣️ (Louisville)
Dear Supreme Court, What is the legal definition of WELL REGULATED?
itsmildeyes (philadelphia)
My granddaughter will be six next month. By this logic I guess I should buy her a handgun for her birthday present. Her sister will be four in January. A crossbow?
Bill (Midwest)
In the dark shadows of so many horrific school shootings lurks the thought that the republican party is hellbent on killing off future voters that might well sway the vote for stricter regulations
KI (Asia)
I haven't been to Texas for a long time. Are many people on the street wearing bulletproof vests there?
hello (there)
The wild south, to be avoided at all costs
Sandi L (Colorado)
Absolutely scandalous.
U.S. Voter (U.S.)
I think it’s time for us to leave Texas. I wish we had done it sooner.
LJ (USA)
As long as Texas is issuing their DNA kits for identification along with the weapons....
Tom (San Francisco, California)
What are Texans so afraid of that they have to carry guns all the time?
American Immigrant Abroad (Southern Europe)
This is America for the next 100 years. Violence, murder, mayhem.
Jeff (Atlanta)
So where is the justice for Atlene Alvarez? How can permitless carry translate into a man killing an innocent young woman with Impunity? How absurd. What's wrong with that grand jury!? What's wrong with Texas!?
Martin (Oakland, CA)
@Jeff 9 years old is not "an innocent young woman". She was an innocent CHILD!!!
RSP (NY)
@Jeff plenty is wrong with Texas, clinging to a second amendment that was drawn up in the 19th century to protect against the militia. Really?
December (Concord, NH)
@Jeff And this, in a "pro-life" state! I guess they figure that children lose their right to life once they are born.
shloymie (Fort lauderdale)
what did you think, more guns less shootings.... Its the wild wild west again and next will be things similar to the oxbow incident. hangings etc. Can you imagine this in new york city... A 30-06 out every window
Philo McFadden (Florida)
USA! USA! USA! Leading cause of death for children = bullets. Are we the best, or what? Who needs kids, anyway? USA! Also, Mitch sends his thoughts AND prayers.
Aguadejamaica (Katy, TX)
The frontal lobes of the brain are that last to complete their development. It is the part of the brain that plays a key role in future planning including SELF MANAGEMENT and DECISION MAKING. This completion of development is fulfilled around 21-23 years old. Young adults are not allowed to buy cigarettes or alcohol until they are 21 but they are allowed to buy a firearm at 18!!! Worst, there are PARENTS that buy a firearm for their child as a Christmas (Christmas!!!!) or birthday present. US do not have enemies outside, the enemies are inside… very sad.
John (Portland, Oregon)
Since no one was even indicted for the killing of poor Arlene Alvarez, is her killing going to be omitted from the crime statistics? Has she become just another martyr for Freedom™? There's a particular sickness in some Americans, who seem to want to be able to kill other people, without consequences, in a world where everyone's armed. Between unlimited carry laws and stand-your-ground statutes, murder is becoming an unpunishable crime, especially if the "right" kind of people are the one who are doing the killing.
jahnay (ny)
Even trained police miss their targets and kill or seriously wound innocent bystanders.
RH (Melbourne, Australia)
Well, that rules out the U S of A as a tourist spot for me. I'll holiday somewhere a little less life threatening.
Martin (Oakland, CA)
@RH Come to California. We have MUCH stricter gun laws. Touristed areas are safe (inner city poverty stricken neighborhoods, not so much).
L Hoberman (Earth)
The NRA says an armed society is a polite society, so at least Texans are shooting each other politely.
ROH (Portland)
Texas is essentially saying the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for any crime or affront.
Michael (The Netherlands)
And it doesn’t even have to mean the death penalty for the perpetrator, imagine that..
Minmin (NYC)
@ROH —and that vigilante justice is the only justice.
Calypso (Blue)
Way to go Texas!!! Given our divisive political culture...that can only result in a positive outcome!
Guran (Eu)
So many carry a gun in Texas, on my next visit obviously I have to carry two myself to be safe. What's the problem?
Jack Allen Hyde (Berkeley)
Texans are also big on arming school teachers. Arlene Alvarez is just the beginning.
David (Portland, OR)
Yet still most cops in Texas will still vote Republican. Over the long run it statistically averages out you get whatever you deserve.
Dave (PNW)
We hear a lot of shouting about “rights” but barely a whisper regarding “responsibilities.”
Ryan Bobo (New York)
I don’t see what the big deal is. Wear a well-fitting n95 mask and you’ll he fine. It’s just as effective against gunshots as it is against covid.
Edo (Japan)
Wouldn’t be better to let the ATM robber just have the money, rather than try to kill him/her and risk of hitting someone else with a stray bullet! Ditto for the drive through robbery incident.
GW (New York)
@Edo you’re asking for rational thought?
osavus (Browerville)
The Murder Arch extends from florida to texas by way of West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Inidiana, Missouri, Oklahoma (15 states total). Those 15 states have many more murders than the entire 35 states combined. Source CDC and FBI. Now we know why.
Yossarian (Maine)
Wales has the leek, Australia the kangaroo. We have the handgun.
Mr. D (Texas)
Texas. Where a couple must wait 72 hours to get a marriage license. Wouldn’t want to do anything rash, right?
Jim Tokuhisa (Blacksburg, VA)
How does the state get a well-regulated militia out of a bunch of gun-happy gun-toting wannabes?
operacoach (San Francisco)
This country has lost its mind. I'm horrified that people love guns more than life.
Upstate guy (Albany)
You can’t drink until 21 but carry a gun at 18? No problem.
Erkcylisme (Fayetteville)
Every child's life matters until it's politically inconvenient. What a farce.
NaughtVicar (Valencia, Spain)
Another step in the country’s March backwards. So glad we moved to Spain last year.
Doug (nJ)
This is Texas’s idea of “well regulated.” They pay lip service to the Constitution. They actually despise it.
Zobar (West Coast)
It seems that the idea is to achieve a version of "mutually assured destruction". The idea being that if you believe that everyone is carrying a gun, then you are less likely to use your own gun other than self-defense. Of course they didn't think about what happens when everyone thinks they're defending themselves and the streets look like the OK Corrall with everyone armed to the teeth.
Farina 🦄 (Puget Sound)
The guy who wrote “More Guns Less Crime” is right in one regard: if you can’t prosecute people for shootings, the homicide rate will drop like a rock! And if the feds still refuse to study gun violence as a public health issue, who’d ever know?
Federalist (California)
If my little granddaughter were shot and the guy walked away with no punishment like that I and my family would not sit on our hands and accept it. When such gross injustice is allowed people WILL take the law into their own hands. I predict his life will be terminated soon.
Hal (Dallas)
At DFW airport, the TSA confiscates thousands of firearms yearly from “responsible” gun owners who forgot they were carrying. And many of those weapons are loaded. Oops!
Calico (VA)
@Hal Atlanta’s airport confiscates the most guns of any airport in the country so I guess both Texans and Georgians carry their weapons everywhere. Glad I don’t live in either state.
ribbit (United States)
If police unions and officers would only speak up and support sensible gun control, what a difference it would make. They are so often the victims of gun violence and yet they do not support taking guns out of the hands of criminals and the deranged.
Joe Parrott (Syracuse, NY)
The police and the police union opposed this reckless new law, the GQP legislature passed it anyway. The fact was right in the article.
Jean-Paul Villere (Barcelona)
I was born and raised in Texas, and there is no way I would ever consider returning and raising my family there. Senselessness, utter senselessness.
Lisa Biesinger (Germany)
I don't see how major corporations can justify having facilities in unregulated carry states. How long until board room disputes end in death? Or printer room disputes for that matter...
Jimmy (guess)
In addition to reducing the minimum age for permit-less carry to 18 we should subsidize gun ownership by providing federal rebates for gun purchases as well as ammunition. Why not? If the current law is so great then even easier would be even better. Lets get a gun into everyone’s hands.
Ken (Lausanne)
Gun requirement laws. Everyone must carry and be trained to shoot.
Patti Bezzo (Seattle)
This article is so sad and powerful. I send my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Arlene Alvarez. I am so sorry for your loss and can never express how deeply I regret that her life could be taken away so thoughtlessly as it was. You love her, and she will always hold such a deep part of your lives and hearts. I will always support restrictions of the purchase of firearms so heartbreaking losses of a loved ones will stop. I pray for peace in your lives and in this world. We do not need guns. I am 67, have never owned a gun and never will. I do not need a gun. I pray to have people understand that learning to care, listen, realize what really is important and to be able to communicate openly with everyone regardless of what they look like or where they live is what our world needs to be at its best. My love and prayers for healing and again, my deepest condolences.
Michael Tyndall (San Francisco)
There's a curve (and tables) showing a significant relationship between the rate of gun ownership or strength of gun laws in a state and the amount of gun violence. The two issues correlate (and by country as well), and Texas politicians have knowingly decided to move up the curve. Much like downplaying public health measures in the face of a deadly pandemic, they're willing to sacrifice a certain number of their fellows in order to show their supposed strength and their disdain for expert opinions. It's beyond sad when the truth is considered to have a liberal bias by certain folks, and they're determined to 'stick it to the libs' by doing the opposite.
Joe Parrott (Syracuse, NY)
It's like Bill O'Reilly said, "It's the price of freedom." The question is "Who is paying the price?" Callous disregard for innocent lives. Pathetic. An innocent 9 year girl paid the price this time.
Nik (Europe)
Now, the police have to do their job, assuming that almost every citizen is armed. Consequently, during interventions, any object that might remotely resemble a gun will most likely be perceived as one by the officers because everyone has one nowadays. What is a police officer trained to do when he spots a firearm or something that looks like a firearm?
Susan (Paris)
To lose a child in an accident or due to illness is an indescribable tragedy, but to lose a child through the most horrendous negligence from another human being and then watch that person walk away after being absolved by a group of your fellow citizens- I simply cannot imagine the pain and perhaps rage that would cause. Senseless and unforgivable.
P. Quinn (New Jersey)
The right to keep and bear arms was purposefully linked to militia duty. The need for a citizens’ militia has been removed by our practice of having a standing army - something the framers opposed. And even today we acknowledge the right is not absolute: no one would support a “right” to own a battle tank, or mortar, or even a .50 caliber machine gun. Recent court decisions and laws like the Texas one mentioned - government actions that increase the presence of handguns in every life setting - are taking our country back to making life in urban areas more likely to be “nasty, brutish, and short.”
Eatoin Shrdlu (Long Island NY)
Some of the framers opposed a standing army, others didn’t. The 2nd Amendment was permission for states to have armies, and their own “minute-men”, which led to the Civil War, and the 13th to 15th amendments allowing every state to have a unit of the National Guard commanded by the governor - which can be nationalized if the governor uses it illegally. The one thing I know we don’t need is “frontier justice” in a land where commitment to a democratic republic and its institutions is falling because we might no longer have a white Christian Anglo majority able to control anyone unlike them without guns for all, or at least all of them - and our own Putin or Xi. Think about that when you vote.
Martin (Oakland, CA)
@P. Quinn "The right to keep and bear arms"? Now they want 18 year olds to carry weapons. What's next? Giving citizens the right to carry nuclear "dirty bombs"?
Doctor B (White Plains, NY)
Every human being experiences rage. At some point in our lives, the rage will be of murderous intensity. Usually, the intense rage lasts for only a brief time. During that brief window, a person can do a lot more damage a lot more quickly if they have a firearm than if they have to rely upon other methods to act out their anger. Thus, every person is a potential murderer. Putting guns in the hands of people with no firearm training invites tragic consequences. Too often, we won't know who is going to become the next murderer until it's too late. The Second Amendment allowed people to have a flintlock musket capable of firing at most 1 or 2 rounds per minute. This was done because there was no standing army at that time. That is why its first words are " a well organized militia ..." Well, today we have a very well organized militia- the US Army, Navy, Air Force , Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, etc. Obviously, there is no need for private citizens in 2022 to form their own militias outside of any government regulation. No sane person would suggest that the Founding Fathers envisioned every American toting an AR-15 with a 100 round ammunition clip. If a person needs a license & insurance to do something as basic as operating a car, that should also be required of anyone who wishes to possess a firearm. Laws like the one in TX invite a return to the days of the Wild West. Shootouts on every corner? No, thank you!
PNUT (The Dirty South)
It's hard to believe, but apparently this madness is what the fine people of Texas want. It's really rather sad when generations of Americans believe that Freedom is guns.
David (Sydney)
PNUT Hi The widespread ownership of guns by the civilian population of USA is often accompanied by fatal outcomes, dreadful loss of thousands of young innocent lives, lifelong injuries etc. However the alternative is far worse!! Imho every dictatorship irrespective of ideaology will eventually abolish private ownership of guns It then becomes so much easier to controll the population to the point where tens of millions of people starve to death because of unintended poor planning or deliberate government policy as happened in USSR under Stalin or Communist China under Mao. The overthrow of an existing tyrrany is so much easier if the population have access to privately owned weapons.
Todd Johnson (Houston, TX)
This is just another reason to leave Texas. My wife and I have LTCs, but don't carry, because we don't have the fantasy of being able to safely defend ourselves and we know that we would just be more of a target once a gun is seen. About 3 months ago my wife was driving home from her job in the Texas Medical Center when someone pulled up beside her on the highway and started waving a handgun at her. She has no idea why. We live in a relatively safe suburb of Houston, but crime and gun crimes are happening every day. I am hoping we can get Beto elected, but with the apparent ignorance of many Texans, that is looking doubtful.
Martin (Oakland, CA)
@Todd Johnson Your wife may have inadvertently cut off the other driver or done some innocent mistake in her driving (too slow, too fast, whatever) which led to the guy with road rage to wave his gun at her. Could be an omen that it is time to leave Texas.
L s (Ohio)
So let me get this right, these officials think that the same people who shoot other human beings are going to follow gun laws? It’s just the don’t shoot other people law they have an issue with?
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
Speaking as a person who has lived in Texas almost all of her life, many people were carrying guns illegally. Not me because I didn't own a gun until I inherited my mom's handgun. I've never felt the need to carry it anywhere because I just don't feel the places I frequent are that dangerous. I saw a guy a few months ago carrying at the grocery store, and I was just...why does he think that's necessary? I don't know; maybe he was a crime victim.
Susan Weinberg (Montana)
@Sia You think the guy in the grocery store is bad, I saw a old gent packing a Glock pistol at the hair dresser getting his hair cut. What did he need a pistol there for ?
Nancy Klein (Chicago, Illinois)
The USA has really lost its way. I despair for what my once-beloved country is now becoming: a place where women don’t have rights over their own bodies and more and more states have made it easier for people to walk around with guns to kill others, either accidentally or on purpose.
Bowwow (CA)
I love how the guy says they've realized that more guns = more crime. How could that ever have been a question? Of course more people with weapons designed to kill and control others will increase crime. How could it not? You've turned the entire state into a war zone, and that will increase crime in other states too as it increases the cross-border distribution of weapons by and to people who previously wouldn't have been able to get them. Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma should just stop every car coming over their borders and take the guns coming in.
Patricia A (Los Angeles)
The right to carry guns was derived from the fact that there was no standing army or, for that matter, police force. The Texas decision to forgo gun license may follow the letter of the law but not the intent of the Founders.
jkw (nyc)
Because it leaves the standing army and police in place?
Karen (Cape Cod)
Another reason not to move to, or visit, Texas.
Jean McK (Austin)
Or the other 49 states that have the same laws - it isn’t just Texas! Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, … It is utterly absurd.
Concerned for Humanity (Everett, WA)
Don't agree to meet anyone at an ATM machine in Texas.
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
@Concerned for Humanity Or even drive by one!
JP (Hua Hin)
You're not just a citizen in Texas, you're collateral damage. How cool is that?
Jeff (Northern California)
Rest in Peace Arlene Alvarez. Shame on you, Abbott Shame on you, Texas.
vbering (Pullman WA)
Welcome to America, babies. It's a rootin', tootin', shootin' kind of country! Don't like it? Move to Canada—if they'll let you in.
Nik (Europe)
@vbering It is so much easier to be a "Man" with a gun in your hand. You cant buy what you obivousely lack in your local gustore.
Kipa kathez (Nashy)
Pure, unadulterated lunacy. America is insane.
Vijay (India)
It looks like it has become acceptable in Amer to just kill
Pierre (France)
@Vijay "We’ve had justifiable shootings where potential victims have defended themselves" That is saying it all !
Watchman (Washington DC)
Not planning to visit Texas anytime soon.
Jean McK (Austin)
Or 49 other states-not just Texas!
Tex (Boston)
Disgusting and heartbreaking. So glad this native Texan doesn’t live there anymore.
ALyssa OZIER Zenelaku (Memphis)
This is precisely what I predicted to happen when I first learned about Texas moving with such a law back in 2019. I was arguing with my wife (ex wife now) who strongly defended the such idea. What I am trying to say is that I am not a genius to predict such things, it’s common sense. This is scary and this just getting started. It makes me sick to think that this is only to increase the crime rate nationally and inject fear into the public and hopefully, Texas still red in the 2024 election.
hello (there)
@ALyssa OZIER Zenelaku many millions of your fellow citizens had already come to the same conclusion.
Bill (Fremantle)
More cars, more car accidents. More guns? Well, work it out.
Jean McK (Austin)
And the 49 other states with the same law. The whole country’s attitude toward guns is a travesty.
Locals4Me (Texas)
I have read that Illinois has very strict gun laws and yet Chicago is an extremely high rate of gun violence. I think legislative attempts to reduce violence by gun laws are well-intentioned but may not be evidence-based. I do not believe young persons should have access to guns; but I don't know at what age they should be restricted. I do know that locking guns up in households with children or teens is a very good idea and ought to be required. I also see no need for automatic or semi-automatic weapons, nor large capacity ammunition clips. But what are the root problems of gun violence? What can be done about those?
AF (Texas)
@Locals4Me Hmmm. I've read that correlation is not the same as causality. It is rather likely that the causality runs other way. In areas with high amounts of gun crime - they enact laws to try to reduce it. Of course, because they can only enact laws in their jurisdiction, they won't have as much impact as hoped. This is especially true when virtually no regulations restrict gun sales in nearby areas or venues, such as gun shows.
NoGunsPlz (Illinois)
@Locals4Me the main reason guns are so plentiful in Chicago is the city's proximity to Indiana, where guns laws are lax. People buy guns in Indiana and sell them on the street in Chicago.
S.B. (S.F.)
@Locals4Me As long as people can buy a gun somewhere and then drive somewhere else in a car with the gun, the laws won’t work very well. The root cause of gun violence is that a lot of humans are violent and/or foolish, and they can get guns easily. That’s why many gun owners (like me) think that there should be national regulations concerning who can get a gun and what kind of training they should have. The whole ‘well-regulated militia’ thing, basically. Unfortunately a very vocal minority of the citizens would rather see this country self-destruct than have to obey any rules concerning firearms.
Bran lika (Canada)
Seems to me that many people are confused between the meanings of ‘freedom‘ and ‘absolute freedom‘. Freedom is the heaviest burden on an individual forcing him or her to behave according to the laws, bylaws, traditions, local morals, etc. In Texas's example of this gun absolute freedom, nothing prevents someone to use a weapon on another individual.
MHD (Los Angeles, Ca)
@Bran lika Why don't they just allow Javelin missiles? Then they could destroy each other's cars and houses with one shot.
JR (Philly)
I spent many summers and holidays in Texas as a child to visit one of my parents. After recent events concerning women's (lack of) reproductive rights and lax gun regulations, I don't think I would ever return. Wild West.
Jean McK (Austin)
Along with Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and all the other of the 50 states with permitless carry. We need national legislation!
C. Shridhar (Las Vegas)
A reasonable person would understand the difference between a right and a responsibility and that the two can be interlinked. The right to free speech is guaranteed under the constitution but courts have ruled that the right to free speech is limited when the results prove to be fatal or calamitous- such as the right to yell the word “fire” in a crowded theater. This implies that the right granted by the constitution goes hand in hand with the responsibility of using that right sensibly. It is thus impossible to understand why we, as an advanced civilization, have not attached responsibilities to the second amendment, especially because the use of a firearm has immediate, in fact, split second lethal results. It is only in this area that our esteemed jurisprudence stubbornly adheres to “originalism” (punctuation included) to come up with how the framers of the “sacred” Second Amendment would interpret their intent in 21st century America (without even knowing what an AR-15 is let alone what it can do in the hands of the irresponsible.
RLG (Simsbury, CT)
At this point, there are so many guns in the hands of so many people who have no business carrying them that permitless, not permitless, open carry, concealed, whatever, it doesn't matter anymore. If the Second Amendment were repealed tomorrow, there would still be more than 300 million guns in this country. And then what? Wouldn't it take counter-legislation to ban those guns? Would that be federal legislation, or like abortion, left to the states to decide? This country's obsession with firearms became detached from the Second Amendment eons ago. It seems like there's nothing left to control it.
Scott S. (Brooklyn)
Without getting too much off-track, it is worthwhile to put the Second Amendment (capitalization optional) in sad, historical context. The land mass that forms the United States of America was taken by violent force, built by violent subjugation, and maintained by violent oppression. Fortunately for the early oppressors, a newly ramped-up industrial revolution spawned a fledgling firearm industry that provided then (as it provides now) unlimited cheap weaponry for those with some brainpower and legal access. Fast forward to 2020, with modern gun technology, mass production's flooded market, and the oppressor's steady decline toward becoming a mathematical minority. Why are we surprised that guns are being fired everywhere, every hour of every day by both sides and by everyone in between?
Midwesterner (Cincinnati)
You know, I wouldn't be surprised if John Lott, the "More Guns, Less Crime" guy gets money from the gun industry. His statements sound way too much like the climate change denying "researchers" who were/are on the dole of the oil and gas industry. And let's not forget the "researchers" paid by cigarette companies to dispute the negative effects of cigarettes. But seriously, so many of these stories make me want to leave this country.
Simon Li (New York)
We must take it one step further. Poor people, especially those of color, cannot afford guns to protect themselves as these new regulations would have it. We need a program to help them arm themselves: gun stamps. Like food stamps, these gun stamps would allow the gunless poor to arm themselves. In a country where we have the right to bear arms, gun costs should be subsidized heavily by the government for those who do not have the means to purchase a weapon and ammunition. Please support a federal gun stamps program, which of course would forbid the purchase of designated luxury guns and luxury ammunition (hollow point bullets, for example). Just working weapons and ammunition for the needy.
Peter (Houston, TX)
The problem, to me, is too many people with little or no prior experience with firearms who lack the maturity to carry and use them safely. I've known many hunters who grew up in a culture of gun safety taught by their parents. Their rifles are taken out of gun cabinets during deer and duck hunting seasons and then cleaned and put back. My son-in-law is a gun collector who keeps his firearms (handguns, hunting rifles and military rifles) in a large gun safe. The firearms only come out for trips to a shooting range. He and the experienced hunters are not the problem. But I've known five people who have been killed by firearms: two during robberies and three during domestic disputes. Permit less carry and more people purchasing hand-guns means more opportunities for guns to be stolen and then used by criminals. More guns in the hands of immature owners who shoot wildly will lead to more unnecessary deaths like that of Arlene Alvarez. My next-door neighbor here in Texas is a police officer. He leaves each morning wearing a bullet proof vest. He has two small children under the age of three. He runs a risk anytime he stops a motorist because the driver could be armed. He joined the police force after a career in the military so he could continue to serve his country and community. Why should he be in potential danger from someone or anyone who can own and carry a gun just because it is now so easy to have one?
barbara (santa cruz ca)
@Peter a coworker at a party pulled a gun in an argument and his lifelong best friend tried to calm them down and was shot dead by his friend who then used the gun to kill himself. booze and guns are a poor mix
KSB (Oregon)
I am an architect. I am required by the state of Texas to have a license to practice, and to obtain that license I have to be fingerprinted and attest to no felony convictions. But I can get a gun with no license. Why?
JP (Hua Hin)
@KSB Not "Why", 'Who'. Wayne LaPierre.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@KSB Why are people not absolutely furious that they have to wait in line at the local DMV to pass tests to obtain a driving license? If we don’t need regulations on guns, why have them on cars?
Son Of Liberty (nyc)
Liberals can critisize them all they want but Republicans have ensured that America leads the world among 64 high-income countries so that the United States stands out for its high levels of gun violence. Firearm injuries are more frequent in places where people have easy access to firearms and Age-adjusted firearm homicide rates in the US are 13 times greater than they are in France, and 22 times greater than in the European Union as a whole. The US has 23 times the rate of firearm homicide seen in Australia. All of this must be the the society that people who vote Republican dream of... Or they would be promoting gun control.
Calico (VA)
@Son of Liberty This year USA ranks 129 on list of safest to least countries with number one being the safest. Since 2016 we’ve steadily dropped lower on the list. Only a couple of years ago we ranked 124 which is still terrible. Congratulations NRA and GOP.
Matt Weinstein (USA)
How lovely to be moving back to the habits and mores of the 19th century frontier. Welcome to our dystopian future, brought to us courtesy of Texas Republicans.
Jean McK (Austin)
And the 49 other states with the same law. Appalling.
Kevin (oslo)
Don't want to live in a place where at least 40% of the population thinks countless numbers of loose guns, everyone packing, and lax laws are a good idea. Many states in the U.S. seem in a hurry to get back to the 19th century. Or rather some dystopian version of the 19th century.
Mark Proulx (Des Moines, WA)
I’ve lived through the Cold War, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, Watergate, several recessions, and other events that at the time seemed like existential threats to our nation. As awful as these were, at no time did I stop believing that we would persevere. Given the mass insanity that has gripped our society, I am no longer confident that we will.
Michael B (New Orleans)
Where in the Constitution is the Second Amendment restricted by age? If the Constitution protects the unborn, shouldn't it protect everyone's enjoyment of their Second Amendment rights? If those who drafted the Second Amendment intended it to be qualified by age, they were perfectly capable of drafting it that way, as they did with respect to federal elective office. But they didn't.
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
@Michael B For over 240 years states and localities enforced various requirements for gun ownership with NO problems, it's only our current fanatical, dogmatic and insane SCOTUS that is helping destroy our social peace and well being.
Russ (Whatcom County, WA)
Each state is a laboratory of democratic experimentation. For Texas to just eliminate gun regulations is only a half-baked attempt at anarchy. With Texas allowing uncontrolled access to guns, perhaps it is time for them to experiment with getting rid of police and the courts, allowing each resident to follow or enforce laws as they see fit. While we might guess how this would turn out, we have never actually tried it. The national debate on law and order vs. anarchy would benefit if Texas gives anarchy a chance to show whether it works or not.
Joe (Sausalito,CA)
The police are trained, retrained, and retrained to fire accurately under pressure, while watching their background. Would a cop have taken that shot? Probably not. Mr. Earls may have been legally carrying in TX, but he is a lethally bad shot, and devoid of judgement.
barbara (santa cruz ca)
@Joe not always. have read of cases of 20 or 30 shots to kill a tied up dog and of police shooting each other. lots of police forces and training varies.
Jean McK (Austin)
And you shouldn’t shoot someone because they stole some money!!! Reasonable force does not mean killing somebody any time you want!
Jay E. Simkin (Nashua, NH)
@Joe What you claim to be so, rarely is so. Few cities and towns will spend what's needed, to ensure officers' competence with firearms. The reason: in almost all places, officers rarely have to draw their pistols, except to train. Few officers - unless a Special Forces (SF) veteran - have ever been in a shoot-out. SF members are trained to shoot - accurately - while moving. That training is time-consuming and so very costly. Few towns and cities see the need.
Daniel (Chicago)
I’ll never understand why the powerful police unions don’t back tighter gun control or the complete ban of guns. Wouldn’t that exponentially make their members safer and their jobs easier?
Anon Contributor (USA)
Gun ownership as envisioned by our Founding Fathers was predicated on preventing abuse by a state become too powerful, at a time when citizens were at par with state security forces in terms of weaponry, physical fitness, and training. Today's government, private conglomerates and enterprises (the establishment) are all armed to the teeth and so deeply entrenched in our lives, that there's nothing the average individual can do to stop their influence, by way of gun ownership. Brandishing their piddly pistol or AR won't get them anywhere. All they end up doing is shooting common folks like themselves and causing more chaos and disruption within their communities. I reckon a section of gun owners back in the day (since the 1900s) thought that because they owned guns, they could prevent what they believed to be "government overreach" by preventing the following: women's suffrage, ending segregation, inter-racial marriage, immigration, legalizing homosexuality, abortion, civil rights for people unlike them...all these were legalized despite a section of people who opposed such measures owning guns. Abortion is under scrutiny again, but that did not happen because people own guns today. So it makes me wonder, what societal changes were gun owners able to prevent?
George Karman (France)
Why should you have to be 21? That's a clear infringement on the 2nd Amendment. Let them all have handguns. Let the only criterion be whether they can hold one, and let's not require that to be a with both hands, either.
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
@George Karman Yes! Under Texas logic that 9 year old child SHOULD have been armed to defend herself! And that makes perfect sense to them.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Their second amendment rights, denies my first amendment right because If I exercise my first amendment right, They will use their second amendment against me. Certainly sounds like a Supreme Court desire. It must be what they wanted.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
I was quite serious. I tried to converse with a Trump addict who still displays his Trump sign, and simply agreed very politely nodding my head to the man wearing the gun.
Steve (San Diego)
So a state can regulate building codes, labor, working conditions, insurance , healthcare and cars. But they cannot regulate the one thing designed specifically to injure or kill human beings: Guns. Almost 40 years ago, I was in a London pub. A group of men were being too noisy and rowdy so the bartender had to call the bobbies to get them to leave. They came and those guys left that pub as if they were--excuse the bad metaphor--fired out of cannon. The I never felt so safe in my life in a big city.
Jay E. Simkin (Nashua, NH)
New Hampshire (NH) has few laws as to firearms. At least since 2001 - with a one-year lapse - it has been among the three safest states in the Union. NH has never had a training requirement. Massachusetts (MA) with many complex and restrictive laws as to firearms, at least since 2001 has had an incidence of violent crime at least twice that of NH. Data source: FBI, "Crime in the United States" [CiUS], 2001-20, usually Table 4. FBI data account for population size: the metric is violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Further, in 2017 NH ended compulsory licensure for concealed carry. In 2019, New Hampshire replaced Vermont as the second-safest state. While Massachusetts licenses concealed carry of firearms, local police chiefs decide to whom to issue (or not). While MA does not ban open carry, those who do this are likely to be arrested. In NH, open carry has always been lawful. In 2020, the incidence of violent crime in NH fell, despite the pandemic, by about 7% (basis 2019). The incidence of murder in NH also fell, to 0.9/100,000, versus a national level of 6.5 per 100,000. (FBI, "CiUS", 2020, Table 1). In NH, murders are so few, that the Attorney General prosecutes all murders. County prosecutors aren't adept at such prosecutions. That's as it should be. Hint: population density isn't relevant. Several western states e.g., - Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas - are far larger than is NH, but with smaller populations. These states have higher incidence of violent crime.
Stacey (San Francisco)
Sorry, what exactly is your point? Everyone who wants/believes in permitless gun possession should move to NH? Should laws be written for exceptions or the rule? You fail to define what the magic ingredient is that keeps NH gun owners from shooting up the state, which would then encourage more restrictive states to follow its lead.
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
So, what’s your point? New Hampshire has less crime than other, Western states with similarly liberal gun laws because… y’all are just so darn special?
Jay E. Simkin (Nashua, NH)
@Stacey Thank you for your questions! My point: nasty and restrictive "gun control' laws aren't needed in NH, because NH has few residents, given to using lethal force improperly. The two demographic groups most given to improper use of lethal force are African-American Americans and Hispanics. That many such incline to misuse lethal force is intellectual toxic waste produced by centuries of racist oppression. Slavery was common in Africa, whence captives were sold for transport to British colonies in the Americas. Enslaved Africans risked their lives, if - to resolve a dispute - they went to an overseer or an owner. Both disputants might be flogged or even sold, never again to see their families. Disputes were resolved "man-to-man". Mexico's Aztecs kept slaves, often sacrificing war captives en masse. Spanish conquerors and their successors, for centuries treated Native Mexicans as "sub-human". So, in Native Mexican communities, disputants dared not risk going to Spanish authorities. Settling disputes "man-to-man" - for centuries - became "received wisdom". Firearms' advent enabled faster and more final dispute resolutions. Because NH - relative to MA - has far fewer African-Americans and Hispanics, (for centuries enslaved and/or oppressed), NH residents tend to take disputes to Courts, rather than to settle them "man-to-man". So, the ready availability of firearms does not conduce to violent crime in NH, most of which is rooted in drug thugs' activities.
William (Austin, TX)
That is the inherent contradiction with widespread gun ownership. When everyone has a gun, no one is safe.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@William I own firearms. They are safely tucked away in a safe only to emerge when I venture to the shooting range. I consider myself a responsible owner and have not felt the need to “pack heat” while shopping. We responsible owners may fulfill your prophesy as we may also feel threatened.
Bill (Lone Tree)
The problem with a gun is that if it is loaded and ready to use, it more dangerous to you and your family than anyone else. If it isn't ready to use you won't prevent crime as an armed criminal won't give you the time to load it. The more guns there are, the more likely they are to be stolen or be found by young family members. I think we will see gun ownership as a factor in insurance rates. They are a lot more dangerous than a trampoline.
JPT (EV)
Last week, Canada enacted a nationwide ban on handgun sales, purchases and transfers. In the United States, we have a total free-for-all. Why can they do this and we can't?
Calico (VA)
@JPT Because Canada doesn’t have a constitutional with a second amendment which has been deliberately misinterpreted by the NRA, GOP as being inshrined. So they, can put restrictions on gun ownership the way the majority of the rest of the world can restrict it.
Jason Smith (Seattle)
@JPT their right wing has yet to tear down their society to the extent they pander with blood. But it’s coming.
solar farmer (Connecticut)
If the possession of handguns in Texas is ubiquitous and unregulated, then it's only fair if there are handgun rental booths at all major airports, bus terminals and train stations (like rental cars) so travelers entering Texas are equally armed and can take some measure of comfort in knowing they can shoot their way out of Texas should the 'need' arise.
j m (midwest)
Could a civil case be brought against Earls? A settlement would never be enough for killing an innocent child, but maybe it would help make people think twice before firing without really knowing who they are shooting at.
Henry (C)
This is the way of life the people of Texas have chosen for themselves and the lives of innocent children appear to be the acceptable price of this choice. If they wanted to change the gun laws they could, but they don’t. We can say the gun lobby this and the politicians that, but ultimately the people have decided. 29 million people and counting seem perfectly fine with it. So why should the rest of us care anymore?
Calico (VA)
@Henry Because they can carry their weapons with them when they cross state lines and are unlikely to bother checking if the gun laws in your state are different.
Austin Ouellette (Denver, CO)
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Rick “Freeway” Ross was taught how to make crack by the CIA. Even picked up his cocaine shipments on the military bases in California. Republicans *know* the guns they’re selling are being transported across state lines into cities to fuel violence. It’s not a bug. It’s not even the feature. It’s the base code of the entire program. Just like Nixon and Reagan *wanted* the poor and middle class streets of cities flooded with violence and drugs. So too, do modern Republicans. The best way to achieve that end? Make guns and ammo as easy to get and cheap to purchase as possible. Looking at this from the perspective of a sane person who values quality of life and the possibility of a country unified on principles of respect and human dignity, these decisions make no sense. From the perspective of someone who WANTS multiple mass shootings every day, these decisions make perfect sense.
Jared (Vt)
The article certainly had a point of view, but where is the evidence? Have shootings gone up in places that passed permitless carry laws? Has crime overall or violent crime gone down? The article has a few anecdotes and opinions, but it mostly sounded like shootings and crime had both declined since the law passed. Is this true? Show the data (albeit preliminary).
brooklynboy (colorado)
No one has a problem with vigilantism "Last October in Port Arthur, Texas, a man with a handgun, who had a license, saw two armed robbers at a Church’s Chicken and fired through the drive-through window, fatally striking one of the men and wounding the other. His actions were praised by the local district attorney." This is not a Batman story. The man was not directly involved with the robbery and most probably without any appropriate training, self deputized himself to execute and wound a pair of dullards who were desperate enough to try to steal a few hundred bucks from a third tier fast food restaurant. Did he save us tax dollars and possibly an innocent life? Probably. Is it his right to be judge, jury and executioner? Absolutely not and it is horrifying that a government official would encourage such behavior. What if an innocent bystander became a quadriplegic because of this man's need to be a hero? He was lucky to have saved the day. I'd rather pay more taxes to see more properly trained officers and an appropriate jobs program that would prevent some from resorting to robbery. Would a universal basic income be a potential solution?
Y H (San Francisco)
Why isn’t this man under arrest for manslaughter? He did not intend to kill the young girl, but he did and should be held responsible.
Calico (VA)
Because every state has different laws as if we’re made up of 50 mini-countries now. And the same is now true for abortion rights.
dave (CT)
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." What does well regulated actually mean? Not many criminals need permits to carry pistoils. Who protects the law abiding citizen?
Joe (Ohio)
I know it’s no longer safe to travel in Texas. Is it safe transferring at Texas airports? Many of the flights I take have me changing at DFW.
Calico (VA)
@Joe TSA confiscates weapons so no one should be able to get through security with a weapon, so as long as you stay in the secure areas on the other side of TSA, you should be fine.
Rod Simmons (Oakland, cA)
Too bad. So sad. Maybe Law Enforcement should have supported gun control regulations. Now that cat is so far out of the bag, that you cannot stand a chance of finding them all.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
Only someone who wanted to destroy this country would support permitless carry with no training, no inspection and no liability insurance requirements. It’s like they want us to devolve into chaos. The only person who would want this is a foreign autocrat seeking American destruction.
Reader (Ithaca)
Texas and similar states are tilting in the legal direction of affirming that the person who has the gun has the right to use it, and the person who’s receives the bullets doesn’t have any rights: they were shot because they deserve it, or because they were in the way. This is a kind of no-fault gun regime. No good will come of this.
Mickey (Princeton, NJ)
The Second Amendment has been the most misinterpreted statement in US history. A great fraud indeed.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
It’s time to drop the hammer on the myth that gun violence and death is a ‘big city inner city’ problem and let reality sink in. These are the ten states with the highest incidence of death by gun per 100,000 population (2017 statistics): Alaska - 24.5 per 100k people Alabama - 22.9 per 100k people Montana - 22.5 per 100k people Louisiana - 21.7 per 100k people Mississippi - 21.5 per 100k people Missouri - 21.5 per 100k people Arkansas - 20.3 per 100k people Wyoming - 18.8 per 100k people West Virginia - 18.6 per 100k people New Mexico - 18.5 per 100k people States ranked 11 through 20 are also ‘deep red’ states like Idaho, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Kansas. The lowest incidence of death by gun? Try New York and Massachusetts, 3.7 per 100k; Connecticut and New Jersey, about 5 per 100k; California, about 8 per 100k. See a pattern here? Just as with deaths from covid-19, deaths from gunfire are strongly associated with ‘conservative Republican’ government. Imagine that.
Chuck (Bethesda, MD)
Is there a Constitutional right to shoot a little girl because you're upset someone is running away from you with your wallet? That's pretty far removed from coming to the defense of the government, the only purpose of bearing arms mentioned in the 2nd amendment.
coale johnson (5000 horseshoe meadow road)
law enforcement nation wide needs to stand united, clearly and loudly for better more restrictive gun laws. period. the only reason I can think of that they do not is that their members are casualties of NRA and republican propaganda.
Patrick (USA)
I can't help but think future Texas officers deaths will increase and my sympathy for them and their families loss will sadly decrease. It's just reality.
Stephen Baddeley (Sydney)
I shudder to think I spent 3 nights in San Antonio a few years ago and walked the River Walk alone late at night to catch up with some friends. That will never happen again knowing what I know now about Texas, and the attitude to unlicensed [untrained] carry
Kevin (Los Angeles)
Even in the 'Wild West', folks had to turn their guns in when they came into town didn't they?
TRF (St Paul)
"a man jumping from his car and opening fire at the driver of Tesla in a fit of road rage..." This story is about runaway gun culture in Texas. Why is it important to note the brand of the car the victim of a shooting was driving?
Cherie (Houston)
@TRF I’m not certain, but it might be relevant that the incident was caught from beginning to end, from several angles, on Tesla’s cameras. Because of those cameras, people saw the shooter driving aggressively, using the shoulder of the highway to catch up to and then get in front of the Tesla. The shooter got to a wide turn in the road and stopped, waiting for the Tesla to catch up. As the Tesla rounds that turn, the shooter is standing there firing round after round into the Tesla as it drives by. I was astonished that the Tesla’s driver wasn’t killed. The whole thing is shocking because viewing the video the Tesla captured felt like you were witnessing it yourself. That is almost as real as it gets - until it happens to you anyway.
Ms Dudley Martin (Los Angeles)
Because all those driving Tesla’s should be shot at? Just kidding. Stupidity is not a capital defense. There are much better electric cars out there but surely we shouldn’t punish those who have no taste?
Independent (the South)
Isn't the shooter guilty of manslaughter?
Lost in Translation (WA)
@Independent No, because he used a gun.
Chas (Carlsbad,California)
@Independent. He should be charged with 2nd degree murder.
TonyP (England)
I cannot imagine how ordinary life is lived in Texas, knowing that falling foul, however slightly, of the feelings or sentiment of a complete stranger may mean your life ends within a split second.
Cupric (US)
@TonyP we Americans can't either. There's a reason why Texas has a reputation for being dysfunctional. One of my friends left after her power was out for a week+ during Ted Cruz's vacation in Cancun. Her stories were insane, it's like a foreign country over there.
David R (NYC)
So why would it be legal to shoot someone? If the robber was fleeing, shooting him couldn't be in self defense. You couldn't pay me to step foot in Texas, and I'm not even a woman.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@David R What’s that supposed to mean?!
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
@Susan I believe David was referring to Texas’s draconian forced birth laws.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
@Susan: I imagine he is referring to the medieval laws in Texas governing a woman’s rights to medical care, including contraception and abortion. Guns aren’t the only barbaric and deadly aspect of life in Texas under the Trumpublican Christian nationalist regime.
MH (Cambridge MA)
Unbelievable! I guess they think cars are more dangerous than guns.
SK (TX)
I thought one should only use a gun only if they are in immediate danger. And should not there be a law that says you should be a good shooter before you can carry one? Clearly this guy shot an innocent child. And for what: money?
Tim Perry (Fort Bragg, CA)
So now each of us faces the Hobson’s Choice of carrying a weapon or being confronted by some jerk with a gun. We travel to another part of the state and find ourselves in a milieu of concealed carry. Worst, we have to live in fear thacc Shot Liberty Valance, Destry Rides Again) but even those characters had to face a gunman in the end. Bah.
Herman Torres (Fort Worth, Texas)
But these policies resulted in Gov. Abbott receiving plenty of air time on Fox News!
E Cerbone (California)
When you don’t vote this is what happens. If you buy into Republicans lies, you get this.
Mary Beth (MA)
A few years ago , before Covid hit, I went to the wonderful Quilt Show in Houston, Texas. I had expected I would go again. Not now, not ever. I lived in Houston for a couple of years, years ago. Met some wonderful, nice people back then. Can’t imagine the mind set of a population that accepts a return to the Wild West, shoot ‘‘em up, guns everywhere mentality. I wouldn’t go back to Texas if you paid me.
Cherie (Houston)
@Mary Beth I know of the Quilt show you mentioned. It is truly a collection of some of the best work I’ve ever seen. They are, in a word, Masterpieces. It is a shame that you won’t come to this event again. You’ll be missed. But maybe - if this very decision is made repeatedly by millions of people that come to Texas for these huge events … bah, who am I kidding. These people love their guns more than they love a functional economy. I’m still sorry to hear this though.
jaded (middle of nowhere)
@Mary Beth I hate to break it to you, but Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have all passed permit-less carry laws. I was shocked to find out that this kind of idiocy isn't confined to the South.
J House (NY,NY)
‘Police face an armed public’ Criminals also face an armed public.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
Innocent children also face an armed public.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@J House Didn’t deter the robber in this article, did it?
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
@J House Yep, armed everyone faces armed everyone. What could possibly go wrong??
Hal (Dallas)
So the shooter was part of a well regulated militia and was given an order by his superior to shoot at a robber running away?
jack sherman (Maine)
Thank God I do not have to live in Texas! The gun homicide rate is ten times greater than in Northern New England--where we have strict gun laws. Texas thinks they are such "tough guys." what a joke. I'll avoid that sorry state for the rest of my life.
Ag (Ca)
@jack sherman gun laws in Maine are not strict. People have guns, just aren’t shooting at each other a lot.
Auger (Australia)
So shooting at a fleeing robber and potentially killing them is acceptable use of a gun? Missing them and killing an innocent child is acceptable risk? Man, is that messed up.
Christopher (Westchester County)
Well, fortunately the democrats in Texas nominated a candidate who is utterly incapable of winning a statewide or national election. What are the statistics on permitless carrying people shooting themselves in the foot?
MrMac (Texas USA)
@Christopher No one knows because the "Dickey Amendment" bars the government from collecting statistics on firearm violence.
Robert (Boston)
When Alabama’s “permitless carry” law goes into effect in January, half of the states in the nation, from Maine to Arizona, will not require a license to carry a handgun. This makes it much easier to plan my vacations; don't want to end up like Arlene Alvarez.
slogan (California)
Not only good for the gun industry, but casket sales will probably see a boost as well. Texas, leading the way in job growth.
WorldPeace24/7 (SE Asia)
OMG! I am now unfortunately in the South and I have to go back to the west via Texas. My Heaven help me. Every person thinking of supporting the GOP should be forced to read this and stand in front of the Alvarez family and say "Too bad about your loss, your daughter was at the wrong place." Of course, Arlene Alvarez was, she was in Texas. Had she been in California, she would probably be running around today having fun with her friends, as kids are known to do, as she should have been. Shame on Texas. I extend my heartfelt sorrow to the Alvarez Family.
Erik (Utah)
One thing that is misleading in this article is that Tony Earls didn't miss the robber and hit Arlene Alvarez; he saw a truck driving past slowly, decided it must be related and shot twice into the truck not knowing who he was shooting at. Which in my mind, makes that fact that he wasn't charged even more ridiculous.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Erik So not only are people not required to be trained to shoot, they are also excused from any irrational, fear-based decisions/actions while shooting. Great.
sasha (Wa)
@Erik absolutely chilling and disturbing.
Cherie (Houston)
@Erik Exactly. He just assumed the thief might have been in that vehicle and shot it. It is, hands down, one of the single most irresponsible decisions a brand jury can make. There are an awful lot of people just looking for an excuse to use their firearm on someone. They are precisely the type of person that shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms, and always the ones ranting about their freedoms and the 2nd.
Miguel (Seattle)
I fail to see why that guy who killed the 9 year old was not indicted. Thr whole thing is open carry, and that's it. They're allowed to carry their guns, not to shoot it indiscriminately with completely disregard to the loves of those around. That's murder, plain and simple.
Chas (Carlsbad,California)
@Miguel You are correct sir. 2nd degree murder charge at the very least.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
Everyone shopping in a grocery store, watching a movie in a theater, partying at a nightclub, going to church, or simply walking down the street in full tactical gear, with a bullet proof vest and with a fully loaded AR-15? It's a NRA/GOP dream come true. Why? Because, according to them, there's no better way for people to be safe from gun violence than by having everyone and their mother armed to the teeth. America? It's now an open-air asylum/shooting gallery. All thanks to the GOP and their supporters!
Chas (Carlsbad,California)
@Chicago Guy You are missing the point of the permit less carry law. If everyone is armed and can shoot anyone then theoretically everyone in Texas will be killed by everyone else carrying a gun. It’s a well disguised way to control unchecked population growth. Pure genius by Governor Abbott.
Steve (Charlotte)
I feel a lot safer in Texas than I do in New York City.
Groucho Marxist (Canada)
@Steve You and many others "feel" things, but often those feelings are not borne out by the facts. Sometimes, indeed often, the facts are the exact opposite. Should laws be based on those feelings or on the facts? Well if enough people can be persuaded that the lie is the fact, you get ...Texas. So lets look at the facts: I found 2020 figures for Violent Crime Rate per 100000 population. Texas: 446.5 NYC: 363.3 Perhaps this will change your thinking, perhaps not. But I know that I'd prefer public policy to be reality-based, a point of view which I admit may be extinguished by Congress after the mid-terms.
Rosita (NYC)
By all means stay away from New York then.
Carlyle T. (NYC)
@Steve I wonder then why almost 9 millon people live here fairly happy and safe...300 or so gun killings among 8-9 million inhabitants is a pretty low number .
Mark Young (NorCal)
It's an experiment. My sympathies for the guinea pigs.
Huey (Daleville)
A beautiful girl was killed by a reckless act. He should be held accountable for reckless homocide. Just because your gun is “legal”, doesn’t mean your reckless conduct resulting in the death of a child is legal. Just because your car is legal doesn’t mean you are free to kill people with it intentionally or unintentionally.
Chris Williams (Chicago)
I have never owned a gun, never wanted to until recently. I'm still thinking about it. I live in Chicago. Here, crime is rampant, and it seems as if there are very few real consequences. Bottom line: in a democratic society we give a monopoly of force to law enforcement. When that breaks down, and law enforcement is no longer able to protect people, people are highly inclined to arm themselves. I don't want to shoot anyone, but I also don't want to be a victim. For now, I'm sticking with the idea that I can avoid having to own a gun, waiting out for a few years until I retire and I can get the heck out of this city. I took a concealed carry class, got familiar with shooting. I don't like it, but I feel trapped. I don't want to stay in my house all the time. Defund the police? This is absolutely what you get - people who recognize that the monopoly on force is removed from police when you demonize and defund police. So more guns. Thanks progressives.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
Don't blame progressives for a violent, armed society of haves and have nots. Progressives are trying to stop it. And where in this country has anyone actually defunded the police?
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Chris Williams This, you know that Chicago had a bad crime problem before there were calls for defunding the police. Defunding the police is asinine, but so is thinking that guns shouldn’t be regulated.
ham (smithtown)
I encourage all red states to continue ignoring Covid and the dangers of firearms for anyone who can hold a gun. Hopefully by 2028 all of this will sort itself out.
Chas (Carlsbad,California)
@ham Couldn’t agree more. Time to thin the herd.
JK (Australia)
Happy to live in Australia. Far far away from this madness.
Mike H (Baton Rouge, LA)
Please. The police have faced an "armed public" for as long as we've been a country. Unlawful behavior will still be unlawful, and otherwise lawful citizens now won't need to jump through a bunch of ridiculous bureaucratic hoops whose roots are firmly entrenched in Jim Crow-era laws that were meant to make it more difficult (read: impossible) for black people to exercise a fundamental and Constitutionally-protected right.
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
@Mike H Sure. “Buy more guns to stamp out racism.” That takes a nice little bit of logic twisting, but you managed it and prevailed.
IJT (Davenport)
A degree of insanity and criminal negligence by the state. The state return to its old western childis roots and the death of civilized society
Unbelievable (Staunton, VA)
Well pardner- we’re back on the good ole range with the boys and girls from the OK Corral which has apparently landed in Tx. Stay tuned for more fun as the Corral begins to land in other states.
Bill B. (Not where I want to be)
Somehow, I did not know this shocking law. Earls murdered a 9 year old girl and he goes free?! I wouldn't step foot in this state again. It's nearly lawless and it's dangerous.
Ryan (San Diego)
One more reason to never step foot in Texas. I haven’t been to that state in years, purposefully, and won’t ever go back. Build a wall around Texas and Florida.
Manny Pedi (Depends Upon The Day)
So can we now drive without permits or licenses? Guns kill. Cars kill. No difference really.
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
Big difference: the central purpose of cars is not killing. But yeah, we need licenses all the same because they’re dangerous anyway. That’s just common sense — something conspicuously absent from Second Amendment hard-liners. All the rights with none of the responsibilities. Yee-haw!
Fritz O'Schenia (Animal Farm)
Texas as a political entity is seriously deranged and amoral. What does this say about its citizenry who is directly responsible for the insanity?
Bruce (New Mexico)
I will not step out of the DFW airport.
KP (NJ)
Let’s see where the jury stands when a WOMAN uses a permit less gun to defend herself from a significant other who is abusing or raping her in Texas. Then who will have the rights? They are all in it for themselves, it has nothing to do with freedom or rights for all, just for them.
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
@KP Clearly, the time has come to arm embryos. Being microscopic and surrounded by amniotic fluid is no excuse for depriving these Texans of their God-given right to pack heat. Those abortion docs may rethink their career choices when the ultrasound screen shows a tiny-but-powerful AK-47, locked and loaded.
Lauren (Stamford, CT)
Tony Earls' life was "upended." What about the lives of Arlene Alvarez and her family?
ABly (New York)
This is the inevitability of everyone having a gun, good luck, enjoy it.
sissifus (australia)
...fatally shooting 9-year-old Arlene Alvarez while shooting at a fleeing robber... All good, no conviction. From outside the USA, we are looking at you in wonder. A well regulated militia. What a confused mess.
Independent In (Texas)
I think this insane law -- to allow almost anyone to conceal carry with NO training -- was a way for the Republican Party of Texas to "buy" votes from guys. Like Trump, the Rs are motivating an underbelly of disenfranchised men to vote for them to stay in office. For Rs it's all about power.
Ken (Portland, OR)
According to a local news report, Mr. Earls fired two shots directly into the vehicle that the little girl was in because he believed the vehicle was associated with the man who robbed him. The vehicle was not associated in any way. https://www.khou.com/amp/article/news/local/tony-earls-attorney-new-details-arlene-alvarez-case/285-31d06c6b-666a-4f63-a737-983a7be173e7
Joe M (Australia)
Wow. Doesn’t that make Texas dangerous for tourists? You will have to be super nice to everyone? Can you hire a gun and a ten gallon hat at the arrival airport? Doesn’t seem safe if all the locals are armed to the teeth and visitors walk around totally defenseless in this Texas world of guns. What’s the new travel advice for Texas?
Independent In (Texas)
I think this insane law -- to allow almost anyone to conceal carry with NO training -- was a way for the Republican Party of Texas to "buy" votes from guys. Like Trump, the Rs are motivating an underbelly of disenfranchised men to vote for them to stay in office. For Rs it's all about power.
Just Me (nyc)
Taken to its logical conclusion... What could possibly go wrong?
Caroline S (New York, NY)
Every illegal gun started as a legal gun. The easier it is to get them legally, the more illegal guns there are. There are two proven ways to actually lower crime; less guns and less poverty. Good luck with that, Texas!
Spencer (St. Louis)
This country has gone absolutely insane. I am seriously considering becoming an ex-pat.
Tom T (UES)
Half of all states in the United States allow permitless carry of handguns? I think that’s the most astonishing point in this article.
Lauren B (Wisconsin)
Sounds like a Kyle Rittenhouse ruling. What is wrong with our country?
Frank (USA)
My family and I will never live in, work in or visit Texas for any reason.
DZ (Wyiot Ancestral Territory)
Wait, what? More guns has led to more shootings? Who would've thought?
Bruce B (New Mexico)
I guess Trump is not the only person who can shoot someone and get by with it. Ordinary citizens can shoot people without being convicted as well.
revfred2000 (93921)
I'm certainly glad in January I will viewing this American Circus permanently from a sane country. Hyperawareness in a gun culture and especially in the city of Minneapolis, MN is tiring and stressful. It will be heaven to be shed of that stress.
Stacey CT (Connecticut)
@revfred2000 Take me with you. Please.
Tim Hailstone (France)
What a strange land is America. Techologically and educationally advanced but at the same time only semi-civilised. Its citizens shoot one another at rate unknown in the rest of the civilised world and fifty million of them have access to only very basic health care. Higher infant mortality and lower adult literacy than its close neighbour, Cuba. If I had a god I would thank him that I don't live there.
George W (Portland Or)
Just another in a long list of reasons to not set foot in that state. Pity, used to be a nice place to visit.
Sean D (USA)
The perptrators of such idiodic laws never seem to suffer the consequences. This is a result of actual trickle-down, not the false claims of T-D economics. Trickle down injury and death.
Mark L. (Wisconsin)
In a state like that, your ability to do everyday things, things that residents of other states take for granted, depends entirely on your firepower and your marksmanship. If you're not a good shot, you're stuck.
Paul (Bellerose Terrace)
Gun licensing is not like licensing drivers. Even with gun licensing, there is no requirement to demonstrate proficiency, responsibility, or to carry liability insurance. In the aftermath of a police shooting near the Empire State Building that killed a man who had killed someone, but also had wounded nine bystanders, all wounded by police bullets, the NYPD, widely lauded as the best police department in the world, undertook a deep analysis of shootings by its highly trained officers, required to demonstrate proficiency regularly. The NYPD found that, in active shooter situations, its widely praised officers hit their intended target with 30% of their shots fired. And, again for emphasis, this is the record of some of the best trained law enforcement professionals in the world. The idea that the great unwashed, not to mention untrained, can do better is a fabulism stoked by way too many movies and TeeVee shows, where outcomes are crafted by screenwriters. We as a country are careening toward ballistic self destruction.
Anthony (Park slope)
Here’s a little secret. The nypd aren’t trained. Most officers do their mandated quals and that’s it, they barely touch let alone train with their service pistol for the rest of the year. The fact that you regard you fellow citizens as unwashed masses is also very telling.
JK (upstate)
A hugely undercovered aspect of the last 20 years of the gun control debate is the role of police unions, who have had the most to gain from gun control but have been weakly supportive or obstructive because of their other links to the Republican coalition. Sounds like some tune-changing may finally be happening on that front.
John R. (Arizona)
@JK Their unions fought to legally let a cop retired for 30+ years from say Iowa, to carry a gun legally in NYC. Meanwhile the local tax paying citizen of NY simply cannot.
The End Is Where We Start From (Little Gidding)
So…what does “well regulated” mean cause this sure doesn’t look well or regulated to me?
Reader (Knoxville, TN)
@The End Is Where We Start From The founding fathers could never have imagined our current situation. Clearly it's not what they would have intended.
Drake (Santa Monica, CA)
It means "well functioning" in the parlance of the time, not "heavily regulated by the government".
William Shaw (Sun city AZ)
Agreed. And when will law enforcement wake up and swing Blue
Randy (Pa)
Eleven years ago we lived in the gun worshipping state of Texas where a distorted understanding of the Second Amendment was practically a religious belief. We decided to move back to the United States.
Not Pierre (Houston, TX)
I should the same. I need to get out. I moved for cheap housing prices and good jobs, and instead it’s a horror show where morals don’t exist and white republicans running it are frothing at the mouth to see who is most dangerous and lawless.
PGreider (Los Angeles)
@Not Pierre I left Texas 34 years ago and haven’t regretted it for a second. Even if I could buy a palace there for what my house here is worth.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
This is great news for all of us who have had it up to here with the GOP's "Assault Weapons For Everyone!" policy.
Brian (Tennessee)
I would go and commit a crime, but I'm not legally allowed to carry a gun...said no criminal ever. Permitless carry doesn't affect crime because criminals don't care about laws. This allows regular law abiding folks a chance to defend themselves.
M (Rochester)
The problem is all law abiding citizens are until they aren't. There are way more cases of people shooting it out over stupid reasons like road rage and domestic disputes than there are of people defending themselves from actual threats against their lives.
coale johnson (5000 horseshoe meadow road)
@Brian no. it allows them to shoot each other in anger, or by mistake with greater frequency.
Orlo (Dûern)
Deregulation creates criminals. Read the article (or at least the subheading.)
c-c-g (New Orleans)
Leave it to Texas - while Uvalde is still fresh on the mind of the nation and school shootings have become as frequent as pep rallies, now everyone over 18 can walk around with a loaded gun just like carrying car keys and your wallet. But what goes around comes around as Texas in the 1800s made famous the wild, wild west, and here they go again...
David Mallet (Point Roberts WA)
@c-c-g The 'wild west' is a myth. They had strict gun control: turning in your firearms when you entered a town.
Reader (Knoxville, TN)
@c-c-g You couldn't open or concealed carry in Tombstone Arizona in 1880. We've come a long way.
Mike S (CA)
@c-c-g Texas is not a place we do not plan to visit nor move to. A nine year old innocent bystander just lost her life by being shot by a gun toting Texan crazy shooting at robbers... Go figure, stupid is stupid. We need laws to protect people, not to allow fools to carry guns shooting at will!
RAM (USA)
The last hurrah for the Austin Film Festival. Starts tomorrow and ends on 11/3. Following that, Austin City Limits, then, The University of Texas, Austin, then… Austin is a ‘different’ Texas, but you gotta pass thru the ‘other’ Texas to get there.
Lisa (NYC)
@RAM Which is sad, cuz...I'll never visit that state, even with all the great things I've heard about Austin.
Concerned for Humanity (Everett, WA)
@RAM Ironically, Austin is the Capital of Texas and where all the bad thinking is turned into laws for Texans. I'll pass on Austin.
Not Pierre (Houston, TX)
Ummm, wasn’t the first mass shooting in the US from the tower on the UT campus?
Jim Hackett (Southport NC)
No license hand gun carry + no training leads to disaster. Again and again.
Steve the Stallion (Santa Fe)
@Jim Hackett you do not need training for a license. You just need to pay your dues and register your name
Graham Charles (San Francisco)
Gosh, why just adults, Gov. Abbott? The Constitution doesn’t have any age limits — kids should be allowed to permitless carry too! Unless you are saying that even the Bill of Rights should be subject to some commonsense limitations?
jahnay (ny)
@Graham Charles - there was that kid who brought his daddy's loaded gun to school for show and tell.
Not Pierre (Houston, TX)
Correct, the Bill of Rights is for everyone, even the unborn are now people and carry.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Graham Charles Yeah, why not let the kiddies? After all, there is a line of tot guns called Cricket, for the little ‘uns. Startin’ ‘em young will train ‘em up mighty fine…
Scanmike (Rockaway NY)
Everyday these stories become more outrageous. If I drive my car into someone accidently, even if I am chasing someone who just robed me, am I responsible? This country has become completely irresponsible. What justice is there for that family of the nine year old girl?
Paul (Bellerose Terrace)
@Scanmike A civil suit bankrupting the shooter who probably has next to no assets to attach…
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Scanmike Irresponsible? More like stark, raving mad…
East Roast (Here)
Wow, this makes no reasonable sense. I wouldn't move to Texas if you paid me. So sad. Such a remove from common sense and decent morality. It's time for the reasonable people and business to leave the state of Texas. If you can't afford the move, for any reason, a fund should be put in place to help relocations. Texas is closed.
A. Guy (NX)
@Easst Roast, a last best hope before we expel Texas for gross absurdity: Texans could elect Beto O’Rourke in two weeks. That would lead to some real hope.
Flyingoffthehandle (World Headquarters)
@East Roast So funny.
Eileen (California)
I grew up in Dallas, and lived for many years in Austin. I would be afraid to live in Texas now.
BKB (Rhode Island)
I hope Mr Earls loses everything in a civil suit, into the future. His home, his car, the clothes on his back. Not even an indictment for negligent homicide? If Texas does decide to secede, I’m all for it. They’ve jumped the shark.
Joe from Florida (Florida)
Opening paragraph. Pulled a gun and shot someone after being robbed. Self defense or retribution. There’s no easy way out of this mess.
James Mitchell (Everett WA)
@Joe from Florida Don't forget the dead nine-year-old girl.
michael kanellos (san francisco)
@Joe from Florida he's using deadly force to recover property. That has never been covered by self defense. There is also no right to retribution. If he was using a car to ram the robber and run over the 9 year old that would not be OK either
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Joe from Florida “After being robbed”—let the guy go; it’s not worth losing your life or killing someone else. Report the incident; the bank cameras will have the guy recorded for the police. And why would anyone commit armed robbery in a state where everyone is armed? Guess the possibility of getting shot wasn’t much of a deterrent here.
George (Houston ,TX)
Amazing that so-called pro-life conservatives don’t bat an eye when an innocent eight year old is tuned down by a careless gun toting individual.
Kathy (SF)
Why? "Pro-life" has nothing to do with life. It's the slogan misogynists use to try to interfere in women's medical decisions. They do fool people with it though.
DS (Oregon)
@George they would if her name was Emily Barrett.
Kathy (SF)
No, it isn't amazing. Men and religious busybodies want to control and oppress women. Anyone who believes they actually care about "babies" is just another dupe.
Michael Skadden (Houston, Texas)
And yet I'm afraid Texans will again vote for the fools that have led to the continuing slaughter of Texans. We never seem to learn. It does, look like, however, that Beto and others have a chance. But everyone has to go out and vote for him and other Democrats. The heavy early voting is encouraging. Maybe things will finally change.
ZP (Fall River, MA)
@Michael Skadden I have to say that I am amazed anyone runs for office or tries to change anything. News like this is so contrary to common sense and decency. Bless anyone willing to stand up for what is right. It is a violent and callous world out there.
Jon (Illinois)
“I think it would be appropriate to move the age for permitless carry to 18,” she told the committee. “There’s really no reason why a legal adult should not be able to defend themselves.” So the state doesn't trust an 18 year old to legally drink alcohol, and the car rental industry won't let anyone under 25 rent a car. But somehow someone thinks it'd be ok to let 18 year olds run around with guns on their hips... One more reason for me to never, ever visit/drive through/vacation in Texas. We have GOT to get over this stupid myth that guns are good, that they have a place/serve a purpose in modern society (they don't) that they make a person a true patriot/defender & preserver of all that is American. Before you all start piling on, know that I am a gun owner, former hunter and former gun salesperson at a major sporting goods retailer. I'm not one for outlawing guns, but I do think each and every gun that is sold should be sold to someone who truly understands/is forced to learn about the gravity of what they are holding in their hands. None of us seems to bray about having to go through driver's education in order to get a license to drive a car. Why not force all gun buyers to go through gunner's education to get a gun?
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Jon Jon, the second amendment should be repealed. Guns could still be legally sold, but the right to own and handle a gun should be a privilege earned the way the privilege of driving is earned. Written test that must be passed, gun safety classes that must be passed, licensing required, liability insurance required—or no gun.
Chas (Carlsbad,California)
@Susan You are preaching to the choir. The 2nd Amendment should have been repealed after WWII. Successfully passing mandatory education and training should be a prerequisite after a seven day background check to purchase any firearm. Period.
Linda C (Expat in Spain)
@Susan It's not really the second amendment. It's the current interpretation (ignoring the well regulated militia clause) that is the problem.
Ann (Barry)
Yet another reason to never step foot there.
Dave Lewis (Palmyra Va)
Living in Texas is a choice. For a lot of reasons it's not for me & I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who do choose to live there.
Traisea (Sebastian)
It’s almost as if the ruling class wants to rid itself of as many of us useless eaters as possible.
Kat (NC)
@Traisea So Strange right? If we can't buy their goods, what do they have left? I mean it's crazily antithetical. I don't want to think it's because they want "urbanites" to take "care" of themselves with handguns while essentially forcing their masses to get to whatever "term" they get to (i.e. hoping every pregnancy will get one more vote). This is just to [explicative] strange for me. I'm just uncomfortable reading this. Guess best I can do is stand up and vote.
Vince (NJ)
Everyone knows the cure for lung cancer is more cigarettes. Best of luck.
Cherie (Houston)
@Vince I love how on target and succinct this is, and I’m stealing it. Thank you.
Mookie (Mossy in Seattle)
So carrying a handgun didn’t deter an ATM thief? Carelessly firing at the thief and killing a child resulted in no consequences? But pro-choice is illegal and the law will prosecute? Wow, Texas here I come.
Cherie (Houston)
@Mookie It is even worse than you think. Get this - Earl ASSUMED it was the ATM thief because the car with the 9yr old in the back coincidentally showed up and appeared (to Earl anyway) to be driving away. Earl wasn’t even pointing his firearm at the thief - he just a shot a random vehicle that was driving away and had no connection whatsoever with the ATM robber. I feel bad for Mr. Earl. He will regret that night the rest of his life. But he walked away without any other consequences. Even if it WAS the ATM thief absconding with your hard earned money, he is running AWAY from you. He is not a threat to your life as he is running away. And yet the grand jury saw nothing wrong with shooting to kill someone that is no longer a threat to your life. My internet provider robs me every DAY. Do I go to their offices and pick a few corporate heads to put holes in? No, I do not. Because that would be crazy. But that is exactly what this Grand Jury allows by not charging Earl with any crime whatsoever. Sorry, man. It’s hard to live here unless you’re just as crazy as everyone else and apparently it’s contagious.
dlb (washington, d.c.)
I thought it was the Republicans who were complaining about the increase in the crime rate and blaming it on the bail laws being made less stringent. But I guess Texas doesn't need bail laws at all because shooting people to death is no longer a crime.
MV (Arlington VA)
@dlb Yes. Getting rid of cash bail leads to more crime. Letting every yahoo have a gun without a permit - and not prosecuting someone shoots a 9 YO girl - evidently does not.
DavidJ (NJ)
This is the way a rebellious army begins.
Kat (NC)
@DavidJ Let's see them try and make more stringent laws around gun ownership in "urban communities," "denser communities." We'll really know what's up.
Me (Denver, CO)
Why don’t democrats pound republicans with this? The GOP actively puts more guns on the streets, gut gun laws, stoke anger in the public, call for violence, and yet many voters still believe that they’re tough on crime. Push back on these lies, Democrats!
Carrie (California)
Because the dems aren't much better.
Rosie (NJ)
There is nothing Democrats can do because people who vote Republican are not rationally doing so. Republicans have figure out how to masterfully manipulate the lowest, rawest emotion: hatred inside of poorly educated populations. At this point, Texas, and every other red state, are beyond redemption. We, blue states, need to secede now before these crazy, toxic Republican-led states bring us all down to their rapidly de-evolving, emotionally disturbed levels.
Cherie (Houston)
@Me We DO! But it’s like pounding Democrats for supporting public education. They see absolutely nothing wrong with this at all.
Kevin Niall (CA)
If someone had accidentally hit and killed Arlene Alvarez with a car, there would have been a conviction. It seems that if you have a gun you no longer need to be responsible. I thought people killed not guns but in this case it seems guns override any responsibility over a human life, very sickening.
Lisa (NYC)
@Kevin Niall Actually, drivers are rarely cited for accidents that result in severe injury or death. They might just get a ticket for 'speeding' or reckless driving. But otherwise, it's just considered an 'accident', even if the driver was clearly operating their vehicle in an irresponsible manner.
ZP (Fall River, MA)
@Kevin Niall is it safe to guess maybe they didn’t try hard because the child wasn’t wealthy or well connected? Had he shot the child of someone wealthier than himself, he might have been convicted? Republicans don’t have personal convictions. They pursue the money, honey.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
But their insurance company gets sued to cover medical expenses, because health insurance companies don't cover the cost of accidents.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
How irresponsible can republicans become...by pushing for the unrestricted license to buy and use guns??? These United States remain one of the most violent societies in the world, with daily shootings for even minor disagreements. And we haven't even mentioned the barbaric license to acquire, and use, military style weapons, specifically meant to mow down as many folks as fast as possible. However much mental illness, aggravated by our social and economic inequities and also mental derangement, some of the latter caused by 'our' unrelieved chronic stress and anxiety, and leading to drugs, alcohol, even suicide, to alleviate their symptoms, we are being pressed by crazy propaganda by the NRA and the Gun Lobby to buy and use guns 'at our pleasure'. In other words, whatever may be in the background mentally, the common denominator remains the 'licentious' availability of guns!
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
When people start shooting more judges, senators and members of Congress, we may see stricter gun laws.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
It’s the 21st century. The majority of Americans live in densely populated cities and suburbs where no buffalo roam; and no deer and antelope play. Nevertheless, in Texas and much of the United States — thanks to Scalia’s decision in Heller, the NRA and the Republican Party — it’s the Wild West, as depicted in the old Hollywood Westerns. Rest assured — the ‘founding fathers’ never, ever contemplated that every Tom, Dick and Harry would be rockin’ a loaded handgun while strolling the aisles at a big box store, riding the escalator at a shopping mall or standing in line waiting for a frappucino at Starbucks. Nobody in his right mind could possibly read the Second Amendment and honestly believe that was their intent. The drafters put that business about a ‘well-regulated militia’ in there for a reason. But ‘reason’ has got nothing to do with it.
Khal Spencer (Los Alamos, NM)
One thing not mentioned here is whether states that previously had reciprocity with Texas will now rescind that reciprocity, or at minimum, restrict it to those Texas residents that still apply for and obtain a concealed handgun permit. Here in New Mexico, a fifteen hour class covering lawful and unlawful deadly force, conflict de-escalation, safe carry, and a range proficiency test is required. I think such classes are a very good idea and should be provided at nominal cost in states with permitless carry. Knowing the law and the limits on a lawful use of a handgun is part of the bargain with being able to carry a deadly weapon.
Anton (NY)
@Khal Spencer I'm willing to be a lot of 'gun control' advocates would be on board with that 15 hour class.
Boston Brahmins (Kendall Square)
The Texas Legislature and Governor should receive the Ignoble Peace Prize for this one. Perhaps that’s my Liberal East Coast Massachusetts Progressive bias talking - nothing against the failed state of Texas - it’s beginning to resemble Mogadishu or Kabul down there. I’m sure the barbecue is great and people are mostly wonderful, but it’s just too dangerous.
Blue State Blues (NY, NY)
Really? Can you offer proof please?
Dianne Jackson (Richmond, VA)
That a grand jury would refuse to indict someone who killed a child while playing vigilante is truly disturbing. How can that be legal? Endless guns have ruined this country.
Jean Auerbach (Bay Area)
Over a property crime no less! He wasn’t defending himself, he was defending his cash. My only hope is that this girl’s death haunts him very day of his life. I hope he has kids of his own and can’t look at them without remembering what he did.
M (USA)
As a retired LEO , with 29 years of training in the use of firearms and with the laws of deadly physical force, I am legally authorized to carry my weapon in all 50 states. I’ll drive around the state of Texas, thank you very much. Too much potential for a shooting for silly reasons such as a parking spot. What has become of this country?
David (East bay, CA)
@M Honestly I'm shocked more LEOs (and their unions) don't speak out against this. They are the ones who are frequently dealing with volatile situations that can escalate badly if there are guns in the mix, making a dangerous job worse.
A Goldstein (Portland)
What is the state of Texas defending by allowing unfettered access to guns? Certainly not its citizens. Just the opposite, unless you do not believe in facts.
Postette (New York)
It's road rage that's the scariest. If I ever had to go to Texas, I'd take care of what I need to during the day and go straight back to my hotel. And stay away from the windows, too.
Cherie (Houston)
@Postette This is what I told myself when reports of deadly road rage shootings became an every-other-night kind of thing. But it happens in broad daylight here too. Even worse, they can see you better in daylight than darkness. I have become the most passive, magnanimous driver ever. Not that I had a choice.
Lisa (NYC)
@Postette Talk about a deadly combination. Everyone locked inside their hermetically-sealed, oversized, 2-ton vehicles, rushing to get here and there. Trying to pass other drivers... switching lanes (often at high speeds, and without using signals).....riding alongside an entire row of cars in the exit ramp/on ramp lanes, and then trying to cut in front of another driver....vehicles that now more closely resemble Military Assault Vehicles, what with massive frames, truck tires, 'bullbars', illegal tinted windows, license plates covered in clear plastic to purposefully make the license hard to read, Rubicon jeeps with 'spotlights' on them (I guess for their side jobs as Green Berets in the Amazon?), etc. If you really study the average vehicle that now litters American streets, it's clear that many American drivers have literally declared war on their fellow drivers, as well as on any pedestrians and cyclists who have the misfortune of being in their paths. We have become a depraved nation.
Science Teacher (Illinois)
Please show me the numbers - how many bad guys have ever been stopped by good guys carrying guns? And how many kids, spouses and innocent bystanders killed by guns fired by people who didn't need them or know how to use them, in the name of "protecting" themselves?
A Goldstein (Portland)
@Science Teacher - That's the problem, isn't it? You state the facts, the statistics, but to no avail.
Jean Auerbach (Bay Area)
Also, kids who found the family gun and killed themselves or others by mistake. Or teenagers who have an effective suicide weapon far more accessible than it should be. Frankly, should stealing money from someone at an ATM be a capital offense? I don’t think we should be soft in crime, but I think shooting someone over $20 or $100 is a major problem.
AKG (Right Here)
@Science Teacher Most murder victims knew their killer. Murdering of strangers is rare. Good guys shooting bad guys is rarer still.
BTO (Somerset, MA)
They say the only thing that stops a bad person with a gun, is a good person with a gun. However if the bad person with a gun was not allowed to have one in the first place, then you wouldn't need a good person with a gun. In Texas it's the year 1866.
mainesummers (nh)
@BTO In the first place, you'll never be able to get the guns away from the bad guys. They don't follow any gun laws. See Chicago statistics for confirmation. I heard gunshots frequently at night driving through certain neighborhoods in the 1970's.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@BTO Gee, I wonder how countries like Switzerland, Japan and so many others get by just fine without three hundred million guns?
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
Every person with a gun is a bad person.
Blue State Blues (NY, NY)
I'm so moving to Texas. Common sense gun laws as opposed to my governor restricting gun rights even after SCOTUS slapped the liberals down. Oh, Texas even allows guns in Universities. How many mass shootings have their been? Zero.
Houston Transplant (Houston, TX)
If I’m interpreting your comment correctly, you just stated there have been zero mass shootings in Texas? There have been 8 mass shootings in 13 years in TX - at schools, at churches, at stores, at universities. (Uvalde ring a bell?) And that doesn’t count the non mass-shootings. I personally know two parents who loss children to gun violence in the past year. There’s nothing sensible about Texas gun laws. They’re fear-fueled regulations (or lack thereof) based on a fairytale notion of good guys and bad guys.
Marc B (Brooklyn)
Ulvade Texas May 24 2022 !
David (East bay, CA)
@Blue State Blues Can I tell you why the top of the tower at UT is no longer open to the public? Since August 1, 1966.
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