An open letter to Beto

Published: 9/12/2019 9:27:42 AM
Modified: 9/12/2019 9:27:32 AM

Dear Beto O’Rourke, your poll numbers don’t look promising for the presidency — at least not in 2020. But I think you could stand a very good chance in four years, or even eight years. If you do what you have already demonstrated, you can do best: save Texas from itself.

A second horrendous mass shooting occurred yesterday within just weeks of another in that gun-totting state. Meanwhile, back in Austin, the Texas legislature had just passed several new laws that would make it easier for more people to carry more guns in Texas. The governor has signed that bill, or is expected to shortly, even as he mouths the dreaded clichés about “our hearts and prayers go out to those killed and wounded.” The new legislation even includes one bill that would “forgive” people who might “accidentally” carry a firearm without a permit!

I grew up in a time when the cowboy Western was ubiquitous — John Wayne writ large on movie screens. Some of the most popular TV programs of the 50s and 60s were Westerns: Gunsmoke and Wyatt Earp among them. The plot invariably revolved around “cleaning up” some town — bringing in the marshal or the sheriff or some good guy with guns to force the bad guys with guns to hang them up.

Texas is awash with firearms today. Its laws increasingly favor fewer restrictions on gun ownership and carrying firearms. Every town is a Wild West town, looked at from that perspective. And where is the good guy in the white hat to clean up all those towns?

I think Beto is our man. He needs to quit the national scene and ride back to Texas where he stands a very good chance of being elected a U.S. senator. He may not be able to get those gazillion guns all hung up at the edge of towns but he very well might convince Texans that they don’t need semi-automatic rifles or assault rifles floating around. That maybe it’s a very good idea to institute background checks on both the sale and ownership of guns. If he can do that — in a state like Texas — he’d give the nation a model for what can be done to transform this country from an armed camp into a civilized nation again. And in doing so, he’d have earned his ten-gallon hat – and the right to run for the presidency. And my vote.

Carol Angus

Shelburne Falls


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