Texas is a patriotic place.
About ten percent of the domestic U.S. Military population is stationed there. In addition, the state is home to the second highest number of wounded and killed soldiers from both the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Unfortunately, it’s also a place where U.S. service men and women come home and are not safe, as last night’s tragedy made clear. In fact, more US service men and women have been shot or killed at Fort Hood Texas over the past 5 years than killed in most parts of Iraq during the entire conflict there (ten out of eighteen Iraqi provinces had less U.S. casualties).
Unfortunately, safety for Texan soldiers doesn’t begin when they leave work either. Gun deaths are higher in Texas than the national average. Part of the reason is that Texas has weak gun laws. Texas not only does not require a background check for private sales, they also require no licensing for most firearm owners. In addition, there are no restrictions on assault weapons and large capacity magazines and zero consumer safety standards. Taken together these policies leave about 10% of our service men and women, many of which have fought for our country, completely exposed at home.
Now is OUR time to fight for our soldiers. We need to enact uniform Federal gun laws that protect every soldier, so that coming home is not just changing war zones.