Houston Chief Acevedo, the Santa Fe High School Shooting, and Sanctuary.




The OC Register reports that one of the children killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting, Jared Black, had family members from Anaheim. The discussion in the paper’s comments section turned to the issue of guns, and as expected they were dominated by the typical Register readers opposing reasonable gun safety measures.

The discussions on this issue feel unproductive, as no matter how many shootings take place, we have got to the point of accepting them as normal, as one of the Santa Fe students said it :  “It’s been happening everywhere; I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too”. This has been called the “contagion effect” by academics who caution in their research paper that “what’s missed often is the other conclusion of that paper, which found that the availability of firearms is clearly playing a role, a significant role”

The reluctance of hardcore gun rights advocates to accept safety proposals draw strong reactions from people fed up with mass shootings, such as the Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo. He wrote in response to the Santa Fe shooting:

“To all my Facebook friends. Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed tears of sadness, pain and anger.

I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue. Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do. My feelings won’t be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won’t be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you.

I have never accepted the status-quo in anything I do and I’ve never accepted defeat. And I won’t do it now. I will continue to speak up and will stand up for what my heart and my God commands me to do, and I assure you he hasn’t instructed me to believe that gun-rights are bestowed by him.

The hatred being spewed in our country and the new norms we, so-called people of faith are accepting, is as much to blame for so much of the violence in our once pragmatic Nation.

This isn’t a time for prayers, study and inaction, it’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing).

I close by saying, I wish those that move on from this page the best. May God Bless you and keep you.”

Chief Acevedo is no relation to chairman Vern’s wife Donna, but I think his position and statements on Sanctuary Cities should resonate here in the OC. This is what he had to say in a recent interview with the Texas Observer:

Texas Weekly: You were vocal in opposing the “sanctuary cities” ban, and in April you announced a 43 percent reduction in sexual assault reporting among Houston’s Hispanics. What have you seen since then?

Acevedo:  “It’s fear. My cops are out on the street; they tell me people are afraid. It is not a win for the people of Houston or Texas when we create an environment through this very ugly, mean-spirited rhetoric, where potentially 11 to 15 million witnesses of crime, or victims of crime, don’t come forward. Here’s the deal: Your kid, somebody you love, is at the bus stop waiting to get picked up, and here comes this pedophile in a van that grabs them and takes off, and the only witness to that crime is that nanny or gardener or whatever undocumented immigrant, but now they might be in fear because the cops might be just as interested in their status as they are in solving that crime, and that person doesn’t come forward. How have we made society safer?”

I hope that organizations such as Every Town for Gun Safety and March for Our Lives, and others, will succeed in promoting the changes needed on the gun safety issue. I hope that conservative friends will be open to consider reforms.  Supporting candidates who have embraced Trump’s NRA positions and bigotry on immigration may not help to build a better place for all of us.

About Ricardo Toro

Anaheim resident for several decades. In addition to political blogging, another area of interest is providing habitats for the Monarch butterfly. http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2013/12/caterpillars-crossing-in-a-city-at-a-crossroads/