The Big Conversation
Tuesday's shooting on a college campus in Houston has inflamed the already heated debate over gun rights in Texas.
The shooting, at the North Houston campus of Lone Star College, erupted amid an argument between two men, injuring three and making national headlines in the wake of last month's Connecticut school shooting. A suspect involved in the incident has been charged with aggravated assault, according to the Houston Chronicle.
For some state legislators, the shooting has likely pounded new urgency into the issue of gun rights, on which lawmakers have already filed a slew of bills, including one that would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry weapons on college campuses. The so-called campus carry bill has failed in previous sessions.
The Houston shooting may also motivate some lawmakers to try to push new laws related to public school safety.
As the Austin American-Statesman reports, three lawmakers on Tuesday filed legislation that would allow school districts to raise local taxes to pay for additional security measures in public schools.
"This is a Texas solution to save lives without sacrificing and trampling our freedoms," said state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, one of the bill's sponsors. "We’ll let school districts decide for themselves what works. A blanket state mandate won’t work, nor will a one-size-fits-all policy."
Several schools across the state are also considering policies of their own that would allow employees to carry concealed handguns. As the Tribune's Morgan Smith reports today, though, a dearth of research on the effectiveness of such policies has led some of those districts to seek guidance before altering their safety operations.
Compiled from Tribune reports
Some of the reasons are less exotic, like this one: Would you rather be starting a new campaign a year from now, or three years from now?
Texas news from the across the state and around the web
• Texas Cancer Agency Probe Clears Some Officials (The Associated Press): "Criminal prosecutors investigating a troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting effort in Texas have cleared current state officials and board members with the agency, a spokesman for the board chairman said Tuesday."
• U.S. Trade Representative Will Step Down (The New York Times): "Ron Kirk, the United States trade representative, will step down in late February, his office said Tuesday. Lael Brainard and Michael Froman, two top administration aides on international economic policy, are considered among the front-runners to succeed him, people knowledgeable about trade policy said."
• George P. Bush draws on family network for fundraising (The Dallas Morning News): "George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has raised $1.35 million for statewide office, according to a campaign finance report he filed last week. He’ll probably run for land commissioner in 2014, although he has not ruled out a race for governor, depending on circumstances. … Of 75 contributors who gave $5,000 or more, one-quarter supported his grandfather for president more than 20 years ago. At least 10 contributors were 'Pioneer' and 'Ranger' fundraising bundlers who raised at least $100,000 apiece for George W. Bush."
Quote of the Day: "I’m your Hispanic Margaret Thatcher. Half Eva Perón and a little touch of Madonna." — Former GOP state House candidate Miriam Martinez, who has announced that she'll run for governor in 2014, in an interview with The Monitor
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