Ms. Watts:

Have you considered getting a show on the Cooking Channel? What Bobby Flay does with food is exactly like what you do with numbers. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend entering an Iron Chef competition; the critics would tear your numbers apart. Just like a number of fact-checkers have.

I still enjoy how you counted the body of a person murdered elsewhere and then dumped in a school parking lot late at night as a school shooting. Or how you added all those incidents that even the police said had nothing to do with a school.

Those were almost as good as the “mass shooting” in Sand City, California where two police officers cornered a pair of fugitives in a Target parking lot. The criminals opened fire on the police, wounding the officers, and the officers returned fire, killing the felons. That’s just like Sandy Hook, isn’t it?

In terms of the mass shootings the way everyone else in the world counts them, California is the leader. It’s also a shining testament to the failure of the so-called “commonsense” gun control laws.

Remember Elliot Rodger? Every one of the measures touted by Everytown for Gun Safety was in effect when he took his drive through Isla Vista. I found it odd that Richard Martine, the father of one of Rodger’s victims, would tearfully plead for gun control. He was a defense attorney in California; one would think he would be aware of the state’s gun laws.

How about Kevin Neal and Rancho Tehama? Neal had been under a court order to surrender his guns since April 2017 because he was under indictment. Yet Tehama County sheriff’s deputies had received a number of complaints about gunfire coming from his property. Yes, Neal had made a “ghost gun” (sounds scary, doesn’t it?), but, surprise, surprise, surprise! He also had handguns and an illegal, high-capacity magazine. Maybe, just maybe, if the Tehama County boys had been on their toes, Neal wouldn’t have gone on a spree last November.

And Nikolas Cruz. Did you know that Cruz is the only person under the age of 21 to use a legally purchased AR-15-style rifle in a mass shooting since the AR-15 went on sale in 1964? The only other person under 21 to use a military-style rifle of any type in a mass shooting was Dean Mellburg in 1994. Yup: it’s a crisis so we can’t trust any of the 12.7 million young American adults to buy a rifle until they’re 21. “No gun ’til 21” was the way you put it, if I recall correctly.

Of course, I can understand why you would want to toss some of your home-cooked homilies at the discussion of the Santa Fe High School shooting. It’s almost unfair: Dimitri Pagoutzis didn’t bother with a background check, so that wouldn’t have helped; he used a shotgun exempted by name in the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2018, so no salvation for Shannon there, either. A school resource officer and a Texas state trooper responded and, even though the school officer was critically wounded, the trooper managed to end Pagourtzis’ killings.

To top it all off, Texas already has a parental responsibility law and it appears that Dimitri’s dad didn’t violate it.

You weren’t even invited to Governor Abbott’s meeting. Ed Scruggs with Texas Gun Sense was there and spouted the party line but he got shot down (figuratively, of course) by Alice Tripp of the Texas State Rifle Association.

Poor Ed: Alice had more facts than he did. Seems Texans, aren’t quite as enamored of background checks since the snafu with Devin Kelley, the killer at Sutherland Springs. I think Austin-based Texas Gun Sense makes the all-too-common mistake of thinking that Travis County is representative of the state.

Don’t feel too bad, though; the NRA wasn’t invited, either. But the NRA doesn’t have a history of using the bodies of dead children to promote an agenda that wouldn’t have prevented their killing, either. Don’t look at me: your own former executive director said that nothing you had to offer would have stopped a mass shooting.

So what’s a mouthpiece to do? Especially considering that the Santa Fe community and most of the student population at Santa Fe High School don’t see to be playing by the David Hogg rulebook?

I am sure there will be some kind of demonstration. Wonder how many of the demonstrators will be Santa Fe High School students? Or even actual high schools students? Or the parents of Santa Fe High School students? That would be a refreshing change from the previous extravaganza.

If any of the four states with the highest estimated percentages of households with guns ever has a mass shooting, you should see how well your recipes play there. I’d pay to see that.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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