Travis Rebel News

Town Hall For Our Lives

U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett and Texas Rep Eddie Rodriguez address a panel of students and their concerns at a town hall at Travis High

LLoyd+Doggett%2C+Democratic++US+Representative+of+the+35th+Congressional+District%2C+Austin%2C+said+that+he+wants+to+push+for+stricter+gun+control+laws+to+keep+students+safe.
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Town Hall For Our Lives

LLoyd Doggett, Democratic  US Representative of the 35th Congressional District, Austin, said that he wants to push for stricter gun control laws to keep students safe.

LLoyd Doggett, Democratic US Representative of the 35th Congressional District, Austin, said that he wants to push for stricter gun control laws to keep students safe.

By Marissa Morales

LLoyd Doggett, Democratic US Representative of the 35th Congressional District, Austin, said that he wants to push for stricter gun control laws to keep students safe.

By Marissa Morales

By Marissa Morales

LLoyd Doggett, Democratic US Representative of the 35th Congressional District, Austin, said that he wants to push for stricter gun control laws to keep students safe.

By Marissa Morales, Staff Reporter

During the “Town Hall for Our Lives” meeting at Travis High, April 8, hundreds of people from the Austin-area including a panel of 26 students sounded off in a question-and-answer format with U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett and state Rep Eddie Rodriguez to push lawmakers to legislate solutions to end gun violence.

The national, student-organized town hall campaign was inspired by survivors of the Florida high-school mass shooting on Valentine’s Day that left 17 dead and 14 wounded, allegedly at the hands of a 17-year-old former student armed with an AR-15-styled rifle. The campaign, an extension of  “The March 4 Our Lives,” took to the street nationally on March 24 where hundreds of thousands across the nation protested against insufficient gun control.

At Travis High, local middle and high schools as well as area college students were present as a panel to voice concerns. After the panel conversation, the two lawmakers took questions from the audience.

One audience member shared her involvement in a school shooting.

Karen Collins attended the University of Texas when Charles Whitman opened fire from the UT Tower, killing 14 people and wounding more than 30 others in August 1966.

“I watched my fellow students get shot; I watched them fall to that hot, blistering pavement,” Collins said. “I watched them die. I watched policemen die. I watched an armored car finally come and protect those who were laying on the pavement, pick them up and drive them away. I watched them carry a body out of the tower, and I can tell you — you can see from my age — you never get over it.”

According to “Gun Violence Archive,” there have been a total of 67 mass shootings, the killing of three or more people in a public place, in the U.S. since January 1, 2018 and 346 in 2017.

For this reason, college student and co-organizer of Austin’s “Town Hall for Our Lives,” the national local chapter, said the goal of town hall meetings is to meet with lawmakers and community members to change the state gun laws in effort to prevent such further tragedies in Texas.

“This is really about creating a public space for both elected officials, and the public and students to sit down and create a conversation,” he said. “A get-down-to-business time and not dance; it’s time to hold our elected officials accountable.”

Until stricter gun laws are passed, Dale said, he will be pushing lawmakers and legislative candidates to make gun control a priority both on the campaign trail and in office.

Texas gun-control advocates along with Doggett and Rodriguez are pushing to make changes that would ban assault weapons (like the AR-15), make background checks for gun purchase more comprehensive, place limits on the purchase of guns and ammo, restrict the unlicensed sale of gun parts, end the sale of law enforcement firearms to civilians and create regular gun buyback programs for the purpose of destroying them.

Doggett said he believed that making background checks, on the purchase of weapons, more efficient will still allow law-abiding citizens the purchase, but will keep them out of the hands of those with criminal backgrounds.

“The reason we don’t have a ban on assault weapons or magazines or universal background checks, it’s the same answer for everything: there’s an NRA ownership over Congress,” Doggett said. “We have a logjam right now, where NRA now stands for ‘No Republican Action.’ ”

He said gun control laws are a “common sense” legislation that need to be put into law and there is an immediate need to keep students protected and to feel safe.

 

 

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Town Hall For Our Lives