In Texas’ red heart, an Uvalde blue vein
Greg Abbott, Texas Governor, is ahead in the polls by 7 points
Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat nominee, has pledged gun control measures
Some family members of Uvalde victims support O’Rourke in the red state
Texas Governor Greg Abbott went head-to-head with his Democratic rival Beto O'Rourke in a Friday night debate ahead of the gubernatorial elections. Friday's debate was the only one scheduled before the polls.
While Abbott is leading by at least seven points, his re-election to the Governor’s chair is not going to be as easy as it seemed last year. Among the several issues Texans faced during Abbot’s term in office, the one that has stuck out the most is the Uvalde massacre, and hence gun control, a subject Abbott has refused to touch.
In a recent press conference, Abbott’s opponent O’Rourke said the Texas governor has failed to take any meaningful action on gun control. The Democrat’s message echoed with many a parent who had lost their child in the Uvalde massacre, the deadliest school shooting in United States’ history.
“I am speaking directly to moms when I say our babies’ lives are on the ballot,” said Kimberly Rubio who lost her 10-year-old daughter Alexandria ‘Lexi’ Rubio in the massacre. “It happened to me, it can happen to you. And this pain, it’ll bring you to your knees.”
Rubio is dead against what she sees as the Texas governor’s ways to expand gun rights at a time when mass shootings have gone up.
On Friday morning, local media outlets reported that at least 35 people, all family members of Uvalde victims, took a five-hour-long bus journey to watch the debate with a Beto O’Rourke watch party. The debate did not have a live audience.
These families have been vocal in their support for gun control measures and see the Democrat as a candidate who can bring in some degree for curbs on weapons.
On Friday's debate, Beto O'Rourke said he would bring in age requirements to the procurement of assault-style weapons. Abbot, on the other hand, maintained that school shootings were a mental health issue and did not agree that gun legislation was the way to counter the problem.
The Uvalde massacre refers to a deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. An 18-year-old man named Salvador Ramos opened fire at children and teachers, killing 19 kids and two teachers. Ramos was gunned down later.