CRISTINA OSMENA: The pernicious NRA and a suggestion to Congressman Tony Gonzales

I write with a heavy heart what I believe is true: no significant legislation will come out of the Robb Elementary school massacre that took place in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. For the foreseeable future, I don’t expect any major attempt to resolve this issue of mass shootings that is an American epidemic. In fact, according to, eight more mass shootings took place over Memorial Day weekend.

Every time one of these tragedies happens (too often), I find myself spending hours searching through articles trying to find an explanation. Politicians on the left inevitably resurrect the argument for gun control. Those on the right talk about mental illness. The explanations outside these two are usually cursory: Buffalo blamed the internet and white supremacy; Robb is pointing the finger at slow police; past tragedies were blamed on violent video games, mental illness, and guns, guns, guns. One was blamed on Asian hate. After a time, nothing gets done. We drift from one mass shooting to the next and rediscover the reasons all over again.

Many issues that find their way into the political debate usually stay there and never climb out of the quicksand of political non-resolution. Will immigration ever be reformed? Probably not. Will the pro-choice/pro-life debate ever culminate in a piece of legislation? Probably not. But, somehow, not resolving the American epidemic of mass shootings crosses the line. Ted Cruz says not to politicize it. Dana Loesch, formerly speaking for the NRA, once marveled at the media’s obsession with blood. If I could spot deflections in a crowded room, these comments would be them. And, of course, there are the standard arguments defending guns. All this seems to trivialize the lives that were just lost as they will trivialize the lives that will be lost the next time a mass shooting happens.

I blame the NRA, although culpability should be shared among many parties. The NRA has a hold on almost every Republican politician in office. In California, where Republicans are nearly irrelevant, that may not be the case. Everywhere else, their donations can be meaningful. Moreover, their rankings effectively serve as a meaningful endorsement. No Republican politician is comfortable speaking against the narrative of the NRA. Maybe it’s time. Congressman Tony Gonzales, the Republican representing Texas’ 23rd district where Uvalde is located may be in just such a position to take a leadership stance. While still Candidate Gonzales, I had the pleasure of interviewing him for this periodical.

While I have my opinion on what sort of solutions would work, almost any proposal from the Congressman’s team would show bold leadership out of a freshman legislator and ensure the public that this issue is on the agenda if the Republicans take both houses of Congress as they are expected to in November.

This is the kind of legislation that would be perfect for Congressman Tony Gonzales to propose (are you reading this, Representative Gonzales?) while Uvalde is still foremost on everyone’s minds.