Texas Editorial Roundup
Editor’s note: These editorials appeared in newspapers across Texas
Editorial: One Step Closer: ‘Constitutional carry’ may have a chance this time around
The Lone Star State is one step closer to what many call “Constitutional carry.”
The state House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would allow any citizen age 21 or over, who is not disqualified under federal law from owning a handgun, to carry a gun without having a concealed handgun license, undergo handgun training or pass any additional background check.
Gun rights advocates have long been pushing for such legislation. And some in the Legislature took up the cause in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Didn’t get very far.
This year was different, though. Despite several recent mass shootings — or perhaps because of them — the 84 House Republicans voted in favor of the bill. They were joined by seven House Democrats.
Now the proposal goes to the state Senate. And its fate will largely be determined by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has never shown much support for “Constitutional carry.”
Still, this time around it’s going to be hard to bury the bill. And if it does come up for a vote, it will be harder still for state senators to explain to pro-gun constituents why they voted against it.
So it might not be long before the decision rests with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Editorial: Now is not the time to not get vaccinated
Have you gotten yours?
This is one of the most important questions being asked nowadays.
It is even more important if you can honestly answer “Yes.”
The question is inquiring about whether you have gotten your COVID-19 vaccination.
Now that the Victoria County Health Department has suspended the weekly vaccine clinics it is not the time to ease off the urgency of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
People can still sign up for the vaccine on the county’s website. They can also go to the health department in the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center to receive the vaccines.
They can also go to local pharmacies to register.
The vaccines are also available at times at doctor’s offices and medical clinics.
In the region, clinics are hosted by the emergency management offices as well as hospitals and medical clinics.
The clinic hub was so convenient to get vaccinated. You registered online or on the phone, when your name was selected, you showed up at your selected time and a few minutes later you were vaccinated and sitting in the community center’s dome waiting out the required 15 minutes downtime to watch for possible reactions to the vaccine.
But when the number of people signing up started dwindling, the county decided to stop the clinics – for now. If the need arises — meaning if enough people sign up on the waiting list – the county will have additional clinics.
Based on the numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the need for vaccines to be administered is still there. As of Thursday, 26.90 % of Victoria County’s population 16 years and older is fully vaccinated. Of that, 57.71 % of residents 65 and older are vaccinated.
If we ever want to get back to any normalcy and safely shed masks, more people need to be vaccinated.
The only way we are going to beat this horrible deadly virus is through vaccination.
Some people don’t trust the vaccine and want to see if long-term health side effects occur. While others, because of pre-existing health conditions cannot take the vaccine.
Others believe herd immunity will protect them, but that is a false sense of security. Some experts have estimated a threshold of 60–70% of the population gaining immunity, either through vaccinations or past exposure to the virus, to achieve herd immunity, but that too is still being studied.
As we begin to travel more, the herd immunity theory will be strongly tested. When we are in a new area or out of our ”safety herd” there is no way of knowing who has been vaccinated and who has not.
With Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, graduations and Fourth of July quickly approaching and people wanting to gather with loved ones from across the country, it only makes sense that those who gather be vaccinated for their safety and that of those they are with.
COVID-19 and its variants are not going away any time soon, but experts agree, the more people who are vaccinated and who continue to take precautions, we can slow it down. The most important thing we as residents can do is get vaccinated – it will protect ourselves and our families.
So we ask again, Have you gotten yours?