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Houston Police Chief Has 'Hit Rock Bottom' with Gun-Rights Activists

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, center, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, far right, join demonstrators during a "March for Our Lives" protest for gun legislation and school safety March 24, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said this morning that changes to criminal liability laws regarding firearms should be considered, because “when there’s skin in the game for all weapons owners, including myself, I think that people will have a different outlook.”

Ten people were gunned down Friday at the high school in Santa Fe, Texas, by a student who used a shotgun and pistol belonging to his father. The mother of victim Shana Fisher said her daughter had turned down alleged shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis after he hassled her for four months to go out on a date with him.

On Friday evening, Acevedo posted on his Facebook page that one of the responding school resource officers, retired Houston Police Officer John Barnes, who was “clinging to life” in critical condition and is now expected to recover. “I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed tears of sadness, pain and anger,” the chief wrote.

“I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue. Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do,” Acevedo continued. “…I will continue to speak up and will stand up for what my heart and my God commands me to do, and I assure you he hasn’t instructed me to believe that gun-rights are bestowed by him.”

“The hatred being spewed in our country and the new norms we, so-called people of faith are accepting, is as much to blame for so much of the violence in our once pragmatic Nation,” he added. “This isn’t a time for prayers, and study and Inaction, it’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing).”

This morning on CBS, the chief said that “the American people, gun owners, the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands — we need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people, to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out.”

“Specifically, one of the things that we need to consider is, if you have firearms in your home, and you do not secure them, and you don’t secure them in manner that can preclude someone from grabbing them and taking them and carrying out this carnage, that there is a criminal liability that attaches,” he said in regard to the Santa Fe High School shooter’s acquisition of weapons.

“I believe that anyone that owns a firearm that doesn’t secure it properly and it ends up in the wrong hands and used to kill innocent people, that that should carry some significant consequence. And we need to think about that on the national level across this country.”