Rep. Jodey Arrington On Uvalde, Mental Health, and Gun Control

State Representative Jodey Arrington held a live town hall event yesterday evening to touch base with his constituents over the tragedy in Uvalde, as well as to get a feel for where the people of West Texas stand on gun control reform. He refereed to the tragedy as “The worst nightmare” for any parent, stating “we live in a fallen world, there is evil in this world. Its does seem like we’re sliding backwards.” Arrington also claimed that the only way to be prepared to handle these tragic situations is to be armed and ready to meet the assailant with “equal or greater force.” To this end, he also stated that “bipartisan” gun control bills which have reportedly picked up speed through congress in the past few weeks, are flawed and full of nonsensical spending on the governments part. He instead wished to focus on the mental health and school safety portions of the issue. In a recent study Arrington cited, he stated that only 67 of the school districts in Texas received a “sufficient” grade on their security protocols. He furthered these statistics by saying that only 1/3 of schools in Texas have armed staff present during the day.

After his opening remarks, the majority of the meeting was taken up by Rep. Arrington fielding questions from concerned callers, who could queue up to ask him questions directly, and though some used this as an opportunity to attempt to start debate over topics not covered in his opening, Rep. Arrington tried to keep the conversation firmly over gun control and school safety. Many callers were concerned about mental health being a large issue, with many bringing forward the reality that small, rural counties face: a lack of funding and supplies. With no nearby mental health facilities, many counties are forced to use their county jails as defacto mental health facilities. Arrington agreed, stating that more funds need to be made available to handle this side of the issue, saying “Congress spends money on far less important things.” Furthermore, many callers voiced their apprehension, which was echoed by Rep. Arrington, over any kind of federal “red-Flag” laws that would prevent an individual from owning a firearm, as they feared that would be the first step towards gun confiscation. Arrington claimed that if any federal laws were to be done on the subject that “Major Guard rails” would need to be implemented, and that in his 3rd term in Washington, he grows more and more concerned over Government over reach in the lives of everyday citizens.

This led to a series of polls that Rep. Arrington wished to give out, the results of which were unsurprising. Of the callers who voted, 32 believed the age of ownership for a semi-automatic rifle should be raised to 21, whereas 68 believed it should remain at 18. For the question “What level of Government is best to tack school shootings?” Only 7 believed that the federal government was, the remaining 93 stated it was up to state and local governments.

As always Rep. Arrington thanked the people of West Texas who took the time to speak with him and make their voices heard. Arrington is well known in the area for his accessibility to his constituents, even pledging to return every single message he received after the event was over. Arrington is the district Rep for District 19 in the South Plains and holds offices in Abilene, Lubbock, as well as D.C. And contact information can be found at his website online: https://arrington.house.gov/

About Drew Dunn

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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