Five days after the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and President Obama’s angry response, the governor of Texas tweeted the following message on his personal Twitter feed:

Abbott after Oregon

Isn’t he cool? Aren’t Texans just total badass? Or is he publicly pandering to his NRA overlords, keeping his A-rating and victim blaming? Let’s take these in order.

Abbott has a long history of currying favor from the gun-rights crowd, even going so far as to say that he would sign any gun right legislation passed by the legislature. I guess that makes him cool. Here is a copy of him on the cover of Texas Monthly. Cool.

Abbott Texas Monthly

Texans are badasses. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Texas ranks in the middle for gun deaths per capita in America (10.4/100,000) and has seen its share of both horrific mass shootings and accidents involving children over the past year. When taken as a whole, the entire South suffers as some of the highest ranking members of the gun deaths per capita club. In fact, every state south of Virginia ranks higher than the national average (10.4/100,000). I wonder if the old phrase “southern hospitality” shouldn’t be replaced with “southern hostility.”

Gun deaths per 100,000

Abbott routinely tags his tweets with the NRA hashtag. As AG, Abbott played host to the annual NRA paranoia jamboree in Houston. He signed open carry and campus carry into law at a gun range (isn’t he cool?) on the same day as a gunman opened fire on the Dallas Police HQ leading to this ironic juxtaposition on a news website:


So it should come as no surprise that Abbott blames the victims for their injuries and deaths, conveniently ignoring the fact that there were students carrying concealed who chose to wait for the police to intervene rather than embrace the “good guy with a gun” myth.

Abbott and his views will be shown, in time, to be anachronistic and wrong. For now he is just obsequious and endangering his constituents. Keep cashing the checks, Governor.