Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on engaging Twitter users on gun violence: 'We can no longer just stand by'

Briana Conner Image
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Harris Co. sheriff using Twitter to spur change to gun violence
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is engaging Twitter users on what needs to change to lessen gun violence. He proposes red flag laws and mental health care access.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is adding his voice to the conversation about gun violence and school safety on social media. His Twitter feed is full of his thoughts on these issues, but he's also engaging with Houstonians on the platform to create a dialogue.

The sheriff said it will take all of us to find a solution. That's why he's been retweeting and responding to people online. On his feed, there are tweets about hardening schools, mental health, training, and gun safety laws. He said the only thing off the table right now is inaction.

"I think we're past the time of just talking and not getting anywhere and letting time pass by," he said. Sheriff Gonzalez believes we can do something this time to prevent mass shootings.

On Twitter, he's expressed support for a red flag law that would allow his office to take guns from people on a path toward violence.

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"Many times, there are situations that we encounter, and we would like to be able to do something or do more to prevent someone from, perhaps, taking that final step of either hurting themselves or someone else. Absent of the law that would allow us that type of flexibility with the proper safeguards, our hands, many times, are tied," Sheriff Gonzalez said.

He's also tweeted about improving access to mental health care and increasing security at schools. Sheriff Gonzalez said he uses social media, because it can be a powerful tool for change.

"It's a way to engage directly with individuals from all walks of life, and I think that it's important to be in those public squares, if you will, where people are convening," Gonzalez said.

The responsibility, he said, is on all of us to demand changes. They may not stop every shooting, but it's worth it, he said, if we can prevent some of the pain people are feeling right now.

"This seems to be a recurring thing. That's why, unfortunately, I can say clearly that we are going to see another one unless something drastically changes," he warned. "Somebody out there is already planning that next one, or at least has that thought in their mind. So, what can we do to make sure that it changes? I think that it's important from us to move from a position of helplessness to knowing that we aren't helpless. We can take action."

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