TEXAS – The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to multiple acts of gun violence across the state over the weekend. In Waller County, seven people were shot and wounded at Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black university, during a trail ride pasture party held near the university during their homecoming celebration. According to reports, when deputies arrived at the scene, they found that four women, two men, and a young male had been shot. In Galveston County at a Lone Star motorcycle rally, a shooting left six people shot and injured, with one in critical condition. According to reports, the shooting was targeted towards members of the community. The shooter was found, charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and is being held on a $600,000 bond in the Galveston County Jail.
Homecoming has long had a special meaning for alumni and students of historically Black universities, with many likening it to a family reunion. This is at least the second incident of gunfire at an HBCU during their homecoming, following gunfire erupting at Morgan State University in October.
“My heart rages for my community following the shooting near Prairie View’s campus. HBCU students and alumni are supposed to find joy and celebration at Homecoming, but instead, these special moments continue to be ruined by gun violence,” said Hunter Waldon, a Senior and Mister Prairie View A&M University, and volunteer with Texas Chapter Students Demand Action. “Texans should be able to go to a college party or a motorcycle event without facing the risk of being shot. Our lives have become the cost of Texas’ ‘guns everywhere’ agenda and it will only get worse if we don’t get tough on gun safety. We deserve better than this.”
“Texan lives have been forever and will continue to be marked by shootings across our state and while there is a direct path towards a safer Texas, our lawmakers continue to prioritize the gun lobby over their constituents,” said Karin Knapp, a volunteer with the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As we grieve for our communities, let me be clear: guns in more places do not make us safer. Our voices will continue to echo throughout our state until we can feel safe going to rallies, homecoming celebrations, and in our daily lives.”
Black Americans are nearly three times more likely than white Americans to die by guns, and 12 times more likely to die by gun homicide. Black Americans are also nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by police, than white Americans. Time and time again, Black people in America bear the weight of our nation’s gun violence crisis.
In an average year, 3,996 people die by guns in Texas, and 5,556 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Texas. More information on gun violence in Texas is available here.