Hours after Friday's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas in which 10 people were murdered by a 17-year-old, Houston police chief Art Acevedo said he's done hearing about gun rights.
In a Facebook statement, Acevedo explained that the news of the shooting had made him "shed tears of sadness, pain and anger." The chief said that he has hit "rock bottom" on the issue of gun rights, demonstrating that minds can be changed when tragedy strikes.
After Santa Fe massacre, Houston police chief says he has “hit rock bottom” on gun rights. Calls on politicians to… https://t.co/5Un9obHgNr— Edward Wong (@Edward Wong)1526784014.0
He asked people to not post things suggesting "guns aren't the problem," and that prayers without action aren't what the nation needs. "My feelings won't be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won't be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you," he wrote.
"To all my Facebook friends. Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I'm not ashamed to admit I've shed tears of sadness, pain and anger.
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. My feelings won't be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won't be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you.
I have never accepted the status-quo in anything I do and I've never accepted defeat. And I won't do it now. 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.
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).
I close by saying, I wish those that move on from this page the best. May God Bless you and keep you."
Acevedo followed up his post, which garnered more than 16,000 reactions, with an email to the New York Times, in which he said his post received "overwhelming positive feedback." He also said that he along with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner are committed to their "moral obligation to speak up and to take steps to protect the community we've taken an oath to serve and protect." He added that he believes those who value lives over gun laws will ultimately prevail in the ongoing debate over gun control.
"We've been speaking up for many years and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. Mayor Turner and I know that ultimately together, pragmatic Americans and responsible gun owners, will be heard and will win the day."
In a tweet on Saturday, Acevedo opined that the lack of action on common sense gun safety measures, which results in a failure to protect children, constitutes "shame to all."
"Shame to all given the task to enact common sense statutes & policies & continue to fail our families & especially our children. And shame to all that fail to speak out, including law-enforcement leaders. We are in these positions to mark a difference."
Shame to all given the task to enact common sense statutes & policies & continue to fail our families & especially… https://t.co/Wl6Eutj5eA— Chief Art Acevedo (@Chief Art Acevedo)1526696391.0
Facebook followers of Acevedo were for the most part positive and supportive, voicing their agreement and encouragement for change.