Houston, Texas police chief Art Acevedo lashed out at Republican lawmakers again on Monday after the death of Sergeant Christopher Brewster, who was shot to death when he responded to a domestic violence call.
Standing outside the medical examiner's office, current resting place of Sgt. Brewster's body, Chief Acevedo called out Republican Senators, as well as Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, for caring more about the National Rifle Association (NRA) than about the victims of gun violence.
Sgt. Brewster was allegedly shot by the abusive boyfriend of a Houston woman when he responded to the scene.
"I don't want to see their little smug faces about about how much they care about law enforcement when I'm burying a sergeant because they don't want to piss off the NRA."
The current draft of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has not yet been renewed by the Senate, would protect more victims by closing the so-called "boyfriend loophole" and would prevent convicted domestic abusers from legally purchasing weapons whether they are married to their victims or not.
Current federal law only prevents convicted abusers from owning firearms, but only if those offenses were against a spouse or family member. There are no protections for those abused by dating partners and not spouses.
The NRA has spoken out against VAWA, claiming it "lacks due process protections."
Chief Acevedo didn't pull any punches when he called on Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to decide where their loyalties lie.
"Make up your minds. Whose side are you on? Gun manufacturers, the gun lobby — or the children that are getting gunned down in this country every single day?"
Acevedo thinks VAWA stalled in the Senate because:
"the NRA doesn't like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends"
Senator Cornyn, however, blamed democrats' "impeachment mania" for the stall of VAWA in a tweet last week.
Unfortunately, important legislation like this has fallen casualty to impeachment mania. We will keep trying to pa… https://t.co/BZINka0mpw— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn)1575570543.0
Twitter users weren't going to let that stand, though.
@JohnCornyn That’s FALSE @JohnCornyn. Congress passed the #VAWA several months ago, only for it to languish on… https://t.co/uLpVoCR5C0— TamaraVotes.TX (@TamaraVotes.TX)1575580533.0
@JohnCornyn Senator, there are 24 hours in a day. The House is managing to get legislation out, and passed VAWA an… https://t.co/gOU9A34PCd— Chief Art Acevedo (@Chief Art Acevedo)1575575387.0
@JohnCornyn This bill passed in the House in April. The Senate isn’t doing anything in regards to impeachment at th… https://t.co/K2KBYaSQwP— courtney (@courtney)1575571619.0
@CourtKincaidTX @JohnCornyn @senatemajldr Bc they would rather whine, and obfuscate about how #Dems holding their c… https://t.co/PQvjzYS8ox— Nathan Auldridge (@Nathan Auldridge)1575993022.0
@JohnCornyn Lol y’all haven’t moved on this for months, long before impeachment started. Don’t pretend you can’t wa… https://t.co/AoIdC1bmkT— Kristina (@Kristina)1575578885.0
You can view KHOU 11's coverage of Acevedo's speech below.
After murder of Houston officer, Chief Acevedo blasts senators and the NRA youtu.be
Sgt. Brewster is the most recent in a long history of those killed by domestic abusers.
VAWA might not end that completely, but it would certainly make it much harder for abusers to access firearms.
Limiting access is a great first step, but passing VAWA will require members of the GOP to serve their roles and actually pass legislation that many agree is necessary to increase the safety of domestic abuse victims and their families.
As Acevedo said:
"You're either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you're here for the NRA."