Here are the stories for Texas Standard for Friday, May 27, 2022. Check back later today for updated story links and audio.
A great level of confusion exists over the law enforcement response to this week’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, with harrowing videos showing parents pleading with police to enter the school and confront the killer. Tony Plohetski, investigative reporter for the Austin-American Statesman and KVUE News, is piecing together what did and did not happen, and joins us with more.
The National Rifle Association opens its annual convention today in Houston, less than 300 miles east of Uvalde. The NRA’s decision to move forward with the event has drawn criticism from Democrats and gun safety advocates. The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports the event serves as a stark illustration of the contentious political lines drawn around guns in Texas.
The redevelopment of San Antonio’s historic Hemisfair Park has reached another milestone recently. The area was first built to accommodate the 1968 World’s Fair and is located between the central business district and the Southtown neighborhood. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan explains the latest update to the park.
Monday is Memorial Day, a day to honor those who died while serving their country. South Texas Marine Freddy Gonzalez fought and died in Vietnam over a half century ago. He was 21 years old and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. But today he’s remembered for more than just his heroism in battle. Estrella Airrnandez of the Voces Oral History Center, based at UT-Austin, reports he wrote scores of letters while serving that give us more insight into who he was.
Dueling federal rulings have put the future of social media speech laws in doubt. Monday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Florida law preventing social platforms from banning users for spreading misinformation. But earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit took the reverse position, ending an injunction against a similar Texas law. What’s next? Issie Lapowsky, chief correspondent for Protocol, joins us with an overview.
Texas has seen an alarming increase in domestic violence deaths by firearms. Researchers from the Texas Council on Family Violence, Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University want to examine how firearm access and behaviors play a role in these violent homicides. Johns Hopkins School of Nursing’s Jacquelyn Campbell is a principal investigator for this study and joins us with more.
The gang delivers another poem inspired by events both current and timeless.
The week in Texas politics
Texas Tribune political reporter James Barragán joins us to recap some political developments from this week, including Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference in Uvalde on Wednesday (which was interrupted by Beto O’Rourke), plus the still undecided Democratic runoff between incumbent Henry Cuellar and progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros in the Democratic runoff for Texas 28th Congressional District.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.