Another senseless gun-related death
On Friday October 15th, a 20-Year-Old college student - Humphrey Magwira - was shot and killed after causing an accidental collision. The shooter, 19-year-old Ramon Vasquez got out of his car and shot Magwira in the incident before fleeing the scene. He was captured on Saturday morning by officers from Fort Bend Sheriff's Department.
With Vasquez being charged with murder and a bond set at $500,000 it looks unlikely that he'll walk free for some time. Humphrey was a second year computing major at the University of Houston and was by all accounts a diligent and popular student. His life was taken in an instant for no good reason - and this happened because Vasquez had a gun in his car and lacked the personal control, restraint and good-judgement over whether to use it.
But it raises questions once again whether the relaxed, almost non-existent gun-control laws in Texas resulted in a death from a situation that escalated out of all proportion?
A consequence of Constitutional Carry Laws?
What is certain is that the ease with which guns are now available in Texas has played a part in this death (which wasn't even the only gun-related death in the state on October 15th). Certainly it's not that guns themselves are responsible for violence and death, but rather the ease with which they can be held and used by irresponsible people who have no business possessing them.
Constitutional carry laws were restored in Texas on September 1 with the introduction of permit-less carry of handguns throughout the state. The law change allows those who are legally permitted to own a handgun, to carry it either openly or concealed - without a permit or training.
The law which progressed through the state legislature as house bill HB1927 was pushed through by Governor Greg Abbott just two years following mass shootings in the state claimed 30 lives.
With HB1927 Texas becomes one of 20 states that allow anyone over the age of 21 to openly carry a gun provided they haven’t been convicted of a felony or domestic violence.
Worryingly, HB1927 also abandons all requirements for licenses, training, finger-printing or a shooting proficiency test for those wanting to buy a handgun. It also doesn't stop guns falling into the wrong hands, as was the case with Vasquez who was under 21.
How to reduce gun crime?
The tragic and untimely death of Humphrey Magwira was a direct result of a gun being in the wrong hands - no matter how you look at the situation. He may have been responsible for causing the minor accident that prompted such anger in his murderer, but it was that the assailant had a gun and was willing to use it without question was the reason Magwira is now dead.
A Gofundme campaign has since been launched by his family to help fund bringing his body home.
We can only hope that corrective action is taken in time that limits future deaths of a similar nature by those wielding guns who have no business owning them.