Hours after a gunman killed 10 people and wounded 13 others — including a retired Houston police officer at a Santa Fe, TX, high school last week— Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted a message excoriating elected officials for failing “to enact common sense statutes & policies & continue to fail our families & especially our children.”
Acevedo’s tweet was followed by a Facebook post where he said he’d hit “rock bottom” and told people they could unfriend him if they thought guns weren’t a problem — was met with swift reaction from the National Rifle Association and some prominent conservatives.
"@ArtAcevedo plays the part of a police chief ... he says he wants to go after criminals, but for him apparently the easiest way to do that is to make new criminals that are easy to catch — make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners," NRATV tweeted late Monday.
“@ArtAcevedo is a police chief who thinks it’s completely appropriate to ignore the law of the land when it concerns legal immigration,” the NRA Dana Loesch said, in an NRATV spot Monday afternoon. “But (he) thinks that he has the right to apparently go into every home in Texas and inspect how everybody’s storing their #firearms.”
Acevedo engaged in a running Twitter battle with the NRA's Dana Loesch and Grant Stinchfield.
"TEXAS police executives and Rank & file standing together to protect the 2nd Amendment by keeping firearms in the hands of law abiding Americans [of] sound mind," he wrote Monday night. "History will show we are on the side of responsible gun owners & most Americans."
In an interview at police headquarters with the Houston Chronicle Tuesday afternoon, Acevedo reiterated his past calls for gun reform.
“The ‘party of law enforcement’ may not care, but you know what? They’re not the ones burying our officers,” he said. “Maybe if they came out and had to make the notifications, and see the bodies of dead police officers who’ve been shot, laying in their own pool of blood, maybe all these people that are supposed to be the party of law and order will start caring about law and order and will start protecting the Second Amendment and law-abiding Americans by enacting pragmatic reforms that are achievable.”