A man and woman leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a mass shooting (Image: AAP/AP/William Luther)
A man and woman leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a mass shooting (Image: AAP/AP/William Luther)

Every day I have a direct view of a sniper’s nest. It’s the University of Texas Tower, the most prominent landmark in Austin, the state’s capital.

On August 1, 1966, Marine veteran Charles Whitman murdered his wife and mother, then went shopping. He bought a rifle, a shotgun, spare magazines and ammunition, before returning home to collect more weapons and bullets. Armed to the teeth, he headed for the tower and unleashed the deadliest mass shooting in America at that time.

Fifty years later the Republican-dominated Texas legislature commemorated the massacre by enacting a “campus carry” law, permitting students to bring concealed handguns to class. The law became effective on the anniversary of the bloodbath. It was a giant middle finger to all who oppose Republicans’ nihilistic gun mania.