MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Article credited to Texas Monthly: http://www.texasmonthly.com

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Seeking Justice

A family that lost nine family members in the Sutherland Springs church shooting filed a claim against the U.S. government on Tuesday, seeking damages and citing errors made by the Air Force in allowing the shooter to purchase a gun. According to the San Antonio Express-News, the Holcombe family filed a claim specifically in the death of Bryan Holcombe, and a lawsuit could be imminent. Coincidentally, the Air Force also announced on Tuesdaythe results of a review into shooter Devin Kelley’s case, finding background reporting lapses at other locations similar to the mistake that allowed Kelley to purchase his weapon despite having been convicted in military court of domestic abuse. The conviction should have prevented Kelley from buying the gun he used in the church massacre. “Although the shooter undoubtedly ‘pulled the trigger’ that resulted in the injuries and death of JB Holcombe and others, failures of the US Air Force, and others, allowed the shooter to purchase, own and/or possess the semiautomatic rifle, ammunition and body armor he used, and it is these failures that were a proximate cause, in whole or in part, of the injuries and death of the decedent,” the Holcombe family’s claim said.

Tough Road

A week after U.S. Representative Joe Barton publicly apologized for his years-old nude photos that circulated online before Thanksgiving, the veteran Ennis congressman now faces a new primary challenger for his seat and faces pressure from fellow Republicans to resign. On Tuesday, Jake Ellzey, a retired U.S. Navy pilot and commissioner on the Texas Veterans Commission, became the first Republican to file a bid against Barton this election cycle, according to the Dallas Morning News. Meanwhile, some Tarrant County Republicans who met with Barton on Monday to talk about his political future have now openly called for him not to seek reelection. “Since Mr. Barton’s highly-publicized issues have come to light, I have talked to numerous Republican activists, leaders, voters and elected officials about this situation—not a single one of them thinks he should run again,” Tim O’Hare, who heads the Tarrant County Republican Party, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday. “I personally hope he learns from this and tries to be a better father and man…. I, along with thousands of other Tarrant County Republicans, call on Mr. Barton to not seek re-election and to retire from Congress by the end of this year.”

Making Music

A bunch of Texas musicians were nominated for Grammy awards on Tuesday, with El Paso’s Khalid leading the way with five nominations. East Texas native Miranda Lambert garnered two nominations—one for best country solo performance and another shared nomination for best country song for “Tin Man.” Kelly Clarkson, from Fort Worth, earned a nomination for best pop solo performance for “Love So Soft.” Fort Worth native Maren Morris was also nominated for best country solo performance with her “I Could Use a Love Song.” Despite not releasing any of her own new music this year, Beyoncé still received a nomination for best rap/sung performance for “Family Feud,” her collaboration with her husband Jay-Z. But Khalid stole the show with five nominations, including song of the year (along with Logic and Alessia Cara for the suicide awareness anthem “1-800-273-8255,” which was also nominated for best music video) and best new artist. He’s also up for best urban contemporary album for American Teen and best R&B song for his breakthrough single “Location.” Not a bad haul for a nineteen-year-old.