Arizona shooting raises concern in E. Texas

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When Carrie Wright first learned of the Arizona shootings there was an added concern for her husband.

"There was a little fear. I asked him how he felt. If he felt that would effect anything," said Wright, wife to Steven Wright, the Nacogdoches County Democratic Party chair. Even as a grass roots political advocate, he's received threatening e mails.

"We did have to sit down and have a conversation about if that was something that we were willing to continue doing, advocating for people right now in this kind of political climate," shared Carrie.

Steven stated, "It is somewhat frightening. The rhetoric has gotten heated and that's not helpful. It's a big concern when you're trying to get people involved.

"Brenda Willet, another Nacogdoches County Democratic Party officer isn't in total agreement. "It doesn't make me more cautious anywhere because it's just a random thing that could have happened anywhere," said Willet.

The attorney doesn't blame political rhetoric or a lack of security for a troubled young man's violent actions.

"There's a mentally ill young man and he acted out in violence as a product of his mental illness. If we want those sorts of things not to happen we need to look at treatment for mental health care," said Willet, an advocate for mental health awareness. "It's a logical, as opposed to an emotional approach, but you have to look at what will make a difference."

There are many factors. Ones the Wrights aren't dismissing. That led them to another question.

"Is it something we believe in, and sure, we're not willing to sacrifice advocacy for the people of Nacogdoches," said Carrie.

The Wrights intend to deliver without anger, but with information. Carrie is hopeful all politicians will "learn to be wise about what they say."

The Wrights say they won't be frightened when around controversial political leaders, but they will remain aware of their surroundings.

All the discussion has led to some debate on the political front, but Republican State Chairman Steve Munisteri eloquently stated, "At a grievous time such as this, we are reminded that whether we are Republicans or Democrats - we are all, first and foremost, Americans. "

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