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More Than Half Of Texans ‘Strongly Support’ Background Checks On All Gun Sales

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Only a small percentage of Texans think background checks are bogus; the Oscar nominations lack minorities and Texans; SNL’s creator will speak at the George W. Bush Center about political parody; and more.   

When it comes to criminal and mental background checks on gun purchases, the majority of Texas voters are all for it. Fifty-four percent “strongly support” checks for firearms sold at gun shows as well as privates sales, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Twenty-four percent of Texans said they “somewhat support” them. Only 17 percent said they oppose those restrictions.

The Tribune reported:

“Support varied from one group to another, but virtually every subset of the electorate favors the checks: 92 percent of liberals, 86 percent of moderates, 66 percent of conservatives; 76 percent of whites, 89 percent of blacks, 82 percent of Hispanics; 71 percent of men, 85 percent of women. There was a distinction among conservative voters: Among those who identify more with the Republican Party, 79 percent favor background checks. But among those who identify with the Tea Party, 48 percent favor the checks and 51 percent oppose them.”

Many Texans said they aren’t worried about the new open carry law that went into effect on Jan. 1, but there were differences in responses among racial and ethnic groups, showing some ambiguity in the blanket “pro-gun-rights culture” covering the state.

The Tribune released several eye-opening poll results concerning Texans voters.

“This is one of a series of stories from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Also today: Texans on immigration and refugees. Tuesday: How the candidates stand a week before theRepublicanandDemocraticprimary elections. Wednesday: Voter impressions of the presidential candidates. Friday: The mood of the state.”

Read more. [The Texas Tribune]

  • With Academy Awards airing this Sunday, two questions arise: 1) Who’s going to win? 2) Why are they almost all white? To answer the first question, KERA’s Stephen Becker and The Dallas Morning News’ Chris Vognar discuss their predictions for the 88th Academy Awards. The ballot lacks not only in ethnic diversity but in ties to Texas. And to answer the second question regarding #OscarsSoWhite, Think’s Krys Boyd spoke with Vognar as well as UTA assistant film professor Ya’Ke Smith about Hollywood’s diversity problem and how it affects filmmakers at all levels. [The Big Screen, Think]

  • Live from Dallas, it’s Saturday Night. Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live, will talk in the company of George W. Bush and Laura Bush about the long-running sketch show’s portrayal of U.S. presidencies over the years. Michaels’ appearance at the George W. Bush Center on Saturday night is a bit ironic, considering the years of material the 43rd presidency provided. Event details. [The Dallas Morning News]

Comedian and actor Will Ferrell, who portrayed George Bush during the early years of his presidency, made a recent reprise in December to discuss the current election.

  • Forget Exxxotica, there will be a marijuana convention in Fort Worth this weekend. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: “The event, sponsored by Texas Cannabis Industry Association and Dallas Observer, will be at the Fort Worth Convention Center Feb. 28 and 29. Rory Mendoza, executive director of the SWCC Expo, said he hopes it will be the most professional and educational cannabis conference the southwest United States has ever experienced, according to a statement on the official SWCC Expo website.” Interested attendees will have to have show some green —tickets are $100 each. But all government and elected officials will get in for free. Read more. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]


  • KERA 90.1 will air coverage of the last big race before Super Tuesday. The South Carolina Democratic Primary takes place on Saturday evening. Listen to or stream 90.1 FM from 5-8 p.m. to hear candidate speeches, newsmaker interviews, and analysis from NPR’s National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson and Political Director Domenico Montanaro, along with polling insights from Democratic Pollster Anna Greenberg of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research. NPR’s reporters will join from remote sites in South Carolina. [KERA, NPR]