I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but Texas Tribune editor in chief Evan Smith has a fantastic segment coming up that I don’t want to miss.
It won’t air until Thursday, Jan. 2 on Panhandle PBS, but I’m going to make sure I sit down at 8 p.m. that day to catch it as it airs.
Smith will be talking to Mark Kelly. And who is Mark Kelly? He’s a retired astronaut, who flew on a couple of space shuttle missions before NASA grounded the fleet of ships in 2012. He’s also married to a former congresswoman, one Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona — who was wounded gravely in that horrifying mass murder in January 2011.
Jared Lee Loughner killed six people at a political rally in Tucson and nearly killed Giffords by shooting her point blank in the head. She has survived and is still recovering from her wound.
Kelly has been at her side and, along with Giffords, has taken up the cause of gun control in the wake of the tragic event.
Kelly strikes me as a media savvy fellow who looks and sounds quite comfortable in the spotlight. I’ve been impressed with the way he carries himself and with the articulate tone he strikes in talking about issues that are important to him.
He’s coming to Texas, though, no doubt to talk to Smith about the one issue — gun violence — that thrust him and his wife into the national spotlight. Let’s be blunt: Texas isn’t exactly a place where he’s expected to harvest a lot of support for his cause.
For that reason alone he is to be admired for his political courage.
I’ve also believed he could become a legitimate candidate for high public office if he so chooses.
Perhaps the Tribune’s editor in chief will get him to make that commitment in public.
I’ll watch and listen for a clue.