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Gun Culture in Texas and Summer Melt: Wednesday’s show (July 29, 2015)

If you live in Texas, you must be a gun owner, right? Everyone is, after all. Except…no. Everyone isn’t. In fact, a recent study suggests while Texas has slightly higher than average gun ownership rates, gun owners are, in fact, the overwhelming minority. According to the report published last month in the health journal Injury […]

If you live in Texas, you must be a gun owner, right? Everyone is, after all. Except…no. Everyone isn’t. In fact, a recent study suggests while Texas has slightly higher than average gun ownership rates, gun owners are, in fact, the overwhelming minority. According to the report published last month in the health journal Injury Prevention, 35.7 percent of Texans owned guns in 2013 – that’s far below most Western and many other Southern states. In total, 15 U.S. states have a higher percentage of gun owners than Texas.

So what gives? Why is Texas, seemingly above all other states, equated with gun ownership, when far more people in Arkansas, West Virginia, Alaska, and a dozen other states are gun owners? Are we actually not quite what we think we are? And how does gun culture in and around Houston compare to the rest of the Lone Star state? We’ll talk it over on this edition of Houston Matters.

Also this hour: After public housing in Galveston was damaged during Hurricane Ike, the federal government offered $586 million in disaster aid to rebuild. But some folks there didn’t want the housing rebuilt, leading to a protracted legal battle. We’ll review that dispute, and discuss the state of public housing in Galveston.

Then: When Verlia Reed-Byrd started teaching, she struggled so much that she almost quit. Then she got some new training, and also met a new student. News 88.7 education reporter Laura Isensee picks up the story from there in the latest installment of Inside the Classroom.

We’ll then stay with education, and turn our attention to the summer between high school and college, when some graduates enroll but never show up in the fall. In higher education circles, the phenomenon is called “summer melt.” The U.S. Department of Education estimates as many as 10 to 20% of students nationwide plan to go to college, and then don’t. Some do so for financial reasons; some just aren’t ready for that next step. We’ll discuss the prevalence of summer melt in Houston.

Plus: It’s no secret that when it comes to watching movies, most of us use online streaming or stop by a DVD rental box. But there was a time when video stores were king. For many Houstonians, that place was Audio/Video Plus. Although the video retailer closed up shop in 2012, its inventory lives on in a resurgence of VHS collecting. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin reports on why VHS was so revolutionary just a few decades ago, and why collectors still seek out video today.

 

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