INTERNATIONAL.- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to address school violence and safety in the wake of another mass school shooting.
But Abbott’s call to do “more than just pray” for the victims comes in a state that has fully embraced its gun culture and resisted previous attempts to scale it back. Earlier this month at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, Abbott himself said, “The problem is not guns. The problem is hearts without God.
It is homes without discipline and communities without values.” The killing of eight students and two teachers last week at Santa Fe High School prompted the governor to call a series of roundtable discussions on school safety, starting Tuesday in Austin.
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Abbott said the discussions will include lawmakers, educators, students, parents, gunrights advocates and shooting survivors.
The first one features officials from school districts that arm some teachers or contract with local police for security. “I am seeking the best solutions to make our schools more secure and to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said.
But few expect the meetings to result in any major push for new gun restrictions, especially in a state where more than 1.2 million people are licensed to carry handguns and are allowed to openly carry them in public if they wish.
The state’s 20-year dominance by the Republican Party all but guarantees the meetings will be dominated by calls to boost school security and “harden” campuses.