Recommendations After Santa Fe Shooting Come Back to Light – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The shooting death of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde has renewed calls for action.

Just days after a student brought his father’s gun to Santa Fe high school and killed 10 students and wounded 13 in May of 2018, Texas Governor Greg Abbott launched a series of roundtable discussions.

The talks brought together students, parents, law enforcement, school leaders and politicians. The discussions lead to bi-partisan support for new laws.

The laws focused on implementing emergency plans for schools and using “threat assessment teams” that could help identify potentially dangerous students and ways to intervene. The new laws also allowed districts to add more school marshals, essentially armed staff, to campus and expanded student access to mental health services.

Now four years later, heartache in Uvalde.

“When you see 19 children, third or fourth graders that are killed that is really unimaginable and unacceptable and we have to do a better job,” said former Dallas ISD police chief Craig Miller.

Miller now consults schools on security issues and said those round table discussions were lacking.

“We want to make our schools as hardened as we can,” Miller said. “It’s time to get away from the politicians and let the people actually involved in this process be the ones who are helping to form the foundation of what we’re going to do moving forward with school safety.”

“It’s difficult to have a round table and only have elected government officials or people from architectural firms or school technology firms that are there and not invite people that are there every single day working with the kids,” said Miller.

Representatives with Texas Gun Sense, a statewide gun violence prevention organization, took part in discussions around legislation and said every proposal that addressed gun reform failed, including closing background check loopholes and red flag laws which allow firearms to be seized from someone considered a threat.

“These are things that most Texans support. These are reasonable measures that in other states have been successful in reducing gun deaths, ”said Nicole Golden, executive director of Texas Gun Sense.

“Most of the bills we push forward even with broad support have not made it out of committee,” said Golden. Instead, last session lawmakers approved removing licensing and training requirements to carry a loaded handgun in public. They went the wrong direction. ”

During Wednesday’s briefing on the Uvalde mass shooting, Abbott says looking at tougher gun laws is not the “real solution” to the problem of gun violence and stressed mental health services.

Democratic candidate for governor and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke interrupted the briefing to push for gun reform now.

“If we continue to accept this than it is on us. It’s not just the governor’s fault. It’s on us. I’m not going to accept it. So I’m here. I’m calling attention to this, ”O’Rourke said.

Golden believes common ground can be reached and said Texas Gun Sense will be working on their strategy to push for reforms when the next legislative session begins in January 2023.

“I want people to know that even if they are feeling that sense of despair we’ve all been there. The antidote to despair is action, “said Golden.

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