Texas Governor Greg Abbott unveiled dozens of recommendations Wednesday focused on mental health and school safety after the latest US mass shooting to claim children’s lives.
The governor’s recommendations came nearly two weeks after a 17-year-old student gunned down eight fellow students and two teachers at Santa Fe High School in rural Southeast Texas, and injured 13 others.
The $110 million plan came after the government last week held three days of discussions with students, educators, and experts in various fields.
Of the 40 recommendations put forth by the Republican governor of the staunchly conservative state, only a few were gun safety measures. The governor mainly focused on increasing armed security on school campuses and more mental health screenings to identify troubled children.
But, Abbott also called for requiring gun owners to report lost firearms and for allowing law enforcement to temporarily take away guns from people determined by courts to be “potentially dangerous” to themselves or others.
The May 18 shooting in Santa Fe was the latest high-profile instance of gun violence in the US and came just a few months after the February massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 and sparked a student-led movement for more gun control.
In the aftermath of the Texas shooting, there have been only modest calls for tougher gun laws, which in Texas are among the most permissive in the country.
Referring to the wishes of some of the Santa Fe students themselves, Abbott called mainly for increasing armed security in schools — including employing military veterans, more armed teachers and off-duty police — and expanding mental health options for schools.
The governor mainly focused on increasing armed security on school campuses and more mental health screenings to identify troubled children.
“This plan is a starting point, not an ending place, to provide strategies that can be used before the next school year begins,” Abbott said at a news conference. The $110 million plan came after the government last week held three days of discussions with students, educators, and experts in various fields.
A few Santa Fe students last week publicly called for requiring gun owners to safely lock away their weapons and for stricter background checks. The Santa Fe shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, employed a shotgun and handgun belonging to his father.
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“We are just trying to make guns safer, and trying to make people treat them as the machines that they are, rather than as toys,” Santa Fe High School student Bree Butler told a news conference Friday.
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