Greg Abbott, the Republican Governor of Texas, has been busy these past few days attending a roundtable discussion for three days.
The reason for holding the roundtable is in response to the Santa Fe school shooting.
The aim is to determine how to prevent future school shootings from happening and how to keep kids safe while in school.
When it comes to responses to school shootings lately, the response seems to be to create more gun control laws and limit the rights of citizens even further…
However, the 44-page plan that resulted from the roundtable meeting emphasizes school security and mental health treatment for students, and is surprisingly relaxed on gun control.
According to Governor Abbott, the 44-page plan is a “starting point, not an ending place.
He also said that Texas schools can implement many of the strategies in the plan without needing to wait for legislative approval, and that they can be ready by the time school starts again.
Even though many of the strategies can be used without legislative approval, some of the other measures in the plan will require cooperation from the legislature.
The plan that resulted from the roundtable discussion has 40 suggestions for promoting student safety while at school.
One of the big points made in the plan is the need for increasing armed security at schools.
The report suggests working with local law enforcement to have more personnel on the premises. It also promotes the idea of arming teachers who volunteer to carry a gun at school for the students’ safety.
There are also suggestions for making school buildings themselves more secure. It calls for making the buildings more difficult for intruders to enter and even suggests adding active shooter alarms to help notify everyone in the building that there is a shooter present.
The plan also calls for providing mental health treatment to students. Staff would be trained to identify warning signs so that threats could be stopped before they happen.
Here’s what Governor Abbott said when discussing the plan:
The strategy that I most strongly encourage the legislature to consider is greater investment in mental health, especially in crisis intervention counselors. As long as mental health challenges trouble our children, there will never be enough safety barriers that we can build to protect our students. If, however, we can address mental health challenges faced by our students it will do more than just make our schools safer. I doubt there has been a Texas governor with a more pro-gun record than myself … I can assure you I will never allow Second Amendment rights to be infringed, but I will always promote responsible gun ownership.
Unfortunately, Governor Abbott also seemed interested in exploring “red flag laws”, laws that allow a person’s guns to be seized if they’ve been noted as being “suspicious”. His goal is to see how effective they are and implement them if they seem to help.
However, any law that promotes gun control is actually making the problem worse, not helping it. Though for the most part, he’s on the right track by increasing school security and trying to get teachers armed.