Governor. was surrounded by other Republicans at a high school stage. Greg Abbott was finishing up his opening remarks on the murder of Uvalde school teachers and children in Texas when Beto O’Rourke appeared from the audience.
"Gov. "Gov. "The time is now to stop the next shooting, and you are doing absolutely nothing."
The crowd booed and cheered as Ted Cruz, a former congressman and 2020 presidential hopeful, spoke briefly. He was then escorted out of the room. Standing behind Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz shook his head, saying "sit down!" While one woman in the crowd shouted, "Let him talk!" Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said that O'Rourke was "a sick son of a bitch." Others cried.
The briefing became an argument similar in nature to that of the school shooting in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.
Democrats are open to discussing restrictions on firearm ownership and types of weapons, but Republicans feel such laws are pointless. They prefer to concentrate on other issues, like school security -- or avoid the entire discussion altogether.
"We need all Texans in Texas to in this single moment in time put aside our own agendas and think of somebody else, think about those who are hurt," Abbott stated immediately after O'Rourke left, his voice rising.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took the microphone moments later and insisted that it was time to concentrate on victims and their families. He added: "This issue is not partisan." This is not an issue of politics.
For many, including those in the auditorium at the high school, the politics and partisanship are unavoidable. The mass shooting that took place in a small Texas town west of San Antonio on Tuesday was the latest in Texas' recent history. Texas lawmakers relaxed gun laws after a gunman murdered 23 people in an attack on Hispanics at El Paso's Walmart in 2019.
Abbott said Wednesday that he considers the steps the Republican-controlled Legislature took in 2019 to be the "most profound" action anywhere in the U.S. to stop school shootings. Other GOP officials agreed with him that the right place to concentrate is on mental health, "hardening schools" or making them safer, and not on gun restrictions.
He called the existing gun laws in Chicago and New York ineffective.
I hate to admit this, but Chicago has more school shootings per weekend than Texas. We need to recognize that those who believe that "maybe we just enforce tougher gun laws" will solve the problem -- Chicago, LA, and New York disprove this thesis," he stated.
Federal health data does not support Abbott's claims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California and New York have lower firearms death rates than Texas and also have the lowest per-capita rates. Despite the violence in Chicago, Abbott mentions that Illinois also has a lower firearms deaths rate than Texas.