Mental health common-sense gun reforms demand attention

Another mass shooting. This time at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. It was predictable and perhaps even preventable.

Texans want safe schools and reasonable improvements to gun control and mental health policies, but state policymakers have failed to enact common-sense policies that would save lives.

Headshot of David Dematthews in the College of Education.

The trauma endured in the Uvalde community was predictable because Texas has already witnessed too many mass shootings in schools, churches and retail stores without any meaningful policy changes to date. The Uvalde school shooting was also the 27th school shooting this year.

Four other mass shootings stand out and should have brought about significant policy changes. In 2019, a 21-year-old racist from the Dallas area drove to El Paso and killed 23 people. A few weeks later, another mass shooting killed 18 people in Midland-Odessa. In 2018, 10 adults and students were killed and 13 were injured by a 17-year-old student at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. In 2017, 26 people were killed at a Sutherland Springs church – the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.

Carleton Brown

In the wake of the El Paso shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Our goal is to make sure we do everything we can to make sure a crime like this doesn’t happen again.” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said on Fox News he was “willing to take an arrow” from the National Rifle Association for strengthening background checks. Unfortunately, the Texas Legislature went in the opposite direction and made it legal for individuals to carry handguns without a license or training in 2021.

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