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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Texas Gov. On State’s Deadliest School Shooting: ‘It Could Have Been Worse’

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tried to console Texans on Wednesday, a day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in the state’s deadliest school shooting, saying “it’s worse.” could have been done.”

Abbott told a news conference that Texans were “loved” and in need of mental health care after an 18-year-old gunman had a shooting rampage at Rob’s Elementary in Uvalde.

“All Texas people should come together and support the families that have been affected by this horrific tragedy,” he said. “What they need now more than ever is our love. They need uplifting from all of our fellow Texans and all of our fellow Americans. ,

“The reality is that, as terrible as what happened, it could have been worse,” Abbott said. “It wasn’t because law enforcement officers did what they did: they showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives.”

When it comes to preventing or slowing future violent acts, Abbott said, the focus should not be on gun control. Instead, he said he wants to make sure “everyone in this community has the mental, emotional health care they need to get the mental, emotional health care they need for as long as they need it.”

However, he also said he would not reconsider accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid to address the issue.

Abbott said 18-year-olds in Texas have been able to buy guns for 60 years. He also dismissed the relevance of school shootings in his state in the past, saying “we haven’t had school shootings for most of those 60 years.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott And Other Officials Held A News Conference Wednesday To Provide Updates On The Uvalde Elementary School Shooting.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials held a news conference Wednesday to provide updates on the Uvalde Elementary School shooting.

Alison Diner via Getty Images

At the time of the Santa Fe attack, Abbott promised to work with state legislators to look into solutions to gun violence. He signed laws that would boost mental health resources and give teachers greater access to guns on public school campuses.

Although Abbott made it clear that the focus of his office would not be on gun restrictions in the wake of Tuesday’s tragedy, lawmakers in other states have vowed to shut down.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) said Wednesday that she wants to raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15-style rifle in her state from 18 to 21. The gunman in the mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo earlier this month was also 18 and bought an AR-15; 10 people died and three others were injured.

Abbott dismissed them when asked about other states’ gun laws.

“I hate to say it, but more people shoot every weekend in Chicago than in schools in Texas,” he said. “If you’re looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you’re talking about is not a real solution. Our job is to come up with real solutions that we can implement.”

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