Nicole Golden, Executive Director, Texas Gun Sense:
You know what? When we respond to these events, we don’t focus on the shooter, we focus on the victims and survivors, and we focus on the change that’s needed.
And what I want everybody to know and to hear is that we are devastated. I got involved — and we’re angry. I got involved in this work nearly 10 years ago because of a very tragically similar event at the Sandy Hook School.
And I had small kids of my own back then. And I got deeply invested. And, in those years, we have seen some of the most high-profile mass shootings take place here in Texas. And we also know that there’s everyday gun violence that disproportionately impacts communities of color, and we don’t hear about a lot of those in the news.
We know we have a crisis. And we also know that, after some of these horrific events, our lawmakers promised action. After the Santa Fe school shooting here in Texas in 2018, Governor Abbott laid out a school safety plan with some very sensible measures, some of the same things we had fought for, for years in that legislature, things that would keep guns out of the wrong hands, a measure like an extreme risk protection order to have guns legally and temporarily removed from individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others, a mandatory — mandatory reporting of lost and stolen firearms to prevent things like this from happening again.
The legislature did not enact those things. The governor failed on his promises. And, instead, we’re faced today with another horrific shooting that might have been prevented.
And what the legislature did, not only did they not pass those measures, but they went in the opposite direction. Last session, they removed licensing and training requirements to carry a handgun in public in Texas.
So we’re really angry, and we’re tired of feeling like we’re screaming into the void.