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Texas' Lt. Gov. Floats Chilling Solution for School Shooting Crisis

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. (Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Shortly after the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Southeast Texas that left 10 dead and 10 others wounded, two of them critically, the state’s lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, named an improbable culprit in the massacre: doors. Less than 48 hours later, Patrick offered a fix for gun violence that was no less unlikely, this time reverting to one of the president’s newest talking points.

In an interview with CNN that echoed Donald Trump’s remarks after February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the Texas official called on the country to start arming its educators, in accordance with the Second Amendment. “Our teachers are part of that well-run militia,” Patrick told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos, adding,  “It’s guns that also stop crimes.”

The absurdity of Patrick’s remarks should be self-evident. Teachers fail to meet any conceivable definition of a militia, and their arming is hardly “necessary to the security of a free state,” as the Second Amendment stipulates. More troubling is that one of the president’s more febrile ideas appears to be gaining currency within the greater Republican Party. (A recent HuffPost survey found as many as 70 percent of Republicans support arming teachers.)

If Sean Hannity truly has Trump’s ear, as a recent New York Magazine report indicates, it probably won’t be the last such proposal. This week, the Fox News host challenged the federal government to monitor every student’s social media activity, insisting the mounting number of school shootings is “not a gun issue.”

Santa Fe High had taken multiple steps to avoid Friday’s tragedy, having two armed police officers patrol the school’s hallways as part of an “active-shooter plan.” According to The Washington Post, “they thought they were a hardened target.”

As of Friday, 29 students have been slain in 16 such incidents in American schools this year. Just 13 U.S. service members have been killed on active duty over the same period.

Jacob Sugarman
Jacob Sugarman is the acting managing editor at Truthdig. He is a graduate of the Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism whose writing has appeared in Salon, AlterNet and Tablet, among other…
Jacob Sugarman

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