Texas school massacre continues states’ grim run of mass shootings

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Once once more, one in every of America’s deadliest mass shootings came about in Texas.

Past shootings centered worshippers all the way through a Sunday sermon, customers at a Walmart, scholars on a highschool campus and drivers on a freeway. Among the newest sufferers had been 19 youngsters within the small the town of Uvalde, west of San Antonio, the place on Tuesday a gunman opened fireplace inside of an basic college within the country’s deadliest college taking pictures in just about a decade.

Each of the ones tragedies in Texas — which resulted in additional than 85 useless in all — took place within the final 5 years.

But because the horror in Uvalde plunges the U.S. into every other debate over gun violence, Texas and the state’s Republican-controlled govt have by way of now demonstrated what’s more likely to occur subsequent: just about not anything that might prohibit gun get right of entry to.

Lawmakers are not likely to undertake any important new limits on weapons. Last 12 months, gun regulations had been in reality loosened after a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 folks in a racist 2019 assault that centered Hispanics.

“I can’t wrap my head around it,” mentioned state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district comprises Uvalde. “It’s disturbing to me as a policymaker that we have been able to do little other than create greater access to these militarized weapons to just about anyone who would want them.”

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recognized the gunman as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. Two different adults additionally died within the assault. The gunman used to be killed by way of government.

The cycle in Texas — a mass taking pictures adopted by way of few if any new restrictions on weapons — mirrors GOP efforts to dam stricter regulations in Congress and the making sure outrage from Democrats and supporters of more difficult gun keep watch over.

President Joe Biden angrily made a renewed push Tuesday night after the tragedy in Uvalde. “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he requested in an deal with from the White House.

The taking pictures in Texas came about days prior to the National Rifle Association is ready to carry its annual assembly in Houston, the place Abbott and different Republican leaders are scheduled to talk.

Even as Biden’s birthday party has narrow keep watch over of Congress, gun violence expenses have stalled within the face of Republican opposition within the Senate. Last 12 months, the House handed two expenses to increase background tests on firearms purchases, however each languished within the 50-50 Senate the place Democrats want no less than 10 Republican votes to triumph over objections from a filibuster.

“It sort of centers around the issue of mental health. It seems like there’s consensus in that area,” No. 2 Senate GOP chief John Thune mentioned about how Congress will have to reply to the Uvalde taking pictures. He didn’t specify what that might be.

In Texas, any adjustments to gun get right of entry to would no longer come till lawmakers go back to the Capitol in 2023. In the previous, requires motion have light.

Abbott, who’s up for reelection in November, mentioned the taking pictures in Uvalde used to be performed “horrifically, incomprehensibly” on youngsters. He didn’t right away say how or whether or not Texas would reply to this newest mass taking pictures on a coverage degree, however since he turned into governor in 2015, the state has simplest gotten extra comfy in terms of gun regulations.

Exactly three hundred and sixty five days prior to the Uvalde taking pictures, the GOP-controlled Legislature voted to take away one of the most final primary gun restrictions in Texas: required licenses, background tests and coaching for the just about 1.6 million registered handgun house owners within the state on the time.

Abbott signed the measure, which got here on the finish of what used to be the Texas Legislature’s first probability to behave after the Walmart assault.

A 12 months later, a person went on a freeway taking pictures rampage within the West Texas oil patch that left seven folks useless, spraying bullets into passing vehicles and buying groceries plazas and killing a U.S. Postal Service worker whilst hijacking her mail truck.

Following a taking pictures at Santa Fe High School in 2018 that killed 10 folks close to Houston, Abbott signaled make stronger for so-called purple flag regulations, which prohibit gun get right of entry to for folks deemed unhealthy to themselves or others. But he later retreated amid pushback from gun-rights supporters.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who received the GOP nomination for a 3rd time period Tuesday, informed Fox News after the Uvalde taking pictures that the most efficient reaction could be coaching academics and “hardening” colleges.

Democrat state Rep. Joe Moody recalled the hope he felt that the Walmart taking pictures in his border town may after all result in reforms.

“And the only answer you get when we go to the Capitol is, ‘More guns, less restrictions,’” Moody mentioned. “That’s it.’”

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