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State leaders search for solutions after El Paso shooting

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State leaders develop plans on how to stop mass shootings in Texas

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – Gov. Greg Abbott won’t call a special session in response to the shooting in El Paso, but he says Texas legislators will continue to work together on ideas and strategies to address how to prevent future deadly attacks and catastrophes.

“My point is this: after the shooting in Santa Fe, after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, after Hurricane Harvey, we didn’t rush in to have a special session,” Abbott said during his town hall in Tyler.

“This government doesn’t require the legislature to be in session to work,” he added. “There are so many levers the governor has available to him that we’re going to begin executing right now for us to be able to make sure El Paso and other communities are safer right now.”

Abbott, who was born in Wichita Falls, returned to east Texas Thursday for a town hall hosted by Nexstar Media Group. The town hall was broadcast statewide on-air and online across the company’s affiliates.

Watch the full town hall with Gov. Greg Abbott here.

In wake of the shooting that left 22 people dead and scores more injured, Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed a Domestic Terrorism Task Force to coordinate law enforcement responses, and a Texas Safety Commission to develop an “immediate action plan.” 

Texas State Senator Pat Fallon (R-30) believes this is a good first step.

“After the Santa Fe shooting, [Abbott] did the same thing,” Fallon said. “He had a task force. They went around the state. They talked to a lot of concerned and smart Texans. Then, we went back to the legislative session and passed some real sublative reform where our goal was that students in Texas would be in the safest schools in the country.”

After announcing the creation of the The Domestic Terrorism Task Force, Abbott also asked the Texas Department of Public Safety to make white supremacy a priority, by ordering the agency to assess emerging threats and assign more DPS special agents and analysts in Texas Anti-Gang Centers to conduct criminal probes of gangs “affiliated with neo-Nazis and white nationalists and networks espousing terrorist attacks.”

Fallon said he doesn’t want to get political, but he believes evil doesn’t have ac color.

“You know what pulls those triggers? Evil.” Fallon said. “Evil doesn’t have a color. Evil doesn’t have an ethnicity and that’s what we really have to focus on.”

Fallon said there are extremism in every walk of life.

“We need to combat and watch all extremism wherever it comes from, whether it’s murders in California done with a knife, whether it’s foreign or domestic.” Fallon said. “Timothy McVeigh didn’t use a gun and he killed 168 Americans, he was an extremist. We have to watch folks like him before they act.”

When asked if President Donald Trump should tone down his rhetoric following the El Paso shooting Fallon said, “When there were mass shootings under President Obama’s watch not one of them was his fault.”

Fallon said the lay the blame on President Trump or whoever is in the White House at that time is absurd.

“It’s completely and patently unfair,” Fallon said. “We are in this together. We are 330 million people in this country. We have the most diverse population in the world, particularly for a major country, and that’s our strength. I’d like to hear any political leader talk about the fact that success and greatness comes in all shapes and sizes and shades.”

Texoma Politics Now airs the final Sunday of every month. It is hosted by Nicholas Quallich and executive produced by Brittney Cottingham. If you have questions, comments, suggestions about the show or would be interested in appearing on an episode, email bcottingham@kfdx.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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