AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A gun advocacy rally is coinciding with legislative conversations around how to improve schools safety, nine months after the second-deadliest mass school shooting in the nation’s history took place in the small Texas town of Uvalde.
Hundreds of people rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday, calling for tighter restrictions around how Texans are able to purchase firearms.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Public Education held a hearing to discuss a variety of issues facing Texas public schools — ranging from teacher turnover to the hardening of schools to increase safety on campuses.
The legislative panel invited testimony from Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath, Chief of School Safety and Security John Scott, and Texas School Safety Center Director, Dr. Kathy Martinez-Prather.
During the conversation around school safety, Martinez-Prather noted that the problems that cause school shootings are complex and therefore, solutions will not be black and white.
“We do have to focus everything from how to we prevent to how do we recover when these tragedies do happen,” she said. “It’s physical security, it’s mental health it’s all of the things we are doing in prevention.”
Rep. Matt Schaeffer, R-Tyler, said the conversation around prevention cannot ignore the fact the majority of perpetrators of gun violence in schools are young men.
“We do have a profile: it’s all men,” he said. “If we are gonna talk about school shootings we need to talk about men.”