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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/18/18

Beto O'Rourke Statement on the Mass Shooting that Killed 10 in Santa Fe Texas

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TX Student: 'All We Heard Was Run, Run' A tenth-grade student and her mother described the tense moments during and after a deadly high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday.

As of this writing, at least ten killed and many more injured at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. We're still learning more, but we know that students went to school this morning and didn't make it to the end of the day. Didn't make it to graduation, didn't make it to the rest of their lives.

My thoughts are with the community of Santa Fe. I'm thinking of the students, teachers, administrators, parents, and law enforcement. I'm deeply sorry that they are experiencing this.

I'm sorry that there are parents, brothers, and sisters who are grieving, who won't see their children and siblings at the next family dinner or baseball game. I'm sorry that there are teachers everywhere worrying about whether their classroom will be next instead of solely focusing on teaching those kids. I'm sorry that some of the students at Santa Fe weren't surprised that this happened because they expected it at some point. I'm sorry that more people have been killed at our schools this year than have been killed while serving in our military.

Either we accept this, and continue to be sorry, and prayerful and thoughtful. Or we act. That's it.

There are 535 members of Congress. Who represent 320 million people. All of us. Each member responsible for representing the interests of this country, of people, of human beings, of kids. Not responsible for PACs or lobbies, corporations or special interests. Not responsible for the next election.

Remembering that, we can meet silence with action. Tragedy with common purpose. The disagreements with compromise and consensus that allow us to do better -- not perfect, not your ideal, not my ideal, but better than what we have today. Shouldn't be too much to ask for the kids who died today, for the kids too scared to go to school on Monday, should it?

What if we required universal background checks to ensure that firearms only get into the hands of those won't harm themselves or someone else. Close all loopholes and exceptions. Every single gun purchase has a background check.

We can stop the new sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to ensure that firearms designed to kill as effectively and efficiently as possible on the battlefield aren't used in our schools, our streets, our churches, and our concerts.

We can give federal help to local school districts to improve on-campus safety. Local stakeholder solutions with assistance to make the necessary investments.

We can fully support federal research on gun violence so that we can better understand and address its root causes.

We can improve record sharing from the background check system, the ability for law enforcement to more effectively act on information that could help in the prevention of gun sales to those who shouldn't own them or stop those who do and pose a threat.

We can find a way to implement Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) or Red Flag Laws. Successfully implementing these can stop shootings and might have a big impact on the suicides that make up 2/3 of our daily 96 gun deaths.

These are some ideas I've heard from my constituents in El Paso, from students at the town hall I held at Montwood High earlier this year, from those I've met along the road throughout the counties of Texas.

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