Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton argued on Thursday that arming teachers and school personnel would be a significant deterrent against future school shooter threats.
Paxton shared the remarks during an interview with Newsmax regarding Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers. The shooter also shot his own grandmother before heading to the school, using a rifle he legally purchased shortly after his 18th birthday.
“I think that the program we voted on when I was in the Senate, I think it was 2013, we put together a guardianship program and a marshal program where teachers can be trained to defend the school,” Paxton stated.
The attorney general added “there has not been a single school that has had an attack like this. I think it is a significant deterrent for sure to walk into a school and have no idea who has a gun and who doesn’t.”
In addition to programs to arm teachers and school personnel, Paxton said that social media companies must do more to cooperate with law enforcement regarding red flags that may point to potential violence.
“They like to control what they do and they have not been open and forthright in sharing information like this with authorities,” Paxton claimed.
“I think it’s a shame because they could voluntarily do it and it’s unfortunate that Congress is having to try to force them to do it,” he noted.
During a separate interview with Fox News, Paxton argued that the school shooter would not have followed a single gun law. Instead, he has encouraged increased safety measures for local schools.
Texas school shooter would not have followed a 'single gun law': Texas attorney general Ken Paxton | Fox News https://t.co/FwE3s23HEu
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 26, 2022
“Look, we just spent $40 billion on Ukraine to help protect another nation,” Paxton said. “It seems like the least we could do is fund a police officer or at least a program because obviously there are thousands and thousands of schools in this country.”
Paxton was also quick to criticize Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke for crashing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference on Wednesday to address the Uvalde shooting.
“Today is about supporting these families, not about fighting each other,” he said.
Paxton visited Uvalde on Wednesday to help facilitate the set up of a location for the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program “to help the families of this shooting,” according to a statement from his office. Paxton also visited Office of the Attorney General staff members that were impacted by this act of violence.
The shooting happened in the city of Uvalde, which is approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio and has a population of roughly 16,000 people.
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” Abbott said following the tragedy on Tuesday. “Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering.”
Texans are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime & for the community of Uvalde.
Cecilia & I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 24, 2022