Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick went on CNN Sunday morning and made a call to arm all the teachers in Texas as part of an agenda he was looking to get out.
He made the statement after discussing the horrific shooting that took place at Santa Fe High School just two days prior, killing 10 people.
“We need our teachers to be armed. You know, when you’re facing someone who is an active shooter, the best way to take down that shooter is with a gun. But even better than that is five guns to one.”
Let’s parse that statement. He says teachers need to be armed to be safe in school. That’s the qualification he’s making. He didn’t say we only need some armed to be safe.
Just before saying this, though, he admitted Texas law can hold someone legally responsible even if your intentions are good.
“In Texas, again, we hold you really responsible if you are a gun owner. If I use my gun to stop a crime or defend myself and a stray bullet hits someone i can be held not only civilly but criminally liable.”
Given all this – why does Lt. Governor Patrick want to arm teachers then?
One good message Patrick did send was that he made it clear that people lock up their guns at home to make sure others don’t get their hands on them – that’s something everyone can agree on.
But, he made another divisive statement shortly after the shooting, blaming the shooting on two many entrances and exits. He drew a lot of controversy for that.
“We may have to look at the design of our schools moving forward and retrofitting schools that are already built. And what I mean by that is there are too many entrances and too many exits to our more than 8,000 campuses in Texas,” he said, citing security at office buildings and courthouses. “Had there been one single entrance possibly for every student, maybe he would have been stopped.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) had this to say about that:
“Blame the doors? Anything but the weapon. Got it. Enough Is Enough.”
In theory, we get what the Lt. Governor is trying to say: limit ways for the shooter to get access to the school, but based on the merits of his comments, he is simply wrong.
Arnette F. Heintze, a security expert based out of Chicago, says that you simply can’t have limiting exits for that many people, shooters would take advantage of that.
“You can’t have one exit and entrance for 1,400 people,” he said. “Then you create a killing field for someone.”
He also pointed out that it would be against state fire codes and other regulations.
“What I’d hate for America to do is get distracted by feeling there is a failure in school security design,” he said. “It’s our society and how we don’t pay attention to signs and behaviors of individuals who are on the path to violence. … You can’t put armed guards at every school entrance in America; it’s not going to happen. It’s educating our society about those behaviors.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s comment mirrored a similar call from President Donald Trump shortly after the mass shooting on Valentines Day in Florida.