Need to Know: High School Shooting in Texas Reignites Gun Control Debate

According to a report from National Public Radio, the suspect in Friday’s shooting, Dimitrios Pagourtzis – a 17-year-old student at Santa Fe High School – was apprehended after the rampage, and remains in custody as he awaits trial. After firing his weapons in an art classroom, Pagourtzis moved through the school, killing eight students and two educators. Pagourtzis carried a shotgun and a revolver, both of which were legally owned by his father. However a number of Lone Star State officials have refuted the need for legislative measures, instead holding strong to the state’s long-standing affinity for firearm culture.

During an official response to Friday’s tragedy this weekend, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick took the time to ascribe blame for the school shooting on everything from violent video games to reproductive rights, but remained adamant that the state’s lenient gun laws had nothing to do with Pagourtzis’ assault. “We have incredible heinous violence as a game, two hours a day in front of their eyes. And we stand here and we wonder why this happens to certain students.”

Lt. Gov. Patrick also told reporters that he believed a lack of religion in schools as well as too many campus doors had contributed to the vicious attacks.

On the other side of the coin, student activists from Parkland, Florida responded to Friday’s shooting by intensifying calls for comprehensive gun control laws that would increase background checks, restrict access to military-grade rifles, and potentially increase the national firearm purchasing age. “This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedy like this will continue to happen unless action is taken.”

But at least one Lone Star State official is calling for increased gun control after Friday’s deadly incident.

In an official response from the White House, President Donald Trump offered talking points about keeping children safe at school and preventing further tragedies, but did not include any specific actions that may lead to those goals.

“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools and keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others,” Trump said, according to NPR.

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