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Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott has called on the Texas legislature to form a committee to investigate the causes and response to last week’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 people dead.
“As Texans mourn the tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last week, we as a State must reassess the twin issues of school safety and mass violence,” the Texas Republican wrote to fellow Republicans Attorney General Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan on Wednesday. “As leaders, we must come together at this time to provide solutions to protect all Texans.”
Abbott asked the legislature to “review what steps previous legislatures have enacted” and “what resources the State has made available to local school districts” in addition to providing recommendations on how policies can be improved in the areas of “school safety, mental health, social media, police training, and firearm safety.”
Abbott added that it is “important” to begin the process “immediately.”
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Following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Republicans in the legislature convened and published the Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission which provided recommendations to local school districts on ways to harden school targets and focus on mental health concerns to try and prevent more shootings in the future.
Officers in Uvalde are being criticized amid reports they waited outside the school for more than 70 minutes as suspected 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos continued his rampage, ultimately killing 19 students and two teachers.
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In a Friday press conference, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Stephen McCraw said the delayed police response to the mass shooting was “the wrong decision.”
Questions have also surfaced about whether protocols at the school were properly followed after law enforcement revealed that the gunman entered the school through an unlocked door after following shots. Additionally, authorities say that an armed officer assigned to the school was not on campus at the time of the shooting.
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While many have placed blame at the feet of law enforcement in the aftermath of the shooting, others have urged caution about a possible rush to judgment.
“The second guessing and finger pointing among state and local law enforcement is destructive, distracting, and unfair,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn tweeted over the weekend. “Complex scenarios require split second decisions. Easy to criticize with 20-20 hindsight.”
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Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.