Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick believes that arming teachers could prevent more school violence in the state. He made the comment Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
Patrick's statement came two days after a mass killing at Santa Fe High School south of Houston left 10 dead and 13 injured. A 17-year-old suspect is being held on murder charges in connection with the massacre.
How would this work?
“We need teachers to be armed. When you’re facing someone who’s an active shooter, the best way to take that shooter down is with a gun. But even better than that is four or five guns to one," Patrick said.
Patrick praised the quick action of two school campus officers, a police officer and a state trooper in the area who quickly responded to calls of an active shooting at the school.
“They were able to stop the shooter from killing more,” he said.
Arming teachers would be one more reinforcement, Patrick said.
“But had teachers been armed — there was a teacher next door, a Marine who saw what was going on, slammed the door, locked his door, protected his students,” Patrick said. “Some feel, had he been able to carry a gun, he may have been able to stop that shooter, had it been his choice."
Texas already allows "teachers to carry, but we leave it up to local control, up to the superintendent, up to the teachers and up to the parents to make that decision," Patrick explained.
What else can be done?
Securing guns so they don’t fall into the wrong hands is another step that can be taken to ensure safety, he said.
“What can we do now?” Patrick asked on a video clip that aired Friday. “One, if you’re a parent and you own guns, lock your guns safely away. Your children should not be able, or anyone else, to get your legally-owned guns. It’s a serious issue. It’s one big step that we can take.”
Everyone who owns a gun must understand that gun safety “has to start at home,” Patrick said Sunday. “Gun ownership, and I’m a proud gun owner, comes with the responsibility of gun control in your home. Be sure your kids and grandkids, or anyone who might have access to your home cannot get your guns.”
Host Jake Tapper pressed Patrick about whether there should be laws that require guns to be locked up. Patrick said it depends on the state.
"In Texas, we hold people very responsible,” Patrick said.
For example, if someone uses a gun to stop a crime or defend himself, and a stray bullet injures an unintended target, the shooter can be held civilly and criminally liable.