Lawmakers debate need for special session in wake of Uvalde school shooting

Pressure is mounting in Texas to address the plague of school shootings with laws and not just more research committees.

Speaking from Uvalde, State Senator Roland Gutierrez is leading a parade of Texas Democrats demanding a special session of the legislature to address the massacre of 21 at Robb Elementary.

"There is blame enough to go around here," he said. "There was human error and there was system error."

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Republican Governor Greg Abbott instead called for special legislative committees to seek improvements in school safety, mental health services, police training, and social media.

"I've never seen a fact record turn 180 degrees within just 48 hours," State Senator Paul Bettencourt said.

Bettencourt is backing Abbott's call, suggesting emotions are too tattered and verifiable information too scarce to make effective long-term decisions in a rapid fashion.

"Slow down. Let's get the facts because bad facts make bad law," Bettencourt added.

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Democratic State Senator John Whitmire is among those calling for the legislature to gather immediately and push through pragmatic, bi-partisan reforms before the will to act wanes with time.

"The opportunity and threat of mass shootings between now and January are great," Whitmire explained. "Copycats are watching. You've got to start with the step of raising the age and that would give people the message that we are listening to them, and then I think we need to have a discussion about if Florida can have a red flag bill, and it’s been shown to work in other conservative red states, surely we can."

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While polling has consistently found a majority of Texans in support of both red flag laws and universal background checks, neither issue is among the priorities set by Governor Abbott for review by lawmakers.