The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to the shooting at Lamar High School in Arlington early this morning as students across the district returned from spring break. According to reports, two students were shot, one fatally. Local authorities believe the shooter, who is in custody, is also a student. This shooting is at least the third incident of gun violence in Arlington ISD since the start of the school year and comes as the Dallas area continues to be impacted by gun violence. According to a Dallas News Report, at least 13 people were fatally shot between March 9 and 13, marking one of the deadliest weeks in Dallas in the past three years.
“This is the reality that Texas lawmakers have created for my generation: lockdowns, active shooter threats, and endless cycles of violence,” said Brynn Beecham, a student at Hillcrest High School and a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Texas. “Students shouldn’t have to mourn their classmates, but year after year, our legislators have weakened our gun laws and put us in danger. We will not accept a world where our schools and communities can turn into shooting grounds, and we will continue to hold them accountable for the gun violence they’ve enabled.”
Year after year, Texas lawmakers have ignored the opportunity to strengthen the state’s gun safety laws, and this year is no different. Even as Texas leads the nation in mass shootings and school shootings and communities across the state continue to be impacted by gun violence every day, Republican lawmakers have failed to enact a single life-saving gun violence prevention measure, such as raising the age to purchase certain firearms and securing funding for life-saving community violence intervention programs.
In addition to wasting opportunities to pass strong gun safety measures, Texas lawmakers have remained beholden to the gun lobby’s dangerous ‘guns everywhere’ agenda and actively weakened the state’s existing protections. Last legislative session, over objections from gun safety advocates, gun violence survivors, law enforcement, and other key public safety stakeholders, the Texas legislature passed permitless carry, a dangerous policy that has been shown to increase gun violence in other states that have passed it.
In an average year, 3,996 people die and 5,556 are wounded by guns in Texas. Gun violence in Texas costs $1,769 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Texas $51.3 billion each year, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Texas is available here.