Santa Fe school shooting prompts roundtable discussions with Gov. Abbott, Texas leaders

Santa Fe school shooting prompts roundtable discussions with Gov. Abbott, Texas leaders

Texas leaders want more screening and more guns to prevent more shootings

Thursday will be a day for the victims of mass shootings in Texas, including the school shooting in Santa Fe that killed 10 and one at a church in Sutherland Springs last fall that killed 26.

"Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, whether you are pro-gun or believe in more gun regulations, the reality is that we all want guns out of the hands of those who would try to murder our children", Abbott said.

National Rifle Association officials have pointed out that a handgun and shotgun were used in the Santa Fe High shooting, arguing that this shows restrictions on military-style semi-automatic rifles won't stop such attacks.

Abbott held the first of a series of roundtables on safety and security at Texas public schools.

In so doing, he pledged to seek ways to prevent more school shootings like the one Friday at a high school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.

Abbott says everyone shares a "common goal - to protect innocent lives". Texas Gun Sense, which advocates for further gun restrictions, is expected to attend Abbott's discussion Wednesday.

About 20 people, including supporters and opponents of arming teachers, attended the first of three days of meetings in the state capital, Austin, following the fourth-deadliest USA school shooting this year at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday.

Seventeen-year-old junior Shelby Aguilera said walking the empty halls Tuesday was "eerie", adding, "I didn't want to be there and I got sick to my stomach". The safe storage laws there and in other states also give gun owners wide latitude and violators are rarely prosecuted.

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In a phone interview over the weekend with Greece's Antenna TV, Antonios Pagourtzis (puh-GOR'-cheez) said he wished he could have stopped the killing Friday at Santa Fe High School.

Two teachers and eight students, including Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 17, were killed in the attack, police said. Fisher finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, her mother told the Los Angeles Times.

His voice cracked as he described how he told police to let him inside the school so his son, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, could kill him instead.

His father says he owns guns but that the boy doesn't. Numerous aspects of the attack mirrored another American school shooting: The massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in April 1999, when two teenage boys with weapons hidden under trench coats killed 12 students and one teacher.

Gov. Greg Abbott begins hosting school-safety roundtable discussions Tuesday.

"Texas Republicans look at this tragedy and they do not see the gun as the problem", said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

Gun control groups point to the regular toll of shootings across the United States as evidence that more needs to be done to rein in the proliferation of weapons. "Shana being the first one".

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