Another ten dead by gunfire, and here we go again.
This time, the slaughter was outside Houston at Santa Fe High School. And Dan Patrick, the pro-gun lieutenant governor of Texas, had another imbecilic excuse for refusing to do anything about America’s sickness with guns. Guns weren’t responsible for the Santa Fe massacre, he insisted, even though shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis came to school with his dad’s Remington 870 shotgun and .38-caliber pistol and fired dozens of rounds.
Blame the doors, he said.
“There are too many entrances and too many exits to our more than 8,000 campuses in Texas,” claimed Patrick, an evangelical Christian who wants to loosen gun laws in Texas, though it’s hard to imagine how that’s even possible. “Had there been one single entrance possibly for every student, maybe he would have been stopped.”
This is the deflection du jour: Not gun control, door control! Guns don’t kill people — doors do!
If you think I’m kidding, just know this: Right now, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is touting a “Win a Texas-made Shotgun” giveaway on his website. But the next Dimitrios Pagourtzis had better act quickly. Entries for the pump-action drawing close May 31.
The truth of the matter is that Santa Fe High School had already gone through many of the pointless motions that the gun-sanity deflectors like to promote at times like this, hoping to avoid any real gun-safety measures.
Lockdowns. Evacuation drills. Armed guards. The Santa Fe students got all that. The one thing they didn’t get was any action that might have actually protected them from an ever-expanding proliferation of guns.
Trigger locks. Background checks. Age limits. Bans on military-style firepower. Smaller magazines. Strict liability laws. Legal responsibility for parents who fail to safeguard their weapons at homes.
I heard another one recently. Tax the bullets. A lot. Like 3,000 percent. At some point, we could probably price the homicidal maniacs out of their mayhem.
There is no magic bullet, of course — and sorry about the sorry analogy. But we already know what would make America’s children a little safer if we cared to. Sorry, Lt. Gov. Patrick. That doesn’t include armed math and English teachers, and it doesn’t include door control.
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is the best-selling author of a dozen books. Join Ellis on Twitter @henican.