Republicans Have a New Answer to School Shootings: 'Harden These Targets'

In the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas, a number of Republicans have suggested that the best way to prevent such tragedies occurring is to make it harder for gunmen to attack a school, rather than implement stricter gun control laws.

On Tuesday, Salvador Ramos opened fire at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing 19 children and two adults. Ramos carried out the attack after legally purchasing two assault rifles soon after his 18th birthday under a new law Texas passed in September.

The massacre, the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newton, Connecticut which left 20 children and six adults dead, once again raised the debate around gun laws in the only country in the world where mass school shootings occur so regularly.

President Joe Biden said it again showed the need for changing gun laws.

However, a number of Texas officials have dismissed the idea that any kind of gun restriction in response to the shooting is needed, and instead argued that the best solution is to try take out gunmen opening fire on school grounds sooner, or make it more difficult for them to enter.

Robb Elementary School  school shooting
A welcome sign is seen outside of Robb Elementary School as people walk away in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. A teenage gunman killed 18 young children in a shooting at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, in the deadliest US school shooting in years. The attack in Uvalde, Texas is the latest in a spree of deadly shootings in America, where horror at the cycle of gun violence has failed to spur action to end it. ALLISON DINNER/AFP/Getty Images

"We have to harden these targets so that no one can get in ever except through one entrance," Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night. "Maybe that would help. Maybe that would stop someone."

Texas Senator Ted Cruz also dismissed suggestions that gun laws need to be reformed, arguing that the "most effective tool for keeping kids safe" is to station armed law enforcement officers on campuses.

"Inevitably, when there's a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it. You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens," Cruz added. "That doesn't work."

Cruz is set to appear at an NRA meeting in Houston over the weekend, along with Governor Gregg Abbott and former president Donald Trump. There is currently no indication the pro-gun lobbyist group intends to cancel the event in the wake of the school shooting.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also suggested that as law enforcement cannot always respond quickly enough to a school shooting, it would be better to have "teachers and other administrators who have gone through training and who are armed" to try and stop attacks.

"I think you're gonna have to do more at the school, because it typically involves very short periods of time, and you have to have people trained on campus to react," Paxton told Newsmax.

Pat Brosnan, a former New York Police Department detective and frequent Fox News contributor, suggested that the school itself needs to better equipped to stop people armed with guns from shooting children.

"We need to install man traps," Brosnan told Sean Hannity. "Man traps, a series of interlocking doors at the school entrance that are triggered by a tripwire. The tripwire can be a gunshot, broken glass, a manual switch tossed by the school employee and it traps the shooter like a rat.

"And when he's trapped like a rat we're buying time, the most precious commodity these children can ever get. It's time to run, time to hide, time to get away from this mad man and his bullets.

"It's tripwires, it's man traps. It's not labor, it's not gun control," Brosnan added.

The former detective made similar calls for schools to be rigged with traps to capture gunmen following the 2018 shooting in Santa Fe High School that left eight students and two teachers dead.

In comparison, President Biden asked during a speech at the White House in the wake of the Uvalde shooting "when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" and change the country's firearm laws.

"Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies?"

Biden added the Texas law that allowed an 18-year-old to buy two assault weapons is "just wrong."

"What in God's name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone?" Biden said.