Texas state Sen. Larry Taylor was hurting nearly a year ago, along with many of the rest of this state, not to mention the rest of America. A gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School in his Senate district, killing 10 people and wounding 13 others.
Taylor, a Friendswood Republican, sought to do something to at least mitigate such tragic events in the future. He has produced a bill that isn’t perfect, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to protest it here.
Senate Bill 11 — which the Senate approved 29-2 and heads for the House of Representatives — seeks to strengthen mental health initiatives in Texas. According to the Texas Tribune, it gives teachers access to telephones and other electronic communications, and establishes threat assessment teams to help identify potentially dangerous students while determining the best ways to intervene before they erupt.
The bill also “requires school districts to appoint school safety committees that meet once a semester to provide their boards of trustees with recommendations for updates to their districts’ multihazard emergency operations plans,” the Tribune reports.
Does the legislation deal with the purchase of firearms, or the access that bad folks have to obtain them? No, but to my way of thinking it seeks a comprehensive approach to seeking out and identifying those who might be prone to producing the kind of insanity that has shown itself too often.
“We cannot afford to do nothing,” Taylor said, adding that too often legislators let “perfect become the enemy of the good.” So, the bill isn’t perfect. It is, however, a good start.
“Multiple young people’s funerals back to back in a few short days is very difficult,” Taylor said. “That’s why we have to get this done.”
Indeed. We mustn’t have to endure such heartache.