Allen Shooting First Responder Calls Out Greg Abbott – Rolling Stone

Greg Abbott march 2023 RS 1800

The tide of senseless mass shootings in the United States continued on Saturday when a shooter wielding a high-powered assault rifle killed eight people and wounded seven more at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas. Steven Spainhouer, one of the first responders to the scene, called out Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday for failing to take the issue seriously.

“We can put red flag laws in place. We can limit high-capacity rounds. … We can stop putting some of these weapons like M4s and AR-15s in the hands of people that don’t need them,” Spainhouser said in an interview with CNN. “I hear our governor talking about mental health issues. We’re always going to have mental health issues, but if we don’t do something about the guns, the people-killing guns, then we’re going to continue to have the same thing happen. It can happen to your family, it can happen to anybody who is watching in any state, in any small town or big city.”

Abbott on Sunday blamed the shooting on mental health issues. “What Texas is doing in a big-time way, we are working to address that anger and violence but going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health problems behind it,” he told Fox News. “People want a quick solution,” he added. “The long-term solution here is to address the mental health issue.”

Republicans who refuse to do anything about the proliferation of high-capacity killing machines routinely gesture to mental health when asked to respond to gun violence. “We as a state need to do a better job with mental health,” Abbott said last year after a shooter killed 21 people, including 19 children, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. “Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge. Period. We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it.”

Republicans gesture toward mental health rather than prescribing anything concrete because they know that, in the end, as Spainhouser said on Monday, there’s no way to eradicate mental health issues. They also simply don’t care. Abbott’s comments after the Uvalde shooting came a month after he cut $211 million from the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees mental health care.


Spainhouser has recounted his experience responding to the scene. “The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes, so I felt for a pulse, pull her head to the side, and she had no face,” he said in one interview. “The injuries were so severe there was nothing I could do,” he added in another, describing young children covered in blood, according to NBC 5 in Dallas.

Abbott is already trying to turn attention elsewhere. He announced on Monday that he is forming a “Texas Tactical Border Force” to combat the surge of migrants expected at the border after Title 42 expires later this week.

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