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Texas Lt. Governor calls for arming teachers

SANTA FE, TX - MAY 19: Crime scene tape is stretched across the front of Santa Fe High School on May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. Yesterday morning, 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered the school with a shotgun and a pistol and opened fire, killing at least 10 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called Sunday for a “hardening” of the nation’s school buildings in the wake of the attack by a 17-year-old student who killed 10 people at a high school near Houston.

SANTA FE, TX – MAY 18: Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick speaks during a press conference about the shooting incident at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas.(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Patrick told CNN’s State of the Union that allowing teachers to carry guns is a crucial step.

“When you’re facing someone who’s an active shooter, the best way to take that shooter down is with a gun. But even better than that is four or five guns to one.”

Patrick says Santa Fe High School received an award for safety training, but still wasn’t able to prevent a deadly mass shooting.  He credited the school’s response, while adding that the shooter might have been stopped earlier if teachers had been carrying weapons.

“There was a teacher next door, a Marine, who saw what was going on, slammed the door, locked his door, protected the students.” Patrick said.  “Some feel had he been able to carry a gun, he may have been able to stop that shooter had it been his choice.”

Patrick also highlighted Texas gun laws, which he says are designed to hold gun owners responsible.

“If I use my gun to stop a crime or to defend myself and a stray bullet – if I fire a bullet that goes astray and strike someone else – I can be held not only civilly but criminally liable.” Patrick said.  “You also can be held criminally liable if if you use your gun and someone gets hurt who was not your intended target.  If someone’s trying to attack you, and you miss them and hit someone else, yes you can face charges.”

Patrick suggested re-designing schools with fewer entrance points, so that it’s harder for potential shooters to get access to students.

“We have to funnel our students into our schools so we can put eyes on them. ” Patrick said, referencing the suspected shooter. “This young man showed up with a trench coat, which he wore often, I’ve learned, and he had a gun under it. He came through one of the entrances undetected.”

Opponents have criticized the idea of limiting entrances, pointing out that fewer doors could also make it more difficult to escape a shooter.