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United States : Sen. Cruz Honors Santa Fe High School Shooting Victims.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday delivered remarks on the Senate floor to honor the precious lives of the students and faculty members lost during the horrific events that unfolded at Santa Fe High School nearly one a year ago. This week, Sen. Cruz will reintroduce two bills to enhance school safety and prevent gun violence, including the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act and the School Security Enhancement Act, which allows local communities to utilize Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants for measures that reinforce school safety infrastructure and technology.

"The last year has been an extremely difficult year for the Santa Fe families and for the community," Sen. Cruz said. "That mourning is indelibly marked onto that community. At the same time, they've been able to lean on each other and rely upon each other to support each other and to lift each other up in prayer. ... To my colleagues in Congress, we need to unite together to make our schools safer, to prosecute felons and fugitives before they commit acts of murder, and to do everything to stop this horrific mass shooting epidemic. And we need to do it now. End the partisan battles, focus on the bad guys, and stop them before more lives of innocents are taken."

Sen. Cruz's full remarks may be found here and below:

"Mr. President, I rise to give voice to a town in Texas. It is a small town with about 14,000 people. In that town, there's a high school. A school of about 1,500 students.

"One year ago, on May 18th a deeply disturbed and deranged student committed an unspeakable act of evil which shook Santa Fe, shook Texas, and shook the entire country. It left our nation weeping.

"Just before 8 o'clock in the morning, the shooter began firing weapons into classrooms, through doors where his fellow students were taking shelter.

"Within minutes, the attacker senselessly murdered eight students and two teachers. Their names are the following: Jared Conard Black, Christian Riley Garcia, Shana Fisher, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Glenda Ann Perkins, Angelique Ramirez, Sabika Sheikh, Christopher Stone, Cynthia Tisdale, and Kimberly Vaughan.

"I would like us to pause for a moment of silence as we remember these brave souls.

"Their names will live on. Their killer's name will not. His name is never worth mentioning again.

"Thirteen others were also brutally wounded, including three substitute teachers. Flo Rice, one of the substitute teachers at the high school that day was shot five times. I've gotten to know Flo and her husband Scott well in the weeks and months since the shooting.

"But that day was not merely a day of great tragedy. It was also a day of incredible bravery.

"Santa Fe police officers did their duty and swiftly engaged the shooter. One of those police officers, John Barnes, was critically wounded in the process. They shot back, and ultimately they took the coward into custody.

"Santa Fe's students also proved themselves to be heroes. One of them, Riley Garcia, made the ultimate sacrifice. He held a door shut to give other students time to escape, and he was killed in the process. Other students tended to the wounded and to each other.

"In the wake of the shooting, Texans grieved with the families and the friends of those we lost. We heard stories of terror and stories of hope.

"I was at my home in Houston that morning. Santa Fe High School is about 45 minutes from my house. And when I got the call as to what was happening, I jumped in a truck and headed down there. Spent the entire day with families who had lost their children, with first responders, with teachers, with school leaders, with a community that was grieving mightily.

"But in Santa Fe, I also saw a boundless spirit and hope and unity. I remember that afternoon traveling to the hospital and visiting with a number of the students who had been shot and wounded that day. I remember meeting Clayton, a young man who had been shot just that morning. He had pins in his arm from being shot twice. Clayton described how he jumped over the fence even after having been shot and his friends helped carry him to safety.

"This young man described how he's a bull rider and a pole vaulter. I asked him if he's a lefty or righty. He said he's a lefty, and that was the arm that was wounded. But he said with a smile, You know, now I've got to learn to ride a bull with my right arm.'

"That's the toughness and the spirit of these students and their entire community.

"All across Texas, all across the country millions of Americans lifted those children, lifted those families up in prayer. You know, it has become politically fashionable for some now to deride thoughts and prayers to suggest that thoughts and prayers are not appropriate.

"I will say this; we should always lift up in prayer those who are victimized by violence, by brutality, by terrorism, by murder. I believe in the power of prayer. And I'll tell you the community of Santa Fe leaned on the power of prayer in the wake of that tragedy. Now, thoughts and prayers are not themselves a substitute for action.

"And in the days, the weeks that followed, I met with mothers and fathers and teachers and students. I hosted Santa Fe students here in the Senate dining room. We talked with law enforcement, with first responders.

"I sat down with the president who traveled down to meet with the Santa Fe families and participated in a roundtable with Governor Abbott and families from Santa Fe and other communities victimized by violence, and officials at federal, state and local levels. We discussed how we can do a better job protecting our schools, protecting our children. We've lost too many kids to homicidal maniacs and it has to stop. We have to do much more to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, to better treat the mentally ill, all while preserving and protecting our Constitutional rights.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:May 22, 2019
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