In the wake of the massacre of 27 people, 20 of them children, at a Connecticut elementary school today, Texas officials behaved with remarkable decorum.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, a noted gun lover, sent a muted press release urging parents and students to be vigilant about school safety. And Governor Rick Perry passed along a statement offering condolences to the victims and their families.
So it was up to Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to turn a national tragedy into an opportunity to say something incredibly insensitive.
"The common denominator for the school shootings in Aurora, Columbine and Virginia Tech is that we have a target-rich environment," Patterson told the Houston Chronicle. "You have a shooter that is completely free to go about his sick fantasy. We need to do what it takes to change that."
OK, so Sandy Hook Elementary isn't a grade school, but a "target-rich environment." Given that schools are apparently so rich with targets, what does Patterson suggest be done?
"Had there been [armed security guard and citizens] in Colorado, at Virginia Tech or now in Connecticut -- someone that could have changed the dynamic and to do so by having a firearm -- there would be fewer lives lost," he told the Chronicle.
It's all clear now. The problem is that we don't have enough guns in schools. Problem solved.