Inside a packed church sanctuary, the seniors of Santa Fe High School and the prosecutor speaking to them confronted the challenges borne of the shooting that took the lives of 10 people at the school near Houston.
On Friday, Abbott mentioned relatively uncontroversial changes to existing gun laws - speeding up background checks, policies to keep guns away from those who "pose an immediate danger", more resources for school safety personnel and addressing mental health issues tied to gun violence.
"We hope that this will be the first of many productive meetings and discussions that will lead to meaningful improvements in Texas law and reduce gun violence in the state", he said.
The Santa Fe High School shooter, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, reportedly used a shotgun among other firearms in his assault, which left 10 dead. Advocates for and against stricter gun regulations said they were asked to attend Wednesday. The Republican has been governor of Texas since 2015. He argued on Sunday that the cause of the problem is not guns.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) has suggested following the shooting that schools should have fewer entrances and exits, which would allow security to better monitor who is coming in and out of the building.
"It is so much bigger than us", Waters said, "This is something that if we can start it here, then this can spread out into the community, spread out into even the nation". He did not respond to a request for comment.
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"We are as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events", the family said in the statement, which offered prayers and condolences to the victims.
One program being run out of Texas Tech University in Lubbock to screen students who could harm themselves or others has Abbott's attention. "I have someone to look to, I have someone to talk to", said junior Kate Schwartz.
The program trains people, using Federal Bureau of Investigation threat-assessment criteria, to go to schools and screen students, according to Billy Philips, an epidemiologist and director of the Office of Rural Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
"They said there was a lot of firepower and a lot of rounds exchanged", Henry said. Among households with children under 18, 55 percent of gun owners said they did.
It's a group of about 25 students that may only be minors, but they've got a mighty message.