In-Depth: Abbott places Uvalde shooting blame on mental health but continues to cut funding

Posted at 5:55 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 18:58:39-04

During a news conference Friday, the first several minutes were spent thanking people and talking about all the different agencies.

It's when reporters started asking questions that Gov. Greg Abbott quickly avoided them for a moment and wanted to speak about the agencies the State of Texas provided.

That didn't sit well with Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (District 19), who represents Uvalde and says he wasn't invited to the press conference.

"This guy wants to waste the time of everybody here talking about stuff the county and city officials already know," said Gutierrez.

The senator quickly criticized the governor after getting up in the middle of a press conference and asking to be called back into Special Session to work on gun safety laws.

Speaking with reporters outside after law enforcement made him leave the front lobby, mental health came up.

"This bullsh** you get from this guy about mental health and evil," said Gutierrez. "The only evil that exists is when the leader of this state has a problem and is a problem of epic proportions."

In April, Abbott slashed $211 million from mental health programs in the state.

"If he wants to do something, tell him to take his emergency funds, take $2 million right now and give it to the community health clinic that serves Uvalde.

Census data shows that nearly 25 percent of those in Uvalde don't have health insurance.

"We as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health," Abbott said during a news conference at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers last Tuesday.

Avoiding suggestions that access to guns was too easy, Abbott said, "Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge.”

"I'm going to keep pushing this SOB to do something," said Gutierrez. "With the world we're living in Texas, it isn't right."

Shooting Incidents at K-12 Schools 1970-present have been tracked byK-12 Shooting Database.

Since 1970 there have been 1928 shootings on school campuses. 639 fatalities and 1806 injuries.