Texas official on school shooting: 'We cannot...say it's the gun - it's us as a nation'

George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Texas, on the mass school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas Friday.
8:19 | 05/20/18

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Transcript for Texas official on school shooting: 'We cannot...say it's the gun - it's us as a nation'
We begin with the all-too-familiar scenes from Texas. There you see the students of Santa fe high on Friday running out of school after 30 minutes of terror that claimed ten lives. They are surveyors but stricken. We heard from the survivors, a warning for all of us. I knew it. I'm not surprised. Of course it happened here. Children who have never known school without lockdown drills expecting what should be unthinkable. Santa fe, the ninth fatal school shooting this year. Reflected in this stunning fact. There have now been more students or teachers killed by guns in U.S. Schools than active duty military deaths in 2018. A year not even halfway over. Our first guest this week, lieutenant governor of Texas Dan Patrick. Thank you for joining us. Of course, our condolences go out to the community, the families there in Texas this morning. I wonder if you can reflect on that statistic I just read. More students killed by gun violence in schools than active duty military deaths in 2018. George, should we be surprised in this nation? We have devalued life. Whether it's through abortion, the breakup of families, through violent movies, and particularly violent video games, which now outsell movies and music. Psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you that students are desensitized to violence. May have lost empathy for their victims by watching hours and hours of video violent games. 97%, George, of teenagers, according to psychiatrists and psychologists, watch video games. 85% are violent games. Are we desensitized? Are these children, are these teenagers. Then, of course, George, we have our schools that are not hard targets. We have done a good job since 9/11 of protecting government buildings, airports, private buildings. We have not done anything to harden the target at our schools. And we still have this gun debate on whether or not teachers should be armed or not. I believe, the parents and students I have talked to in Santa fe since Friday believe they should be. Hard not to miss what you didn't mention there. Any kind of regulations of guns. You have suggested fewer school doors could lead to fewer school shootings. Some security experts say that could be part of a comprehensive solution. Some think the problem is too many guns, not too many doors. Well, George, I think I laid out just aoment ago the problem is multifaceted. It's not any one issue. But we, again, we have to look at our culture of violence. Just our violent society. Our Facebook. Our Twitter. The bullying of adults on adults and children on children. We have to look at ourselves, George. It's not about the guns. It's about us. Can there be gun regulation? Gun control? I believe that starts at home, George. Every person who owns a gun must be accountable for their guns at home. We don't know all the facts yet. But this particular young man got his guns in some way from his parents' home. You should have your guns locked up. It's against the law in Texas to let any loaded gun get in the hands of a child. In terms of guns and regulation, George. In Texas, we allow teachers to carry. We leave it up to local parents, oards, superintendents. The students and the parents I talked to Friday in the hospital, of a wounded student said, if the one teacher in particular, they think Marx reen next door to the shooting, had had the ability to carry a gun, they may have been able to stop it. We had brave officers, George. This school won a safety award. And it came in to save lives on Friday. Even though we lost ten, they probably saved countless other lives. They were there within minutes. Two armed guards on the campus plus a roaming officer. We need armed teachers trained to help repel the killers. I know you believe that is one of the answers. We have violent video games in other countries. Twitter and Facebook in other developed countries. How do you explain another stunning statistic? Americans of high school age are 82 times more likely to die from gun homicide than their peers in the rest of the developed world. That has to be connected to the availability of guns, doesn't it? No, it doesn't have to be. I can't compare one country to another country. Because there are many variables in all of these countries. Here's what I know. We live in a violent culture where we have devalued life. Kids go to schools not as safe as public and government buildings. Yes, I have been criticized by saying we should have fewer entrances. Look, you need all the fire exits you need. We should have eyes on students walking into our schools. This student walked in with a gun under a trench coat on Friday. And no one in law enforcement stopped him. We can't guard every entrance of the 8,000-plus schools we have in Texas. We can guard one or two. We have to think out of the box, George. We can stagger our start times. Let kids get to school a little earlier. Let us keep eyes on the kids. Israelis believe in detect and deter and deny. We don't do a good job of that in our schools. We need to emphasize -- in terms of gun laws. I respect and understand those who say they don't want teachers armed. But we know we have to send a message to those who would come on -- whether they're adults or terrorists or students. That that's a hard target. You're not going to get into school with a gun. We have to stop that. In terms of gun control, gun control starts at home. Accountability for gun owners. I'm a gun owner. Starts at home. We need the best background checks we can have. We need to be sensible. But remember. We can't sit back and say it's the gun. It's us as nation, George. On this Sunday morning when we all go to church and pray, the mosque, the synagogue, let's look inward at ourself as a nation. And when we look inward -- when we look inward, sir, aren't we going to find that guns are more available here, in grater numbers, in greater lethality, than any other developed country in the world? They are, George. And here's the reality. They are a part of who we are as a nation. It is our second amendment. Talks about a well-run militia. Our teachers are part of that well-run militia. It's guns that stop crimes also. In our church in Sutherland springs, that I was there after the shooting, it was a man who was able to pick up his rifle and stop that shooter there from potentially going down the road to another church or killing law enforcement officers. Guns stop other criminals from committing crimes. Again. Sensible regulation. Absolutely. Background checks. Absolutely. Every responsible gun owner doesn't want anyone who is deranged or shouldn't have a gun to have a gun. But, George, if we take the guns out of society, if you or anyone else thinks that that makes us safer, then -- then -- then I'm sad to say that you're mistaken. That will just give those who are evil, who will always access to guns, be able the put more of us in danger. And again, in Texas, we believe in our second amendment. We believe in the constitution of freedom. Our first, second, tenth amendments. We believe in the constitution. That's what we stand on. Today, George, on this Sunday morning, governor Abbott and I are going to a church in a little bit to be with the people in Santa fe. I can tell you, George, we stand on the rock of our faith, in Texas. This has been a long year, George. The biggest natural disaster in the history of the country. The biggest church shooting in the history of our state. Governor Abbott and I have been to a lot of funerals. And we have held a lot of hands and hugged a lot of folks. And I will tell you, it's their faith in their fellow man, and their faith in god, and the Texas family standing strong. No one with a gun is going to walk into a school or anywhere else and bring our state to our knees. We stand strong. We will stand together. It has been a tough year for your state. Governor, thank you for your time this morning. We stand strong. Thank you, George. Pray for our families. Our state. Our country. Thank you. Fred Guttenberg joins us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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