As a former teacher, State Representative Jim Murphy (R-Houston) should understand the importance of protecting students, faculty and staff in Texas schools. However, Murphy has consistently voted against and even sponsored bills making it harder for the state to protect students from harm.

There have already been at least 57 incidents of gunfire on school grounds so far in 2018. One of the deadliest took place only 30 miles from Jim Murphy’s House District at Santa Fe High School. Almost three months after the shooting, teachers and students in Santa Fe are back in school. But to date, little has been done to enhance school safety or to protect children and adults on campus.

During his time in the Texas House, Murphy has consistently voted to make it easier for individuals to obtain handguns and to carry them into educational institutions. Murphy co-sponsored two bills loosening gun control procedures on school campuses, including the open carry of concealed handguns on college campuses and the original bill that allows the open carry of handguns in general public settings.

Murphy also voted against common-sense seat belt legislation to protect young children on their way to school.

The pattern after school shootings in America is depressingly clear and consistent. Politicians like Jim Murphy offer thoughts and prayers, pledging “never again.” The public focus on the incident inevitably fades however and the status quo prevails.