School shootings nationwide expected to drive young voters in KC - KCTV5 News

School shootings nationwide expected to drive young voters in KC to the polls

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Multiple people have died as a result of a shooting Friday morning at a high school in the southeastern Texas city of Santa Fe, two law enforcement sources told CNN. (Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News Via AP) Multiple people have died as a result of a shooting Friday morning at a high school in the southeastern Texas city of Santa Fe, two law enforcement sources told CNN. (Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News Via AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The high school shooting in Texas happened hundreds of miles away, but the violence is sending shockwaves through Kansas and Missouri.

This is the third school shooting in eight days across the United States, and the 22nd since the beginning of the year.

Right now, Kansas is out of session and the Missouri legislature is wrapping up. It’s unclear if the shootings this year will prompt new rules and regulations.

There is a push from younger people to change gun laws in the states. The seniors who just graduated will soon vote.

Just a few weeks ago students across our area walked out of schools in protest.

For many, school shootings are a political issue that will drive them to the polls.

“I think what a lot of people forget is that we can vote in August,” said Jay Mehtma with Pembroke Hill. “Half our grade is going to be eligible to vote in August, and even though we're kids and legal minors and juniors, half of the crowd here is able to register to vote today and those people will be voting in November.”

“We might be an apathetic-looking generation,” Mehtma said. “Not anymore.”

In Missouri, broadly speaking, there are no guns allowed on school property. The exception is for those with concealed carry permits dropping kids off at school; guns must be kept in cars.

It's similar rules for colleges and universities. Missouri teachers can be trained as "school protection officers". There are reports rural schools have done training with private security firms.

The rules are a bit different in Kansas. There are no guns allowed on school property and there is the same exception for dropping children off.

The big difference is at the college and university level, where conceal and carry is now allowed unless specifically prohibited in a place like an arena where security is provided.

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts tweeted out, “My heart goes out to the victims and their families.” Senator Clarie McCaskill tweeted out that it's time for reasonable gun safety measures.

The shooting in Texas has many local school districts taking a look at how they are addressing school shootings.

In Shawnee Mission, they said it’s important to constantly be ready to change and update their response.

“Every one of these has mutations,” said John Douglass. “We've got to adjust to these mutations.”

The shooting in Santa Fe, Texas left 10 people dead and 10 others injured. In addition to having two guns, the shooter also had pipe bombs and pressure cooker explosives.

“That's something out of a terrorist cookbook,” Douglass said. “That's something new, now. That's something that has to be dealt with.”

Still, one of the big questions brought up is how to protect students.

At one point a fire alarm was pulled during that shooting, but at this point, it is unclear who did that.

“If it was a teacher that pulled the fire alarm to get people out, well it was a good idea for all those that got out, but if someone came out and got hurt, then it wasn't such a good idea for them,” Douglass said. “So, really, there needs to be a strategy to it and I would not recommend a teacher pulling the fire alarm.”

Douglass said the response has to evolve in the same way that the attacks have.

“You can't simply do it the way it happened last time, but you have to take into account what they did last time,” Douglass said. “What changes took place? Will those changes be replicated, or will there be a new twist that's thrown at it? And, if so, what could that twist be?”

Douglass said, with the use of the fire alarm in the shooting attack and others, that he and the district have been discussing new ways to handle fire alarms in the future.

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