On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued eight executive orders designed to help prevent mass shootings such as the recent tragedies in El Paso and Midland-Odessa.
The orders seek to strengthen the flow of information on criminal convictions and suspicious activity between the Texas Department of Public Safety and, among others, local law enforcement, mental health professionals and schools districts.
The information will include more immediate reporting of criminal convictions and reports of suspicious activity so that potential threats can be identified and monitored. The monitoring will include social media and other online forums.
There will also be a campaign to educate law enforcement on reporting suspicious activity and help the public identify potential threats and report them.
The governor sees these orders as a balance between protecting the public and respecting Second Amendment rights.
We hope these orders do some good. There is likely no way to identify all threats and prevent all shootings. But if better reporting, assessment and monitoring prevent even a few, it will be worth it.