Kansas lawmakers see different solutions for school shootings

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Florida school shooting has many people asking how it could be prevented, including Kansas lawmakers.

Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) called it "17 more too many," while Rep. Willie Dove (R-Bonner Springs) described his reaction as "Shock. Just complete shock."

Kansas lawmakers shared their disbelief over a school shooting that took 17 lives Wednesday. But, they don't necessarily agree on the best ways to prevent something like it from happening in Kansas.

"Having somebody that is unhinged have access to guns is not right and we need to move on that," said Sen. Tom Hawk (D-Manhattan).

Dove, however, said no actions were taken that would have brought "those problems to the forefront" for people who may have been able to prevent the shootings.

According to the FBI, in a 2017 YouTube comment posted with the screen name Nikolas Cruz, he said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI investigated but could not positively identify the poster.

“Mental health funding is the key and hopefully we can do that at the state level, but that's where I see this tragedy is. You had warning signs. They were clearly evident, and they were missed," explained Rep. John Whitmer (R-Wichita).

Mental health experts also say this is more than a legislative issue.

"It isn't just a school problem. It isn't a community problem. It's a village problem. Everybody needs to be aware and alert to the problem," explained Nancy Crago, Director of Psychosocial and Autism Services, Family Service and Guidance Center.

Crago says awareness must be coupled with assistance, adding that getting more resources "is definitely a good idea."

"We really have to find every way possible that we can shoot extra funding mental health and those who have needs," said Whitmer.

"We have tools in place. What we have to do is make sure there are resources available that the mental health community could take a child like this who is clearly in distress," explained Ward.

Law Enforcement are using the shooting as a way to educate the public on what to do if in an active shooter situation.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner sent out a tweet saying, “If you can run, YOU RUN! If you can hide, YOU HIDE! If you must fight, YOU FIGHT!”