It was probably the longest eight minutes of his life.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton will never forget being trapped — along with his two sons and the Republican congressional baseball team he managed — last year as an Illinois man who belonged to anti-Republican groups fired about 200 rounds at them, injuring several.
"I've experienced up close and personal what happens when there's somebody trying to shoot a lot of people," Barton, R-Ennis, recently told the Star-Telegram's Editorial Board. "I was the closest person to the shooter who didn't get shot.
"When things happen like happened in Florida ... it's a personal re-enactment, so to speak," he said. "I've been doing a lot of thinking about what can be done."
Barton, who isn't seeking re-election, has 10 months left in office.
During that time, he hopes to find a way to stop future mass shootings, such as the one at the Florida school that claimed 17 lives.
His ideas include:
*Buckling down on background checks. "If somebody has been given a dishonorable discharge from the military and yet he's able to get a weapon and they don't follow up on the background check," that's not following through, he said.
*Giving law enforcement agencies the authority to screen, investigate and even detain people who are believed to be a threat of shooting people. "I think you need to give police and sheriff's departments the ability to do more legal surveillance and, if warranted, detain that individual," he said, adding that state and federal laws might need to be adjusted to allow that.
*Setting up more hotlines to encourage people to report potential problems.
"The liberals immediately want generic gun control, whatever that means," said Barton, whose district includes most of Arlington and Mansfield and all of Ellis and Navarro counties. "And people like myself, strong Second Amendment conservatives, reject that. We have gun control.
"So we sit there and yell at each other and it kind of fades away until the next time something bad happens," he said. "There is a middle ground."
So Barton plans to call the NRA and talk about what can be done.
He will talk to Republicans and Democrats, the Texas congressional delegation and the Freedom Caucus to try to find a way to make the country safer.
In no way, he said, does this change his staunch support of the Second Amendment.
"Nobody on the left or right wants these mass shootings to continue," he said. "I'm not going to ever vote to prevent a law-abiding citizen from obtaining a personal firearm. But I do want to do things that might actually result in less mass shootings and less shootings, period."
He doesn't plan on filing a bill or holding a press conference to detail his plan. He just plans on working behind the scenes.
"I'm interested in being part of a group that can actually change America for the better," he said. "We may be able to do this."