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Reactions to the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

May 25, 2022
Local, state and national officials issue statements in the aftermath of the attack that killed 19 students and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School

Reactions to the shooting attack at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas:

President Joe Biden:

"As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?  When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?...Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Santa Fe High School in Texas.  Oxford High School in Michigan.  The list goes on and on....I am sick and tired of it.  We have to act.  And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage."

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona:

"My heart is aching for all the families in Uvalde, Texas who are living through every parent’s greatest fear and worst nightmare: a shooting in their children’s school. As a parent, I am filled with grief for the families and students; concern that as our schools move past pandemic closures, the fear of shootings has become all too real once again; and anger at the lack of will by many to pass legislation that can protect our children. I pray our nation has not grown numb to the horrors that unfolded today at Robb Elementary School, when the lives of 18 precious children and a devoted educator were cut short. How many more lives must be lost before we realize that we, the people, and those we elect, have the power and the opportunity to ensure this never happens again?"

"My team at the Department of Education is offering every available federal resource—including through our Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) program and on-the-ground support—to help the families, educators, staff, and greater Robb Elementary School community recover from this trauma and loss."

"I spent the formative part of my career in a Connecticut elementary school. I will never forget the ripple effect of fear and heartbreak that spread among students and teachers in the aftermath of the horrific Sandy Hook shooting. We must unite as a country against this senseless cycle of violence, act immediately to protect our children, and make sure that every child and every educator feels safe in our schools."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde. Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering. We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School. I have instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is charged with providing local officials all resources necessary to respond to this tragedy as the State of Texas works to ensure the community has what it needs to heal.”

Uvalde School Superintendent Hal Harrell (via CNN):

"This was a tragic, senseless event today and my heart is broke today; our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with all our families as we go through this day and days to come," Harrell said. 

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 

"Today is a dark day. We’re all completely sickened and heartbroken. As of now, 15 innocent people are dead. 14 were children. Others are still in critical condition or otherwise injured, and we are all praying for each of them. I’m grateful for the heroes in law enforcement and first responders who responded to the scene and stopped the killer.

“Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the entire Uvalde community during this devastating time and we mourn the lives that were taken by this act of evil. None of us can imagine the anguish the parents in Uvalde are going through. Our hearts go out to them.

“We’ve seen too many of these shootings. No parent should have to bear the pain of burying their child. We need to come together, as one nation, and support Uvalde as they try to heal from this devastating loss.”

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, whose district includes Uvalde (via Twitter):

"As we learn more details of today’s events in Uvalde, I am heartbroken for our South Texas community. It is devastating when our innocent children become the victims of senseless violence. We are devastated....While we monitor this situation, we remember that Uvalde, while rocked by today’s events, is strong and resilient. In this time of trepidation, our office is always here to do whatever we can to help. We are family and we will continue to be here for each other."

National Education Association and Texas State Teachers Association (joint statement)

“Our public schools should be one of the safest places for students and educators — but gunshots shattered the physical safety of the school community in Uvalde — and as it stands, we lost 15 lives, including 14 children and a teacher.

“The National Education Association and the Texas State Teachers Association are devastated by the loss of lives, and we stand together during this difficult moment, sending love and healing thoughts to the victims, their families and the entire Uvalde community. We are ready to work together to ensure students and educators get the emotional and physical support they need to begin the healing process.

“This tragedy once again underscores the very real dangers of a culture in which gun violence has become too much the norm and is too often the first way to resolve an argument or a grievance.

“We pray for the victims and their families, and we once again demand that state and federal policymakers take action to keep firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, whether that requires enacting new laws or better enforcing our existing laws.

“Tragedies like this one keep happening while elected officials do nothing; except, in Texas’ case, make firearms more available. How many more mass shootings need to happen before these lawmakers finally take responsibility and address the gun safety issue?

“We remain steadfastly committed to ending gun violence in our nation’s public schools and communities. We owe it to our students and educators to make our schools safe and welcoming places where every student can thrive.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

“Within the span of a week, our country has witnessed two mass shootings, the gunning down of innocent people in what should be our community’s safest spaces. As we await further details, some things are clear: These are despicable acts of hatred designed to terrorize us all. The communities of Buffalo and now Uvalde will join a long list of places that will never be the same. Our hearts are with all of them.

“Only in America do people go grocery shopping and get mowed down by a shooter with hate in his heart; only in this country are parents not assured that their kids will be safe at school.

“Gun violence is a cancer, and it’s one that none of us should tolerate for one single moment longer. We have made a choice to let this continue, and we can make a choice to finally do something—do anything—to put a stop to this madness.”

 Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, co-founders and CEOs of Sandy Hook Promise:

“We are grieving with the families of the innocent lives taken in this horrific tragedy. Nineteen children will never come home from school. We know firsthand the unspeakable pain and darkness that descended on Uvalde. Nearly 10 years ago, our sons, Dylan and Daniel, went to school and never came home.

“All of us at Sandy Hook Promise are devastated by this shooting, haunted by the shocking similarities to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. We are sickened under the weight of our sadness as we watch another community of families suffering their worst nightmare.

“Having lived through a mass shooting, still enduring the pain of our own children being killed in their first-grade classrooms by senseless violence, we know that nothing is going to bring back the precious lives lost in Uvalde. We know that the road ahead for the Robb Elementary School community will be incredibly difficult. We want to offer the families our compassion and commitment to honor their loved ones, along with ours, as we continue our mission to end gun violence. We also offer ourselves to them, in whatever way we can be of service to their needs.

“For everyone else waking up today — take a moment as you send your child to school and imagine what the Uvalde community is experiencing. Take your heartache, your fear, your anger and sadness, and channel them into action. We must take action today and every day until this epidemic of violence ends. Call on your elected officials to pass commonsense legislation now that protects the safety and lives of children. This can be done while upholding second amendment rights. Now is the time to take bold action; as a country, how much longer can we stand by while innocent children continue to be killed?”

Actor Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde (via Twitter):

"“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my hometown of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.

"The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, ‘What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighborhood tomorrow?’ We cannot exhale once again, make excuses and accept these tragic realities as the status quo.

“As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs. We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue. Whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better.

"This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better. Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.

"And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming."

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