On Saturday, on the Capitol steps, a rally was organized to advocate for gun safety. The crowd was not composed of activists or politicians, but rather of grieving parents who don’t want to let their children down.
Standing in the hot summer sun, family members took turns sharing stories of the loved ones they so tragically lost in Texas’ deadliest school shooting. Where 19 children and 2 teachers were gunned down and killed on May 24.
Uvalde’s parents and community members made the three-hour trip to Austin to gather outside Gov. Greg Abbott’s office at the Capitol and demand Abbott call a special session of the Texas Legislature to raise the age to purchase some weapons from 18 to 21 like in Florida, California and New York have done, as reported by The Houston Chronicle.
“Gov. Abbott, how much more blood will stain your hands,” said Javier Cazares, who lost his daughter Jackie, a fourth-grader who was among Robb Elementary’s school shooting victims.
Abbott, who was not in Austin during the rally, has so far rejected calls for a special session and has not publicly supported raising the age for buying guns in Texas – despite Texas experiencing eight mass shootings in the past 13 years.
Texas legislators have only loosened the state’s gun laws in the last two legislative sessions, most notably by passing permitless carry in 2021, less than two years after mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa took the lives of 30 people.
The overall question surrounding Texas lawmakers and gun policy advocates is: How can the state avoid yet another mass shooting?
Abbott’s answer has been to appoint committees to take on school safety and mental health initiatives. For Uvalde families, this is not enough. They fear it is just a matter of time before the next shooting.