“Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now,” said Sen. Ed Markey. “For those who refuse to act, there are no excuses. Only complicity and shame.”
By Jessica Corbett | Common dreams
Congressional progressives reacted to a deadly Texas elementary school shooting on Tuesday by demanding swift action to reduce gun violence.
The Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde left at least 19 children, two adults and the gunman dead – and came just 10 days after a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket sparked similar calls to action of Congress.
“I am horrified by the news of another mass shooting and my heart breaks for the families of the young children and teacher killed in Uvalde. Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now. For those who refuse to act, there are no excuses, only complicity and shame. said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
“Stop the filibuster and pass gun safety legislation now”, added Markey. The filibuster has been the biggest hurdle to passing bills through the equally divided Senate without GOP support, but a few right-wing Democrats have joined Republicans in defending it, even in the face of crises and protests. tragedies.
Referencing the initial death toll, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) tweeted“Fourteen little children, dead. When are we going to wake up as a country? Abolish the filibuster. Pass gun safety legislation now. This must stop. We can never allow this to happen again. »
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also took aim at the filibuster:
Meanwhile, in the chamber, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) — who was in the House for the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting — pleaded with lawmakers to act.
“I’m here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on all fours and beg my colleagues: find a way forward here,” Murphy said. “Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
“I understand my fellow Republicans won’t agree with anything I can support but there is a common denominator we can find,” he continued. “There is a place where we can reach an agreement – it may not guarantee that America will never see a mass shooting again…but by doing something, we at least stop sending this a silent message of approval to those killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing, shooting after shooting.
Others called out right-wing lawmakers who blocked federal gun safety legislation.
“The only adjectives left to describe yet another school shooting are ‘sick’ and ‘tired’ of conservative extremists blocking common sense measures to reduce the risk of these atrocities destroying children’s lives and leaving their families to mourn their losses. devastating,” said Senator Ron. Wyden (D-Ore.).
Congresswoman Marie Newman (D-Ill.) fumed that “I just don’t have words for this horror. I’m furious that we live in a nation that values ”freedom” over innocent Americans, including children, who are shot and murdered. When will the Republican Party stop holding our nation hostage and let us pass gun safety legislation[?]”
“How on earth can a @GOP member look at this and still believe there is nothing Congress can do to end these school shootings?” she tweeted. “I pray for the victims and the families, but it’s not enough – we need real action NOW.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) shared MSNBC tweet from executive producer Kyle Griffin noting that GOP Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former President Donald Trump are scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting scheduled to begin Friday in Houston, which “is only a few hundred kilometers from Uvalde.
In a swipe at lawmakers who attack reproductive rights, Ocasio-Cortez accused that “there is no such thing as being ‘pro-life’ while supporting laws that allow the slaughter of children in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshipers in their homes of faith, survivors of abusers or anyone in a crowded place. It is an idolatry of violence. And this must stop.
Some progressive lawmakers drew on their own experiences as parents and argued that the nation’s children deserved better. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted that “as a parent of an elementary school student, the pain and anger are unbearable. Pass gun safety legislation now.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) Likewise said that “as a mother, I cannot fully express how devastating it is to learn that 14 children and their teacher have been murdered in their classroom. How many more people have to die before our country tackles gun violence? »
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) declared“Our communities deserve better. Our children deserve better.
Representative Mondaire Jones (DN.Y.) agreed, call he is “maddening and shameful that with each passing day we are losing more children to senseless acts of gun violence like this”, and claiming that “it is not America that our children are deserve”.
Passionate calls to action have also come from outside Congress. President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, said, “It’s only in America that people go shopping and get shot down by a hateful gunman; only in this country are parents unsure that their children will be safe at school.
“Gun violence is a cancer, and it is a cancer that none of us should tolerate for a single moment longer,” she added. “We made the choice to let this continue, and we can make the choice to finally do something – do anything – to end this madness.”
Head of Amnesty International USA’s Campaign to End Gun Violence Ernest Coverson said, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Snapshots of lives changed forever are not enough. We are disgusted and outraged.
“While details are yet to be confirmed, this latest tragedy underscores again how US government officials have allowed gun violence to become a human rights crisis,” Coverson continued. This is unacceptable and must stop.
“We reiterate our long-standing demand for comprehensive, common-sense, and human rights-based gun safety reform at the state, local, and federal levels, without further apology or delay,” did he declare. “We stand with the families of victims and survivors, and we join our partners in the gun violence prevention community in demanding action.”