At a time when the debate around America’s gun violence problem was gaining heat, the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas reminded the nation how important it was to address the epidemic on urgent basis.
The recent school shooting claimed 10 lives, including students and educators. It was the country’s 22nd shooting this year alone, giving birth to some shocking statistics. Apparently, 2018 has been more fatal for school going children in the United States than military personnel.
However, despite these troubling stats, the Trump administration and the state’s Republican politicians continue to blame tragic massacre on everything else but gun – which isn’t surprising given how many of these elected officials have received hefty campaign donations from the pro-gun National Rifle Association (NRA).
For instance, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tried to make the residents and the media believe that guns aren’t responsible for school shootings. Instead, he blamed the violence on a variety of different things – including video games, abortions, “broken” families, the school’s layout and unarmed teachers, to name a few.
Although he wasn’t the only Republican official to completely ignore the topic of gun control while condemning the carnage (let’s not forget Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s tweet), his insensitive comments irked a lot of parents – particularly those who have lost their children to such senseless violence.
“I think those are the most idiotic comments I’ve ever heard regarding gun safety. Let me be clear, he should be removed from office for his failure to want to protect the citizens of Texas. To hear him continue to make the argument after 10 people died in his state that guns are not the issue is simply a crock,” said Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jaime in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Guttenberg, the founder of non-profit organization Orange Ribbons for Jaime, made the comments on ABC’s “This Week.”
He also didn’t hold back from slamming the NRA.
“I was in Texas two weeks ago to be across the street from the NRA convention and to protest it,” he continued. “The highlight item at their convention is a gun that folds up to look like a cell phone, OK. That is not designed for any reason other than to spread more death on the streets of this country.”
The weapon in question drew widespread outrage last month.
Guttenberg also told host George Stephanopoulos he was “raging.”
“I’m here this weekend on what was supposed to be my daughter’s dance recital, where they are honoring my daughter’s memory instead of having my daughter dance,” the grieving father and activist added, before calling Parker’s comments “moronic” and “unacceptable.”
The Parkland school shooting, which claimed 17 lives, is considered one of the worst school shootings in the modern U.S. history.
“There definitely has been progress at a local level and at a national level, where we’re teaching how do you recognize the signs of someone who’s at risk, because this is about prevention,” she began. “There were a lot of safety measures in place, you had armed school resource officers, you had prepared action plans for active shooter drills. There was a lot of activity already happening, and I don’t think that we’re focusing … we’re simply focusing on the wrong thing here.”
Hockley described the measures suggested by Patrick as “mitigation” rather than “prevention.”
“We need to focus on the kids inside the schools, and while I disagree with the vast majority of what the lieutenant governor said, I do agree that we do have a problem where we devalue life,” the gun control activist added. “That’s what we need to be focusing on and it’s not about religion, it’s not about values, and it’s not just about guns. It’s about guns and it’s about people, and while I agree with him that access and safety, those things need to be held accountable, this shooter took the guns from his home, and therefore action and accountability needs to take place.”
While kids across the country have been calling for an end to school shootings and demanding stricter gun reforms, it’s about time the adults start listening to them. Instead of protecting gun, let’s try and protect the nation’s children.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Jonathan Bachman