State officials speak out on gun control amid aftermath of Texas school shooting
A gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, killing 19 people, including 18 children as of this reporting, in what was the deadliest shooting at an American elementary school since the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut in 2012.
Multiple Washington representatives spoke out after the shooting, sharing their condolences while condemning gun violence.
“We must strengthen laws around gun violence to save lives,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter. “The public and our children are paying the price of the gun lobby’s cynical interests. ENOUGH.”
This cannot be what normal looks like in America. Trudi and I are devastated with the news of yet another violent tragedy. Our hearts are with the victims’ families and community of Uvalde, TX. https://t.co/o1u2laAStw
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) May 24, 2022
“My thoughts are with the families of those lost today in Texas. No one should have to endure the pain of losing a child like this,” Washington Senator Patty Murray (D) wrote on Twitter. “How many more lives have to be lost before Republicans wake up to what the majority of Americans have known for years? Gun safety laws save lives.”
Dr. Fred Rivara, a longtime gun researcher and a professor of pediatrics at University of Washington Medicine, echoed a similar sentiment on the effects of stricter gun control.
“We are a nation awash in firearms,” Rivara said to KIRO Newsradio. “We in Washington state in the last few years have passed laws that make it harder for individuals who are going to harm themselves or others to have firearms. In Texas. It’s been the reverse.”
Rivara points to the state’s requirement of universal background checks and extreme risk protection laws that allow guns to be removed from someone at risk of harming themselves or others. Even a cap on a high-capacity magazine can be put in place.
While shootings are not rare in the U.S., attacks at schools shake communities to the core because the victims are “obviously defenseless individuals, who did absolutely nothing except being a child sitting in school,” said Rivara.
Rivara believes data shows gun laws have a positive effect on reducing gun violence. Since the 2012 Sandy Hook School massacre, many states have reformed gun laws despite severe hesitation on the federal level.
Since 2009, 44 people have died in mass shootings in Washington state. In that same time frame, more than 200 have been killed in Texas.