Queens politicians call for gun reform following Texas elementary school shooting

Queens politicians gun reform after Robb Elementary shooting
Two Texas Troopers light a candle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing several fourth-graders and their teachers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

As the families and school community at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, continue to mourn the 19 children and two adults killed by an 18-year-old gunman, Queens politicians are calling for immediate gun reform following what is now considered the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012.

Reports said that the shooter, identified by law enforcement as Salvador Ramos, barricaded himself inside one of the school’s classrooms on the morning of May 24 and used an AR-style rifle to shoot the children and teachers inside, before Texas police eventually broke into the classroom and killed him.

Officials did not disclose a motive for the shooting but reported that the Uvalde resident bought two AR-style rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition after he turned 18. Days before the shooting, Ramos allegedly posted disturbing messages on social media saying that “kids should watch out.”

Queens elected officials took to Twitter to express their shared grief for the young lives that were lost to senseless gun violence, with many of them calling for common-sense gun regulation and reform for the country.

Editor’s note: Early reports said that 14 children were killed, which is referenced in several lawmakers’ tweets, but the confirmed number is 19 children.

Borough President Donovan Richards questioned why “we accept living in a society where our children surviving math class or our seniors surviving the grocery store check-out line isn’t guaranteed,” in reference to both the Robb Elementary shooting and Buffalo supermarket shooting that happened just 10 days prior.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, who has also been working locally to get ghost guns off of the streets, asked what it would take for the country to change its gun control laws.

“How do politicians who obstruct life-saving, common sense gun and healthcare legislation sleep, knowing elementary school children have died as a consequence of their choices?” Senator Jessica Ramos said on Twitter.

Senator Michael Gianaris called the government a “failure” for not appropriately responding to mass murder with gun reform laws.

In response to Texas Congressman Tony Gonzalez, who referenced a Bible verse from the Gospel of Matthew in his tweet for the Robb Elementary victims, Congresswoman Grace Meng countered back with a Bible verse of her own.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the “idolatry of violence” in the country “must end.”

Read reactions from more lawmakers in Queens:

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz:

Senator Leroy Comrie:

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams: 

Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán:

Assemblyman Edward Braunstein:

Councilwoman Sandra Ung:

“My heart goes out to the families of the 14 kids and the teacher killed inside an elementary school today by a deranged gunman in Uvalde, Texas,” Councilwoman Sandra Ung said. “It’s been 10 years since Sandy Hook, and little has changed. We can and must do better to protect our children. It is time for the nation to treat gun violence as the epidemic and public health crisis that it is. Americans shouldn’t have to worry when their kids leave the house that they might not return, and the status quo on gun violence is unacceptable.”

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