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Uvalde Parents Confront Gov. Abbott Over Texas Gun Law


AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott might have woken up Saturday to the sound of fogeys screaming the names of their youngsters who died within the Could 24 faculty taking pictures in Uvalde.

Relations of a few dozen of the scholars and lecturers who died within the assault gathered in entrance of the governor’s mansion in downtown Austin at round 5:15 a.m., blaring recordings of their youngsters laughing and enjoying, then pausing to shout their names. A number of mother and father held poster-sized portraits of their family members and yelled at Abbott to step exterior.

Parents of kids who died within the Could 24 faculty taking pictures in Uvalde stand exterior the governor’s mansion in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 27.

“If we can’t sleep, neither can you!” one dad or mum shouted.

“These are the voices of our children!” Brett Cross, whose son Uri died within the taking pictures, yelled right into a bullhorn. “This is all we have left because you don’t give a damn!”

The protest is an element of a bigger push from mother and father and the gun reform group March for Our Lives to get Abbott to name a particular session of the state Legislature to boost the minimal age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.

Gun reform advocates typically need to see extra aggressive restrictions on assault rifles. However elevating the minimal age for buy could be a smaller and extra politically possible step — and one which may have made a serious distinction in Uvalde. In that case, the shooter legally purchased the assault rifle that was used within the assault shortly after his 18th birthday.

“The age needs to be raised to 21,” Cross advised HuffPost. “Our kids would still be alive.”

Permitting folks so younger to purchase firearms that may shortly kill giant numbers of individuals will increase the possibilities of such shootings occurring once more, stated Ana Rodriguez, who misplaced her 10-year-old daughter Maite.

“I know firsthand the type of damage that they can do,” Rodriguez stated. “Is it absolutely necessary for an 18-year-old kid to own … a weapon of a war? An 18-year-old is just a kid.”

Abbott, an enthusiastic promoter of firearms, has to date proven little curiosity within the proposal. Requested whether or not the governor helps elevating the minimal age of buy, a spokesperson declined to reply, pointing as a substitute to Abbott’s efforts to advertise faculty security and psychological well being.

“As Governor Abbott has said from day one, all options remain on the table as he continues working with state and local leaders to prevent future tragedies and deploy all available resources to support the Uvalde community as they heal,” Press Secretary Renae Eze wrote in an e mail. “More announcements are expected in the coming days and weeks as the legislature deliberates proposed solutions.”

A number of mother and father, nevertheless, stated their personal discussions with Abbott went poorly earlier this month, with the governor flatly dismissing their questions on elevating the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles.

In response to one dad or mum, Abbott stated elevating the minimal age wouldn’t make a distinction, citing the 2018 assault on a Santa Fe faculty by which the shooter used a shotgun. A number of stated he instantly steered the dialog towards the topic of psychological well being.

That disinterest left a foul impression with a number of mother and father. One regretted assembly with him, saying her daughter by no means appreciated him.

“We asked him if he could name a victim, and he said no,” Cross advised HuffPost. “He couldn’t name one. He said, ‘Not off the top of my head.’”

The Texas Legislature meets for a couple of months each different yr. The state solely considers new legal guidelines in response to occasions just like the Uvalde taking pictures if the governor calls a particular session.

Even when Abbott have been to name one, the proposal to boost the minimal age to purchase semi-automatic rifles would face an unsure path. Each homes of the Legislature are managed by Republicans. In recent times, the celebration has moved to loosen gun rules, with a 2015 regulation permitting the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses and a 2021 regulation permitting folks to hold the weapons with out a license.

However the Uvalde mother and father draw hope from gun reform advocates’ success in Florida. In 2018, then-Gov. Rick Scott, additionally a Republican presiding over a GOP-dominated Legislature, signed a reform measure elevating the authorized age to purchase firearms to 21 in response to the college taking pictures in Parkland.

Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi died within the Uvalde taking pictures, stated she hopes Abbott will do the identical.

“My main goal is just to be heard,” Rubio stated. “And if he doesn’t deliver, we’re going to vote him out.”

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