New York lawmakers and education advocates expressed sadness and outrage over Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 elementary school children and two educators were shot and killed by an 18-year old perpetrator.
An additional 15 children and one police officer were injured, making this shooting the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook and the deadliest ever in Texas.This was the 27th mass shooting in 2022, and shortly followed New York State’s mass shooting in Buffalo which occured on May 14.
Educators, lawmakers and faith leaders expressed their deep sorrow at the tragedy, while also pleading for change in gun laws to ensure these mass shootings never happen again.
“Our hearts are broken,” said New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta in a statement on May 24, the day of the shooting. “In New York, our emotions are still raw from the senseless mass murder at a Buffalo supermarket just more than a week ago, and now we watch as our colleagues in Texas, the students they devote themselves to and their families are forced to grapple with yet another horrific mass shooting. What will it take to put a stop to these hateful, sickening acts of violence? Our schools must be a safe place for all. As we mourn those who have lost their lives, we must also stand up and demand better for children, for parents, for educators and for communities across the nation.”
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul also strongly condemned the attack and called for gun control legislation to prevent future shootings.
“You should be able to go to school, and to church, and to the grocery store without needing to worry that you’re not going to come home,” Hochul tweeted. “It’s past time to put an end to these needless tragedies.”
New York City Mayor Adams called for more law enforcement in the face of gun violence, saying that the current response is not enough.
“This is fueled by America’s toxic gun culture,” Adams tweeted. “The response is not meeting the threat. Law enforcement is getting guns and killers off the street. They need the power to keep them off.”
Monsignor David Cassato, the Vicar for Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn also provided a statement along with prayers for the victims and their families.
“Our hearts are broken for the families and community in Uvalde, Texas who are suffering an unthinkable pain today,” said Monsignor Cassato to amNew York. “We encourage solidarity and prayers for the peace and safety of all our children. Let us remember that in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus states, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’ Our children deserve to be cared for and feel safe. We take efforts to make our Catholic Schools in Brooklyn and Queens a safe haven, we pray for God’s help, and thank all those that tirelessly give to protect and serve school children everywhere.”
Congressman Tom Suozzi also spoke out against the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is holding their annual conference in Texas this week.
“The NRA simply has no conscience,” said Suozzi. “The gun manufacturers that fund them, the members that tolerate their extremist views, and the politicians that pander to them have allowed our country to be flooded with guns and have fueled domestic terrorism. I am furious with many of my colleagues in Congress. Predominantly Republicans, and some Democrats, too, are held hostage by the NRA and stand down when faced with common sense gun reform. What is wrong with them? Why don’t they see they are helping to perpetuate the misinformation by the NRA that leads to tragedy after tragedy? Or do they see and don’t care because they are desperate to get re-elected? When will the gun manufacturer enablers wake up? To the Members of Congress who have voted against common sense gun violence prevention legislation I say, ‘do your jobs.’”