Distraught Uvalde parent dares Abbott to prove they matter

Source: Hot Air

The 2022-23 school year is about to start in Uvalde, Texas and tension is high in the small town. Grieving families who lost loved ones in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School last May are frustrated that more has not been done to prevent future events. Governor Abbott is a target of one of the parents because he has not called a special session of the Texas Legislature to address gun control.

Brett Cross is the uncle of one of the fourth graders killed in the mass shooting. He was the legal guardian of his nephew, Uziyah Garcia. He is an activist who dared Governor Abbott to prove that the families in Uvalde matter to him. According to Cross, the way to do that is to call a special session and work on legislation to raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21. He spoke out in a provocative way in his challenge to Abbott.

“That piece of (expletive) that murdered our children legally bought that damn gun. Legally,” Cross said in a video posted to Twitter. “You could do something about it. You are just too chicken (expletive) to do it. So don’t sit there and act like you’re for the people, for the parents, and for the children, because you don’t give a damn. I implore you, make a liar out of me. Call a special session. Or don’t and prove me right. The choice is yours, buddy.”

Governor Abbott was at a campaign event in Allen, Texas where he noted that two million doors have been knocked on by campaign supporters asking voters to get out and vote in the November election. Abbott addressed the request for a special session and his answer angered Cross.

In the Abbottt video, the Texas governor can be seen flanked by supporters holding red “Parents Matter” signs. Abbott said he has personally spoken to the families of the 21 victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting on multiple occasions.

“Let’s grieve with them and understand why they are so angry,” Abbott said.

Abbott said that a series of court rulings have shown that raising the age to buy an assault-style weapon would be “unconstitutional.”

A Trump-appointed federal judge ruled last week that a state law barring individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 from carrying handguns was unconstitutional. The Uvalde families are focusing on the legal age to purchase rifles in Texas since that is what the shooter used at Robb Elementary School.

Last week, U.S. district Judge Mark Pittman in Fort Worth said the Texas restriction on “law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds” is inconsistent with the Constitution because the Second Amendment itself does not state an age restriction, and minors were part of state militias that existed in the formative years of American history.

The decision follows a landmark Supreme Court ruling in June that is expected to lead to states allowing more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities.

The Supreme Court has ordered lower courts to reexamine several other cases, including laws in California and New Jersey that limit the amount of ammunition a gun magazine can hold and a 2013 ban on “assault weapons” in Maryland. Gun rights groups are also challenging similar bans in California, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

Other Democrats piled on, including Abbott’s opponent in the gubernatorial race, Robert Francis O’Rourke.

Chris Evans, a spokesperson for the Democratic nominee for governor, Beto O’Rourke, said Abbott was failing to protect Texans “as gun violence has become the leading cause of death among children and teens in Texas.”

“The families who had their children taken from them in Uvalde have led the call for this state to raise the minimum age for purchasing an assault weapon to 21,” Evans said. “An overwhelming 75% of Texas voters — including 72% of Republicans — agree with this popular, bipartisan and commonsense response.”

State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie and chairman House Democratic Caucus, said Abbott is “unwilling to unable to show the leadership necessary to get a bipartisan effort” to raise the age to buy assault-style weapons. He pointed out that several other states have such bans.

“The governor is making a weak excuse for why he refuses to take action,” Turner said, adding that Abbott and state Attorney General Ken Paxton have fought against the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court ruled constitutional.

“This is not a governor that concerns himself on what’s constitutional or not,” Turner said.

Families of the victims and survivors of the mass shooting, Uvalde County Commissioners, and the Uvalde School Board have all demanded action from Texas officials on gun control.

Brett Cross attended the Uvalde school board meeting this week and left without the answers he was seeking.

Three months after the shooting and with school set to resume, Cross confronted the school board at its meeting to ask about its investigation into the botched response by the school district’s police officers.

He was told the investigation had yet to start.

Cross asked about security, but was told some measures, like fencing around campuses, would not be completed by the time children return to the classroom on Sept. 6.

And Cross, who cares for six other school-age children, asked if the Texas Department of Public Safety officers assigned to Uvalde’s schools this year were among those who failed to quickly confront the gunman at Robb Elementary.

The board had no answer. Cross said he walked away frustrated and angry – sentiments expressed by other parents who also attended. Some said what they wanted most was an apology from the school board, which they say they have yet to receive.

“They just keep trying to put Band Aids on a gunshot wound,” Cross said in an interview after the meeting. “If they would just act on half the things they talk about, it might make us feel better.”

Regardless of what side of the political aisle you are on, those questions are basic questions that should be able to be answered. It is inexcusable that the residents of Uvalde have been left without answers for so long after the mass shooting in May. Everything went wrong that day at Robb Elementary School. The people put in charge of protecting those children and teachers failed them.