DC-area politicians react to mass shooting at Texas school

Less than two weeks after a deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, the nation is now reeling from another mass shooting — this time at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in the Texas city located 80 miles west of San Antonio. The 18-year-old gunman was shot dead by authorities.



Local and national politicians from around the D.C. region have weighed in with their thoughts on the atrocity.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said, “Suzanne and I are devastated at the incomprehensible and tragic news out of Texas. We are praying for the community of Uvalde and the families who lost their children and loved ones to this senseless attack.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in his own statement: “Schools should never be a place of fear. No mom or dad should have to worry when they send their kids off to school whether they’ll come home safe.”

He offered Texas the support of the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management.

Hogan also ordered all U.S. and Maryland flags to be flown half-staff through on sunset on Saturday “as a mark of respect for the victims of the deadly shooting” in Uvalde. Fairfax County is doing the same for its U.S. and Virginia flags.

Chris Van Hollen, one of Maryland’s U.S. Senators, said the shooting was “Horrific beyond words. Every parent’s worst nightmare. We are failing our nation’s children, and their teachers, by acting as though these mass shootings are normal or unavoidable.”

Ben Cardin, another U.S. Senator from Maryland, asked: “How many children have to die before enough is enough?”

Some politicians advocated for a legislative solution to the carnage.

Tim Kaine, a U.S. Senator from Virginia, said, “We have a deep sickness in this country. We cannot accept it as normal. I’m not going to stop pushing for legislation to make our communities safer.”

Kaine’s fellow U.S. Senator from Virginia, Mark Warner, said his heart is with those affected by the shooting in Uvalde. He ended his tweet with: “Gun violence is taking far too many lives. Congress must act.”

Don Beyer, a U.S. Congressman from Virginia, tweeted out a link saying gun violence is the leading cause of death for those under the age of 25.

Earlier, Beyer said: “They say more guns make us safer as the mass shootings keep getting more frequent and the toll keeps getting bloodier. It is not rational to accept massacres at our grocery stores, churches, malls, and theaters. How can they not do anything? These are our schools, our children.”

Other politicians began directing their ire at their colleagues in Congress.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released a statement that started by asking, “How many more times must Americans watch innocent children die in mass shootings at elementary schools before we decide as a nation to do something about gun safety?”

“How many more times will Senate Republicans express outrage at horrific shootings like the one today in Uvalde, Texas and then block meaningful, bipartisan background-check legislation supported by nine out of 10 Americans and most responsible gun owners?” his statement continued.

Hoyer mentioned that the House had passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and legislation to close the Charleston Loophole — which gives the Federal Firearms Licensee the option to allow a gun purchase if a background check isn’t completed within three business days.

Its name comes in reference to the shooter who killed nine people at a Charleston church in 2015, even though the FBI said afterward that a clerical error about a felony charge allowed the shooter to buy a gun when he shouldn’t have.

“Senate Republicans continue to block them, even though they have overwhelming support from the American people, who are sick and tired of turning on the news to see images like those we see today of ambulances where there ought to be school buses and tearful first responders where there ought to be beaming teachers,” Hoyer said in his statement.

The shooting in Ulvade, Texas, was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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