WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements today ahead of Wednesday’s one year mark of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, during which 19 children and two educators were shot and killed and 17 others were shot and wounded.
“Our family and our community remember all of the children and teachers whose lives were needlessly taken at Robb Elementary — and the families who will forever have an empty seat at their dinner table, said Christina Zamora, whose 10-year old daughter Mayah survived the Robb Elementary shooting. And certainly our daughter’s injuries and continued recovery, along with the trauma of all children who survived, will forever be a reminder of the tragedy. We can, and should, honor the 21 lives taken with action, answers and accountability.”
“One year after 19 children and two teachers were murdered, the gun safety movement is coming together to remember the victims and survivors — and rededicate ourselves to the fight for common-sense gun laws,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The pain and perseverance shown by survivors of the shooting at Robb Elementary helped push Congress to pass the first major gun safety bill in 30 years, and they continue inspiring our work to forge a safer future.”
“As we mark one year since the Uvalde community and communities across the country were traumatized by the senseless killing of young students and teachers at Robb Elementary, we are reminded of the toll of the gun violence epidemic,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Our hearts continue to break for those families and survivors as we mark this day that forever changed their lives and our nation. We will continue standing with them and in honor of their children as we fight to end gun violence in this country. We cannot and will not accept a reality in which our children aren’t safe in schools or their communities.”
In the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, in addition to the mass shooting only 10 days prior at Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, New York, the Senate began negotiations that resulted in President Joe Biden signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a historic gun safety, mental health, and school safety law — the first major federal gun violence prevention law to pass Congress in nearly 26 years. The law establishes an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provides federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws, disarms domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and funds community violence intervention programs, among other items.
Additionally, Everytown Law, the nation’s largest team of litigators who are at the forefront of advancing gun safety through the legal system, has partnered with the law firms of Romanucci & Blandin and LM Law Group to take action to seek justice and accountability for several families in Uvalde. Everytown Law represents the family of Eliahna Torres, a 10-year old who was murdered during the Robb Elementary School shooting. Everytown Law also represents the families of two surviving children, Mayah Zamora and Khloie Torres. The suits name the gunmaker, Daniel Defense, for its alleged irresponsible and unlawful marketing of the murder weapon, the gun store, Oasis Outback, for its alleged negligent sale of the firearm to the shooter, as well as the law enforcement officers who are alleged to have violated the students’ constitutional rights by trapping them inside classrooms for 77 minutes while the shooter terrorized them.
Just two weekends ago, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers hosted more than 200 events as part of a Mother’s Day of Action, calling on Congress to reinstate the bipartisan assault weapons ban. In addition to participating in national mobilizations, volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action in Texas have continued to fight for life-changing gun safety laws in their state. In recent weeks, Students Demand Action hosted more than 30 school walkouts across Texas. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, standing alongside Uvalde families, have also championed legislation to raise the purchasing age for assault weapons from 18 to 21. Guns are the leading cause of death for kids and teens in Texas. But Texas lawmakers, beholden to the gun lobby and insistent that guns in more places will make us safer, keep on weakening its gun laws, including passing permitless carry in 2021. This legislative session, Texas lawmakers blocked raising the purchasing age of assault weapons while pushing dangerous legislation to arm teachers.
Uvalde, Texas is a predominately Latinx community – Latinx communities bear a disproportionate brunt of the United States’ gun violence crisis. Each year, more than 4,700 Latinx people die from gun violence in the United States, and 13,300 are shot and wounded. Latinx people are twice as likely to die by gun homicide and four times as likely to be wounded by an assault with a gun as white people. Latinx children and teens are nearly three times more likely to be killed by gun homicide than their white peers.
There have been 48 mass shootings in Texas since the shooting at Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022, as of May 21, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Statistics about gun violence in Texas are available here, and Everytown’s interactive gun law platform — which shows how Texas’ gun laws compare to the gun laws of other states — is available here. Every day in the United States, more than 120 people are killed with guns, hundreds more are shot and wounded, and countless others witness acts of gun violence. Since 2013, Everytown has identified at least 1,000 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, and the worst period for this violence has been in the 2021–2022 school year, which saw nearly quadruple the average number of gunfire incidents since 2013.