Flags were lowered to half mast at San Francisco’s City Hall as the death toll from the Uvalde, Texas, massacre rose from 18 to 21. All but three of the dead were children.
“It’s unbearable that within the past 10 days, parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren have been taken from us through heinous acts of violence,” Mayor London Breed wrote on Twitter.
The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas was the latest in a string of massacres to rock the nation in recent days, including the mass murder spree in Buffalo on May 14 by an alleged white supremacist and the Laguna Woods Taiwanese church shooting a day later. Tuesday’s shooting happened just 10 years after a gunman killed 20 children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
California leaders, meanwhile, implored Congress to enact stronger gun control laws in the wake of Tuesday’s massacre.
On Twitter, State Sen. Scott Wiener lamented the children murdered “because of our nation’s refusal to stop the tidal wave of easy-to-get mass killing machines.”
“These mass murders aren’t inevitable,” he tweeted. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We need fewer guns. Congress must act.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom echoed the sentiment, saying the shooting that claimed the lives of so many children was preventable.
“Another shooting,” he wrote on Twitter. “And the GOP won’t do a damn thing about it. We need nationwide, comprehensive, commonsense gun safety NOW.”
Officials in Texas identified the killer as an 18-year-old who opened fire with a handgun and possibly a rifle, according to Associated Press reports.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco linked the shooting to a “crisis of existential proportions for our children and every American.” Congress, she said, has done nothing but offer “hollow words after these shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she’s “just speechless” at “the evil that is running rampant.”
“And behind all of these acts is a firearm,” she tweeted. “After every shooting, I ask how many deaths is too many? And after every mass shooting, the news recedes as Republicans refuse to take any action to limit these deaths.”
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr used his media availability Tuesday before Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to name names, singling out Sen. Mitch McConnell for not doing enough to rein in gun violence.
“When are we going to do something?” Kerr asked, angrily. “I’m tired.”
The issue hits home for Kerr, who was in college when his father was assassinated by gunmen while serving as president of the American University in Beirut in 1984.
The coach also condemned McConnell and the “50 senators right now who refuse to vote” on HR 8, which would mandate universal background checks—even for private sellers, who are now exempt—but has been languishing since it passed with bipartisan support by the House in March 2021.
“I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there,” Kerr said. “I’m so tired. Excuse me. I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Jennifer Wadsworth can be reached at [email protected]