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And it appears those 19 dead children and two dead teachers were also abandoned by law enforcement, who waited an hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds to enter the classroom where the gunman committed his carnage, according to evidence that emerged in a harrowing hearing. in the Texas state legislature on Tuesday.

Uvalde’s parents are not the first grieving parents to have been abandoned by government institutions. This happened after the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, just like after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, when it seemed certain that the Brutal murder of 20 young children and six adults would inevitably lead to changes to prevent further massacres of this type. But momentum dried up in Congress as the gun lobby rallied to pressure Republican senators as soon as the initial shock over the massacre began to ebb.

A decade later, some of these parents hope to see their long campaign for change at least partially validated in the coming days, with the US Senate set to pass the first bipartisan gun safety measure in nearly a generation, which was partially stimulated by the Mass Shooting at Uvalde.

Meanwhile, recriminations in Texas over an uneven and incomplete response to Robb’s elementary school horror only grow.

After Tuesday’s in-state legislative hearing, in which Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw called the local response to the May 24 massacre an “abject failure,” new charges were brought against state officials. selective flight to take responsibility and make those responsible for Uvalde look bad.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said on Tuesday he was frustrated that he could not get answers for the parents and alleged: “Colonel McCraw continued – whatever you want to call him – to lie, to divulge , to mislead or distort information in order to steer his own soldiers and Rangers away from the fightback.”

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde County, filed a lawsuit against the Department of Public Safety, accusing it of failing to produce public documents related to the shooting in a timely manner.

These apparent turf wars, suspicions of a cover-up, shifts in official narratives and refusal to offer timely answers about what happened on that terrible day a month ago are consistent with the lack of transparency that have demonstrated by authorities since the shooting and during the response. It aggravates the already unimaginable ordeal of parents who mourn their children.

Anger and emotion boiled over on Tuesday evening at a special town council meeting in Uvalde. Berlinda Irene Arreola, the grandmother of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza school shooting victim, questioned why school district police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo is still on the job. Arredondo, who was identified by other officials as responsible for the field response, was accused of waiting for shields, guns, police radios and a key to enter the classroom where children, before acting. Other evidence and reports showed that at least one child called 911 for help from inside the classroom. In the end, it was Border Patrol agents who stormed the room and killed the shooter.

At the special city council meeting, Arreola stood up and pleaded for the opinions of mourners to be respected.

“He let us down,” she said of Arredondo. “Don’t make the same mistake he did and let us down,” she said. “Go ahead and fix things. … Please, please get this man out of our lives.”

On Wednesday evening, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced that Arredondo would be placed on administrative leave. District Superintendent Hal Harrell said the decision was made “due to the remaining lack of clarity” and the uncertain timing of when he would get the results of various investigations. Arredondo contradicted previous accounts of his role and told the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the incident commander and did not order officers to refrain from entering the scene.
Speaking to CNN’s Brianna Keilar on ‘New Day’ on Wednesday before the Arredondo news broke, Arreola said the ordeal for her family was getting worse and worse as they missed little Amerie more and more. more and that the lack of information about the massacre made their pain worse.

“Everything that comes out, everything that we find out, it gets harder and harder day by day,” she said. “And we have to speak on behalf of all these children, all these families. We have to put things right. And we have to get to the bottom of everything that happened and find out the truth.”

Gun Legislation Movement

There will never be consolation for such torment.

But for parents and loved ones of children from previous massacres who have been shunned by the political system and turned grief into activism, there could be, at least in the coming days, a sign that their fight is not hopeless.

The US Senate appears poised to pass the most significant gun safety legislation in nearly a generation. He will fall far short of demands for measures such as a ban on assault rifles, demanded by some of Uvalde’s relatives when they testified before a House committee earlier this month. But in a tightly divided Senate, where Republicans have long resisted any changes to gun laws, that may be what the political system can handle right now.

Analysis: Senate passes gun legislation, but questions over response to Uvalde shooting add to pain for families

And the proposed law goes some way to responding to the widely heard cry to “do something” in the wake of the Uvalde shooting and an earlier massacre at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that killed 10 people.

The bill includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include minors’ records in the national instant criminal background check system. It makes significant changes to the process when someone between the ages of 18 and 21 goes to buy a firearm. It closes the “boyfriend loophole” and could therefore prevent someone with a criminal conviction for domestic violence against a romantic or intimate partner from buying a gun. This is something gun reform proponents and some Senate Democrats have been trying to do for years.

It’s impossible to say in retrospect, but it’s possible that if this law had been in place before the mass killings in Uvalde and Buffalo, it might have made a difference. The two gunmen involved in these shootings were 18 years old and had legally purchased high-powered rifles. It’s even harder to say whether the legislation would make a significant dent in the number of mass shootings across the United States.

Analysis: Senate passes gun legislation, but questions over response to Uvalde shooting add to pain for families

But Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who helped broker the package with Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that the measure could significantly reduce gun deaths.

“I would say it will save thousands of lives,” said Murphy, who has been campaigning for a gun law overhaul since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota agreed with Murphy and hailed the bravery of parents like those in Sandy Hook who backed a measure that fell short of their highest hopes — and the hopes of President Joe Biden, who had called for an assault arms ban.

“Starting with something that will save lives, even if a particular provision would not have saved the lives of their own babies, it is an act of love and generosity of spirit that you hear from families of those who have lost loved ones,” Klobuchar told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

A real moment of change

Perhaps more importantly, passage of the law — if 10 Republican senators stick together to join all Democrats in overcoming the filibuster in the chamber — will end the tired and frustrating pattern that nothing is ever done after the mass murders to curb gun crime once the initial grief and outrage subsided. Already, 14 Republicans voted to advance the bill Tuesday night, which bodes well for a vote Thursday to defeat a filibuster, who would put in place a final passage.

History has shown that progressive steps are the only way to change the most emotional issues in a deeply divided nation. This is true on the left for the push to legalize same-sex marriage and on the right in the growing success of the anti-abortion movement. Both campaigns took years, if not decades, to show results.

Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan in the Sandy Hook massacre, told CNN Thursday night that the days of intense negotiations that led to the gun deal had not been easy. She insisted that this could be a beginning and not an end and that the intractable politics of gun reform could change.

“More is always possible. It’s a step forward. I think it will be interesting for some people who have been afraid to touch this issue to realize that they can vote yes on this, do something good for their constituents and retain their political careers,” Hockley said on CNN’s “AC360.”

Still, the forces deployed against new gun safety measures are significant. One of the reasons Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is keen to hold a vote on the measure as soon as possible is to ensure that Republicans won’t be shy when they return home. and will suffer a backlash during the July 4 break. Cornyn – the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate package – was booed at a convention in his home state last week. Former President Donald Trump has warned loud and clear that any movement in the chamber on the gun package is the start of a slippery slope to overturning the Second Amendment – a position that is unsupported by any of the facts of the current effort.

If passed in the coming days with the support of enough Republicans, a new law will not end the ongoing agony for the parents of Uvalde, Sandy Hook or any other bereaved relatives of crime victims. committed with a firearm. But at the very least, it will show that the government doesn’t have to be completely insensitive and incompetent when something bad happens.

Perhaps the state and local authorities in Texas, who are letting the people of Uvalde down, will now begin to get this message.


Cnn

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