Horror, sadness and anger in the USA: In Texas, an 18-year-old killed at least 21 people, almost all of whom were children. The overview of the reactions to the fact.
Within a few days, the United States was shaken by two mass murders: On May 15, in Buffalo (New York state), a teenager killed several people in a gun attack in a supermarket. Now the next tragedy has happened: an 18-year-old opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two adults. A 66-year-old and a ten-year-old child are still in critical condition. The country is frozen.
Numerous people in public life expressed their grief over the massacre on social networks. In addition, there were renewed calls for stricter gun laws in the country.
“It’s like having a piece of your soul ripped out”
US President Joe Biden was extremely emotional in his speech on Tuesday evening. “Losing a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped out.” The Democrat also called for stricter gun laws: “As a nation, we have to ask ourselves when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby.” The idea that an 18-year-old boy can walk into a gun store and buy two assault rifles is just wrong.
US Vice President Kamala Harris also called for new political measures after the massacre. “Enough is enough,” Harris said on Tuesday evening (local time) in Washington. “As a nation, we must have the courage to act.” Measures must be taken to ensure that such crimes don’t happen again, Harris said – without getting specific. “Our hearts keep getting broken.”
“I have no words”
Emily Haber, the new US ambassador to Germany, wrote succinctly on Twitter: “I have no words.” Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Worrying and prayers are not enough. After years of nothing else we are becoming a nation of anguished screams. We simply need lawmakers willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is killing our children .”
Former US President Barack Obama expressed his condolences to the relatives and also expressed anger at the gun lobby. “Michelle and I mourn with the families in Uvalde,” Obama wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening (local time). “You are experiencing a pain that no one should endure.” He and his wife are also angry, the US Democrat added, criticizing the opposition US Republicans in this regard.
“Our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and political party that have shown no willingness to do anything to prevent these tragedies,” Obama said. He commemorated a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and the act in Buffalo. The ex-US President wrote that it was high time to act. The fact that families still have to wait for concrete measures is another tragedy. Michelle Obama shared the post on her own Twitter profile.
“When are we going to do something?”
The US pop singer Taylor Swift also addressed her fans with moving words. “I am filled with anger and sadness and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the way we as a nation have been conditioned to unbelievable and unbearable grief,” the superstar wrote Twitter. Swift also shared a video of Golden State Warriors basketball master coach Steve Kerr.
Kerr was extremely emotional: “When are we going to do something?” he yelled at a press conference ahead of the Dallas Mavericks playoff game on Tuesday night (local time). “I’m fed up, I’ve had enough!”
Kerr, a champion with the Chicago Bulls as a player alongside Michael Jordan, therefore did not want to talk about basketball. Visibly moved and shaking, the 56-year-old said: “I’m tired. I’m so tired of standing up here and offering my condolences to the devastated families out there.” Again and again Kerr’s voice faltered, he slammed his hand on the table several times.
Kerr called for stricter gun control in the United States and addressed 50 senators who have so far prevented it. The eight-time NBA champion has long spoken out against gun violence. His father was shot dead in a terrorist attack in Beirut, Lebanon in 1984.
“Keep children in danger at school”
Other athletes also commented on the fact: The US basketball player LeBron James, for example, expressed his anger and sadness on Twitter: His thoughts and prayers went to the families who lost their loved ones or whose loved ones were injured. “When is enough enough?” James asked. “These are children and we keep putting them in danger at school.”
Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey also called for more action in the fight against gun violence. “This is an epidemic that we can manage, and regardless of which partisan side we’re on, we all know we can do better. We have to do better,” wrote the 2014 Oscar winner (“Dallas Buyers Club”) on Twitter late Tuesday evening (local time). Measures must be taken so that no one has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and other relatives went through before.
“What do we do?”
US Senator Chris Murphy reacted with horror and addressed moving words to his Senate colleagues. “What are we doing?” asked the Democrat on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in the US Congress. “Why do you spend so much time running for the United States Senate? Why bother trying to get that job (…) when your answer is that while this carnage increases and our children running for their lives?” he asked, visibly struggling to keep his composure. “Why are we here?”
Murphy is from the state where 20 young children were killed in a 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Sandy Hook. Such massacres are not inevitable. “It only happens in this country. And nowhere else,” Murphy said. “Nowhere else do young children go to school thinking that they might be shot that day.” Murphy added, “It’s our decision whether this goes ahead.”
“Work with us to find a way to pass legislation that makes this less likely,” the Democrat said. “I know my fellow Republicans will not agree with everything I advocate, but we can find common ground.”
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who represents Texas in the Senate, immediately accused the Democrats of “politicizing” the attack in Uvalde in order to restrict the right to own guns.
Congress is responsible for tightening gun laws in the United States. Many Republicans oppose such a move. The gun lobby is very powerful in the US.