It’s been a difficult 24 hours following Tuesday’s tragedy in Texas, the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012. Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary, killing 19 students and two teachers, has shaken America to its core, eliciting feelings of anger and grief as a broken nation mourns another senseless act of violence. With shootings occurring everywhere from grocery stores to churches, it’s hard to feel safe anymore with activists and politicians—mostly on the far right—fighting tooth and nail to uphold the second amendment (ratified in 1791, for those wondering), prioritizing their right to carry a firearm over the safety of innocent children. Many are holding elected officials including Greg Abbott (who, throughout his tenure as Texas governor, has actively impeded gun control legislation) responsible for Tuesday’s events, lamenting how little has changed in the decade since Sandy Hook.
A number of prominent athletes—Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James among them—have made their voices heard, calling for change in the wake of yet another school shooting (already the 27th this year). Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose father was murdered in a terrorist attack years earlier, was visibly emotional addressing the media before Tuesday night’s Game 4 in Dallas, calling out Mitch McConnell and others in Congress who have opposed H.R. 8, a bill that, if passed by the senate (it’s already made it through the House of Representatives), would apply stiffer background checks for gun purchases.
“When are we going to do something?” asked an enraged Kerr. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to all the devastated families out there. I’m tired of the excuses. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Browns Pro Bowler Myles Garrett shared a similar sentiment on social media, tweeting his disgust at what America has become, defaulting to laughably outdated laws written in the 1700s when the Founding Fathers were allowed to own slaves.
“So an 18-year-old is legally within his rights to buy multiple automatic rifles and a pistol online, going on to kill 21 or more people, while a woman can’t even have full autonomy of her body in the US?” asked Garrett, referencing a leaked draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court ruling allowing women the right to an abortion. “It’s pathetic.”
While Texas senator Ted Cruz has accused Democrats of “politicizing” Tuesday’s violence as an excuse to push an anti-gun agenda, Garrett is tired of the rinse and repeat cycle of mass shootings, allowing acts of domestic terrorism to become a weekly occurrence in a country that can’t seem to quit its crippling gun addiction.
“No other country has near the amount of mass shootings as we do and we say the same s--- every single time. Prayers and condolences aren’t bringing any of those loved ones back or easing any of those broken hearts,” expressed Garrett. “Stop normalizing the death of innocents by troubled individuals and rationalizing it with the idea of safety. It isn’t safe.”
It’s hard to be optimistic about enacting real change in a hopelessly corrupt system undermined by political gridlock and blatant self-interest, but, thankfully, that hasn’t stopped Garrett and others from trying.