‘How many deaths is too many?’ Bay Area lawmakers condemn GOP gun policy after latest school massacre

SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area lawmakers issued blistering criticism of Republican opposition to gun control measures in the wake of the latest mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school Tuesday.

Late Tuesday afternoon a Texas state senator said the death toll from the shooting at Robb Elementary School had risen to 21 – 18 children and three adults. Three other people were wounded and in serious condition. The 18-year-old gunman was shot dead by police. 

It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade-school since a gunmen killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago. And it came just 10 days after a gunman in body armor killed 10 Black shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities say was a racist attack.  

“Across the nation, Americans are filled with righteous fury in the wake of multiple incomprehensible mass shootings in the span of just days. This a crisis of existential proportions – for our children and for every American,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a prepared statement. “For too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words after these shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives. It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people and join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, commonsense, life-saving legislation into law.”

CNN reported the gunman bought an assault rifle on his 18th birthday, which was possible after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lowered the age to legally purchase to 18 years old in 2021.

“Another day, another mass shooting, and more silence from the gun lobby and Republicans who refuse to allow any gun safety reforms to occur,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) in a prepared statement. “So far this year – and we’re not even at the end of May – there have been more than 200 mass shootings leaving more than 230 dead and more than 840 injured.

“After every shooting, I ask how many deaths is too many? And after every mass shooting, the news recedes as Republicans refuse to budge, refuse to take any action to limit these deaths,” Feinstein’s statement continued. “Our gun laws are so lax, we don’t even require basic background checks for guns bought online, at gun shows or from private sellers. We can’t even keep guns out of the hands of children. We have to act or more and more people will continue to die.”

“I wish I could look at my three small children and promise them they will always be safe at their schools. But, that would be a lie. America continues to arm the most dangerous people to the teeth — leaving every innocent child vulnerable to being shot inside their classroom,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) in a prepared statement. “America has a mass shooter problem. And it’s not a policy defect. It’s by Republican design. GOP policies have allowed the most dangerous people to access the most dangerous weapons. Passing background checks and an assault weapons ban is long overdue.”

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