In response to yesterday’s Uvalde, Texas, elementary school mass shooting that left 21 dead, Asian lawmakers echoed many of the same sentiments as the colleagues of their respective parties.
Several notable Democratic members of Congress took to Twitter to blame the Republican Party for blocking what they described to be “common sense” gun safety laws, and urged legislators to immediately act on passing more regulations.
Rep. Andy Kim (D, NJ-3) posted on his account, “Those benefiting from status quo are hoping that our outrage will burn out in a few days. Let’s prove them wrong,” before adding that, “We should vote on legislation for universal background checks, assault weapons ban, Charleston loophole, and red flag laws every day until they finally pass Congress.”
Similarly, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) also wrote on Twitter, “It’s been nearly 10 years since Sandy Hook, and still, our children are getting gunned down in our schools. What is it going to take for Republicans to find the basic decency to help us end this nightmare?”
In a separate tweet addressed to her “Republican colleagues,” she asked, “what’s more important to you? Your political power or your humanity?”
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Both Kim and Hirono referred to the ways in which the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups have poured millions of dollars into funding Republican candidates’ campaigns each election cycle, securing votes against gun safety laws.
Since 2013, gun rights advocates have invested $144 million, and $15.8 million in 2021 alone, in lobbying. This is in contrast to the meager $2.9 million gun control groups spent in 2021 to promote more safety laws and regulations.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) posted on Twitter how the mass shooting was “Every parent’s nightmare” and added that she was “heartbroken for these families and angry as hell at Republicans’ shameless inaction to save the lives of innocent children.”
“We know there will be another and another and another attack if we do nothing. And we know who is preventing action,” she wrote in a second tweet, and urged the Senate to “vote on commonsense gun safety reforms that the American people have demanded for too long.”
As of this writing, there have been no mentions of gun law reform on the accounts of Asian American Republican lawmakers, although many offered prayers and their condolences for the tragedy.
Rep. Young Kim (R, CA-39) posted on her official Twitter, “As a mother and new grandmother, I am gutted to hear of this tragic news at a Texas school. Whether it’s a place of learning or of worship, no one should feel unsafe. My heart is with the victims, their loved ones and the Uvalde community as we learn more.”
Less than 24 hours before, Kim had made another tweet for the mass shooting that took place at the Laguna Woods Church, which was reported to have been motivated by anti-Asian sentiment, that she was praying for “strength and healing” and “to honor Dr. John Cheng’s heroism.”
She also stated, “there is no place in our community or our society for hate”
Rep. Michelle Steel (R, CA-48) has not released any official statements regarding the Texas shootings; however, based on voting records — she voted “no” to both the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 and Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 — it can be inferred that she would echo the words of her conservative colleague Kim.
Steel previously spoke in Congress, honoring Cheng, who was killed in the Laguna Woods Church shooting, in her speech.
“Today, I stand with my fellow Orange County representatives to honor the courage and sacrifice of one of my constituents,” the speech started, as shown on her official website, “[Dr. John Cheng] was a beloved son, husband, a father of two, and a respected physician. He was a hero. We share our condolences with his family and stand here today to honor his life.”
Steel ended her speech with a moment of silence dedicated to Dr. Cheng’s memory.
The most recent mass shooting, which took place in the small town of Uvalde, Texas, left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers dead. The gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, had legally purchased two semi-automatic rifles shortly after his birthday.
In addition to the 21 killed, an additional 17 people were injured during the massacre.