Parents of mass shooting victims, survivors, demand U.S. Congress act on gun control

WARNING: This story contains graphic depictions of violence and death.

A fourth-grader who survived last month’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school told US lawmakers that after the gunman killed her teacher and friends, she drew her own blood. himself in a desperate attempt to survive.

Miah Cerrillo and the parents of many young Americans killed and injured in recent mass shootings testified Wednesday before a congressional panel as lawmakers worked to find compromises on the project. gun safety laws.

“He said to my teacher ‘good night’ and shot her in the head,” Cerrillo said in a pre-recorded interview that took place for the committee.

“He shot the friend sitting next to me and I thought he was going to come back to the room so I took some blood and smeared it all over my body,” she added.

The young girl said she feared such incidents of violence could happen again at school.

The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Reform committee hearing comes about two weeks after the shooting of an 18-year-old student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead. network.

It was one of a series of mass shootings across the United States in recent weeks that left dozens dead and sparked a new round of bipartisan talks in the US Senate. With Democrats and Republicans deeply divided over guns, the talks have focused on modest goals including encouraging states to pass “red flag” laws to deny the use of firearms to individuals. with those judged to be a risk to themselves or to the public.

Republicans, staunch advocates of the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms protected by the United States Constitution, have opposed proposals such as restricting sales of assault-style rifles used in massacre in Uvalde and another mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, the grocery story kills 10 Black victims.

WATCH \Miah Cerrillo recounts in incredible detail:

Texas school shooting survivor presents graphic evidence to committee

This video contains content that some viewers may find sad. Miah Cerrillo, a 4th grader who survived a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, describes how she avoided the gunman while he was killing her classmate.

‘Like her voice, we demand action’

The parents of one of the students killed in Texas, Lexi Rubio, also testified.

After reading the names of the students who died, Kimberly Rubio talked about dropping her 10-year-old daughter at school and promised to eat ice cream that night.

Rubio said: “In the reel that kept scrolling through my memory, she turned her head and smiled at us to acknowledge my promise, and then we left. “I left my daughter at that school and that decision will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Rubio wants lawmakers to ban assault rifles and high-volume magazines, and expand background checks on gun purchases and red flag laws to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

“As her voice, we demand action.”

Other witnesses who have been affected by the Buffalo massacre – allegedly by an avid white supremacist – include the mother of one victim and the city’s police commissioner.

VIEW | Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords urged reform this week:

Gabby Giffords urges US lawmakers to boldly use guns

Description: Former congresswoman and gun crime victim Gabby Giffords held a news conference in front of the Washington Monument on Tuesday and called on Democratic and Republican lawmakers to have the courage ‘to do what correct.’

‘He didn’t stand a chance’

Joseph Gramaglia, commissioner, on the murder of armed security guard Aaron Salter Jr. at the Tops grocery location on Jefferson Ave.

“It is often said that a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun,” says Gramaglia. “Aaron was a good guy and didn’t match what he was up to – a legit AR-15 with lots of high-capacity magazines. He didn’t stand a chance.”

Later in the session, Gramaglia said he supported “reasonable regulations that would limit carnage on our streets.”

WATCH / Buffalo’s top cop takes aim at the ‘good guy with a gun’ idea:

Retired cop ‘unmatched’ with Buffalo supermarket gunman: Police Commissioner

Appearing before a US House of Representatives committee examining gun violence, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia countered the notion that ‘a good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun.’

Zeneta Everhart, whose 20-year-old son Zaire was injured in a mass shooting in Buffalo, told lawmakers that their job was to draft legislation for Americans. She said that if they couldn’t find testimony that was motivated enough to break gun laws, they invited her to her home to help her clean her son’s wounds.

“My son Zaire has one hole on the right side of his neck, two holes on his back, and another hole on his left leg,” she said, then paused to compose herself. “When I cleaned his wound, I could feel the shrapnel in his back. The shrapnel would stay inside his body for the rest of his life. Now I want you to picture the scenario. exactly that for one of your children.”

Debate on age restrictions, other measures

The Full House will debate a bill later on Wednesday that would raise the minimum age to 21 from 18 for the purchase of certain firearms and strengthen the ban on untrackable firearms. That bill is highly unlikely to pass the Senate, where it would require the votes of 10 Republicans.

Negotiations in the bipartisan Senate, led by Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican John Cornyn, also include measures such as improved school security and increased health care services. mental health and do more to keep guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited by law from possessing them, such as felonies.

VIEW | Why the AR-15-style rifle is controversial:

AR-15: Popular, controversial gun used in shooting range in Texas

AR-15-style rifles are popular with American gun owners, but their use in many school shootings also makes them one of the most controversial of all firearms.

Rather than push for a snap vote on the House bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opted to spend more time in bipartisan negotiations.

Democrats in the past have tried to pass widespread gun control legislation to stem the tide of mass murder, which has topped 200 this year in the United States alone, and other incidents of violence. gun related.

This time, Democrats have signaled to Republicans that they will be willing to accept a much narrower first step on legislation, even as President Joe Biden calls for tougher action, such as a weapons ban. attack gas.

Others testifying include New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association.

Republicans called as witnesses to Wednesday’s hearing include Lucretia Hughes of the DC Women’s Project for Gun Rights. The group said it “encourages the preservation of America’s gun culture” while raising awareness about gun safety.

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