No more thoughts and prayers. Without sensible gun restrictions, mass shootings will continue.

What does it say about our country when a child predicts something terribly wrong is going to take place at school, and then it does?

SHARE No more thoughts and prayers. Without sensible gun restrictions, mass shootings will continue.
Joseph Avila, left, prays while holding flowers honoring the victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing at least 19 fourth-graders and their two teachers.

Joseph Avila, left, prays while holding flowers honoring the victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

AP

If you’re an elected leader and all you have to offer are thoughts and prayers for families of the 19 children and two teachers who were slaughtered at a Texas elementary school this week — just shut up.

Maybe try some self-reflection and humility if you can’t stay quiet or vow to do more to keep your constituents safe. That includes you, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

La Voz AARP

Lea este artículo en español en La Voz Chicago, un servicio presentado por AARP Chicago.

La_Voz_Cover_Photo.jpg

Abbott, in a knee-jerk, Pavlovian reaction to deflect blame, cited violence in Chicago Wednesday when talking about the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. Tougher gun laws don’t work, the Republican governor said rashly. “Horrifically, incomprehensibly” opening fire is how Abbott earlier described the teenage perpetrator’s actions.

No, governor, Tuesday’s massacre was very comprehensible. The gunman was able to legally purchase two AR-style rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition just after his 18th birthday, days before he decided to mow down a classroom of fourth-graders looking forward to summer vacation.

Editorial

Editorial

Remember, it was you, governor, who — flanked by members of the National Rifle Association — signed seven laws that expanded gun rights in your state last summer.

Abbott has no right to feign surprise or shock by the latest school shooting that has left so many Americans heartbroken, wondering when power-hungry lawmakers will finally take concrete steps to stop the bloodshed.

The governor’s challenger, Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke, summed it up when he interrupted Abbott’s press conference Wednesday, saying the shooting was “totally predictable when you choose not to do anything.”

Meanwhile, Cruz after the shooting tweeted that he and his wife were “fervently lifting up in prayer” the victims and their loved ones — then, not 24 hours later, accused Democrats and the media of politicizing the massacre by trying to “restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.”

That’s right. Don’t take away the guns. Never mind the cries of grief-stricken parents in the predominantly Hispanic town of Uvalde, and everywhere else touched by mass shootings that simply would not occur without the easy availability of high-powered firearms.

Nearly 10 years ago, a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Even the bullet-riddled bodies of 6- and 7-year-olds was not horrifying enough to force substantial change to federal gun laws.

So when Salvador Ramos posted on Facebook that he was “going to shoot an elementary school” a decade later, he was easily able to get a gun and do so.

Opinion Newsletter

Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, didn’t want to go to school Tuesday because she sensed something bad was going to happen, her mother told reporters. The girl and her cousin, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, were killed in the rampage.

Amerie Jo Garza tried to call 911 when she was shot. She had just received an Honor Roll certificate minutes before.

What does it say about our country when a child predicts something terribly wrong is going to take place at school, and then it does? When another child frantically calls for help on her own cellphone, instead of using it to play a game?

Some of the worst advice comes from people like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who have renewed their calls to arm educators to combat school shootings.

The reality is most teachers don’t want guns. They want more gun restrictions. A 2018 Gallop poll found that 73% of teachers are opposed to arming themselves.

Gun rights advocates who want teachers to carry weapons in school and stand up to gunmen should take a good, hard look at themselves. What do they know about bravery, when they don’t have the guts themselves to stand up to the NRA?

Abbott, Cruz and Donald Trump are scheduled to speak at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. Don’t hold your breath for them to show some decency and cancel their appearance, or for the NRA to scrap the entire event out of respect for the victims in Uvalde.

Former Bulls star and current Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has channeled the outrage many Americans now feel.

Kerr, whose university professor father was killed by gunmen in Beirut in 1984, referred to a proposed law that would tighten background checks on guns during a press availability before Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

The legislation was passed by the House of Representatives, but has not yet been voted on by the Senate, where it surely would not pass due to GOP opposition.

“We’re being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want,” Kerr said. “They won’t vote on it, because they want to hold on to their own power. It’s pathetic.”

That power must be taken away. The only way to do that is to vote out every politician who refuses to stand up to the gun lobby. If they can’t, it’s a tacit admission that they care more about guns than lives.

Send letters toletters@suntimes.com.

The Latest
Considering where to go when Illinois’ waterfowl blind draws come at the end of the month after the Illinois DNR announced the schedule yesterday.
Johnson said Thursday he will remain as British prime minister while a leadership contest is held to choose his successor.
A judge last year declined a request from Hoover for a lower sentence under the First Step Act. But in doing so, the judge gave the Gangster Disciples founder room to try again.
A train conductor heading north spotted the 28-year-old woman in the 900 block of West Cornelia Avenue, police said. She had suffered burns on her chest and legs, apparently from the third rail.
They were in a car when a black Jeep pulled up and someone inside began firing around 1:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, police said. Their car then crashed in the 1600 block of West Congress Drive.