One week ago today, the unthinkable happened when two teachers and nineteen precious children were murdered while celebrating the last few days of the 21-22 school year at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
It was the second deadliest school shooting in U. S. history. The tight-knit community is about 83 miles west of San Antonio. The families of the victims, friends, and the entire community are grieving. So many emotions and feelings. So much suffering.
Shock. Disbelief. Agony. Heartache. Outrage.
The ages of the children are 9, 10, and 11. Their dedicated teachers were 44 and 48 years old. The twenty-one precious lives were ravaged and slaughtered.
Too many unanswered questions.
As a nation we must demand stricter gun control.
Uvalde es amor. I am praying for the community of Uvalde.
Today I sent the following letter with copies to additional elected officials in Texas and Illinois:
May 31, 2022
Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701
Texas public schools should be a safe, happy place for students to learn, grow, and thrive. All Texas school districts should be able to ensure parents, students, and educators that learning will be achieved without the fear of an intruder with an assault rifle.
As parents of five boys who attended Texas public schools, we voice our thoughts and concerns. Two of our seven grandchildren graduated from Texas high schools and are college students. Five of the grandkids currently attend schools in Texas. As former Texas educators, we are thankful for our careers to serve and educate students.
We are devastated by the loss of lives and stand together with the community of Uvalde. We are praying for peace and healing thoughts for the families who lost children and loved ones as gunshots shattered the physical, mental, and emotional safety and well-being of lives at Robb Elementary.
Pro-gun officials say they do not want to politicize the horrific atrocities that brought Uvalde citizens to their knees. However, the circumstances of the gun culture of Texas created and allowed for the mass murder of children is inherently political.
It’s time for changes. It’s time for better gun control in the Lone Star State.
Elected officials must demonstrate leadership and moral credibility for the lives of Texans. Citizens of Texas do not want to be known as part of the American phenomenon of mass shootings and violence depicted throughout the nation nor for the murderous propensities of our precious children.
Federal and state policymakers must take action to enact gun control laws and regulations that keep firearms out of the hands of mentally unstable individuals who should not own them. Lawmakers must work together across party lines to ensure all Texan families are being heard.
Our families were livid to hear the first reports of the murder of twenty-one precious lives. Our reaction was unlike the livid response to errors reported in the preliminary information. “The information I was given turned out, in part, to be inaccurate, and I am absolutely livid about that.”
Gun violence in Chicago, Illinois does not compare to the outrageous act of gun violence on the campus of Robb Elementary. “I hate to say this, there are more people that are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools.” The University of Chicago Crime Lab reported that 60 percent of guns recovered in Chicago were from out-of-state dealers.
There are too many unanswered questions. Texans must value the lives of all citizens, especially our innocent children whose smiles, dreams, and hopes are forever lost.
The chosen response cannot continue to be more shams of public displays that include moments of silence, more prayer, and more guns.
Perry and Susan Leopold
C: Ted Cruz, Texas State Senator, R
Rolando Gutierrez, Texas State Senator, D
Beto O’Rourke, Former United States Representative; Running Governor of Texas, D
J. B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, D
June 1st Update:
The following auto replies were received from:
Abbott: ”Thank you for contacting the Office of the Governor. Your request for assistance will be reviewed by the appropriate staff member.”
Gutierrez: ”Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate suggestions, comments and suggestions from my constituents. Due to the large volume of email I receive, my staff and I are unable to respond to every one. … “
O’Rourke: ”Thanks so much for reaching out. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. We will make sure to pass this along. Best, Amanda”
Cruz: ”Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the important issues facing our nation. Hearing from constituents helps inform the the decisions congressmen and senators make on behalf of those they represent back home and is indispensable to the democratic process. To that end, I encourage you to contact your home-state senators on this issue. You can find the senators who represent you by visiting https://www.senate.gov/