WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, T.X.:

“We are devastated for the families who whose children were murdered today by a gunman, and for the community of Uvalde that is grieving. These children and their teacher had their whole lives ahead of them. At least 18 children got up this morning to go to school: to learn with their teacher, to play with friends, to have a childhood and become the people they were going to be. Now, as a result of senseless violence, those futures are gone, along with the future of a teacher who dedicated her life to that service. Beyond the lives taken, the trauma of this shooting for all the children and families who survived is horrific. There is nothing more heart wrenching for any parent than this horrifying violence. 

“I am furious, and I am ashamed that this is what our country has been reduced to. I am enraged by the hollowness of any condolences from those who offer prayers but do nothing to change the conditions that have allowed this and many other shootings to be possible. We cannot separate these shootings from the constant cries for more guns from those in the U.S. Senate and House, Governor’s mansions, and state legislatures. America has 4 percent of the world’s population but 42 percent of the world’s guns — yet Texas Governor Abbott just recently signed laws loosening restrictions on gun carrying. Senator McConnell has led the GOP to filibuster even the most universally supported gun violence prevention laws for years. And Texas Senator Cruz — as his own constituents try to pick up the pieces of their lives —  is already waving away the call for these common sense reforms. 

“Today’s shooting comes just over a week after the deadly white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo and nearly a decade after Sandy Hook. How many more elementary school shootings need to happen before Republicans decide to act?  Year after year, the House has passed sensible gun reform legislation that would save lives.  And year after year, the U.S. Senate has blocked those reforms from passing, thanks to the filibuster. It could — tomorrow — find 60 votes to pass sensible gun reforms or eliminate the filibuster, so senators are finally acting to save lives. 

“It does not have to be this way. Our children are dying because the U.S. Senate refuses to act, and because Republicans continue to push for more guns instead of taking guns off the streets.  This isn’t inevitable. We have an obligation as public servants to interrupt this relentless march of violence. Progressives will continue the fight to do so.”