What’s it going to take for Republican lawmakers to enact meaningful gun-safety reforms, so that America can stop setting records for mass shootings and burying elementary school students in tiny caskets? If said Republicans actually cared about innocent children—or the “sanctity of human life” in general—as much as they hysterically claim to do, gun control legislation would have already passed, whether after Uvalde, after Buffalo, or after any one of the hundreds of mass shootings that have occurred this year alone. Unfortunately, conservatives don’t care about kids or adults—at least, not as much as they care about guns. That’s why a bill that is expected to pass in the House on Wednesday has virtually no hope of survival in the Senate, and a bill being negotiated in the Senate does not include measures like an assault weapons ban, enhanced background checks, or restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines. It’s also why we’re somehow at a point where 11-year-old school-shooting survivors like Miah Cerrillo have to testify before Congress in an attempt to convince these lawmakers to stop letting sociopaths murder small children so “law-abiding citizens” can cling to their guns.
On Wednesday, in a prerecorded video, Cerrillo told Congress that she watched her teacher at Robb Elementary School get shot in the head by the 18-year-old gunman, and after seeing a friend be killed, got “a little blood and…put it all over me” in the hopes of convincing the shooter she was already dead.
In the video, Cerrillo’s father asks her if she feels safe at school anymore and she shakes her head no. “Why?” he asks. “I don’t want it to happen again,” she responds.
Also testifying on Wednesday were Felix and Kimberly Rubio, whose 10-year-old daughter, Lexi, was killed in the Uvalde shooting. Kimberly recounted the couple’s last moments with their daughter—they’d promised to go for ice cream after school to celebrate an award Lexi had won and then said goodbye to her, a decision Kimberly said “will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
The lawmakers also heard from Uvalde pediatrician Dr. Roy Guerrero, who told them that at the local hospital he found “two children, whose bodies had been so pulverized by the bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been so ripped apart, that the only clue as to their identities was the blood spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them. Clinging for life and finding none.” He added: “I could only hope these two bodies were a tragic exception to the list of survivors. But as I waited there with my fellow Uvalde doctors, nurses, first responders, and hospital staff for other casualties we hoped to save, they never arrived. All that remained was the bodies of 17 more children and the two teachers who cared for them, who dedicated their careers to nurturing and respecting the awesome potential of every single one. Just as we doctors do.”
As Lexi’s mother told the elected officials, “Somewhere out there, there is a mom listening to our testimony thinking, ‘I can’t even imagine their pain,’ not knowing that our reality will one day be hers. Unless we act now.”