Luminaries from the NBA, Hollywood, Capitol Hill and even overseas shared heartbreaking tributes and scalding rebukes against lawmakers after Tuesday’s shooting at a Texas elementary school left at least 19 children and two teachers dead.
The school day at Robb Elementary School, home to a predominantly Latino student body, in Uvalde, Texas, ended in tragedy when a gunman opened fire in the school. The suspect, 18, was ultimately shot dead by law enforcement.
It was the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook and the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.
Instead of discussing his team, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr shared an impassioned speech against gun violence during his pre-game press conference Tuesday.
Banging on the table, he shouted, “When are we going to do something?”
Kerr listed three devastating demonstrations of gun violence that ripped across the country this month alone: the Buffalo, New York, supermarket shooting, the shooting at an Asian church in Laguna Woods, California, and the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there,” Kerr said. “I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
“There’s 50 Senators right now who refuse to vote on HR8, which is a background-check rule that the House passed a couple years ago,” he said, referring to the HR8 bill, which looks to enforce more stringent background checks on people purchasing firearms. “It’s been sitting there for two years. And there’s a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold onto power.”
Then, he called upon lawmakers to take action.
“So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence, school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our church goers? Because that’s what it looks like.”
NBA star LeBron James tweeted“Like when is enough enough man!!!”
“My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones lost & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX!” he said. “These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously “AT SCHOOL” where it’s supposed to be the safest!”
Olympian Laurie Hernandez asked on Twitter“God, how many more kids and people have to be shot for something to change? How many more deaths have to be mourned, how many interviews with their loved ones have to be done before it stops?”
“It’s week after week at this point and yet we just… watch,” she continued.
Actor Matthew McConaughey said, “we must do better” in the wake of the shooting in his hometown, Uvalde.
“Once again, we have tragically come from that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us,” he said in a statement.
“As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs. We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue.”
“Whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better,” he continued. “Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others have endured before them.”
Singer Taylor Swift said she was left, “filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde.”
“By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak,” she continued in a Twitter statement.
President Joe Biden asked, “Where in God’s name is our backbone?” in furious remarks from the White House Tuesday night.
“As a nation we have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he said.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., also eviscerated his Republican colleagues, begging them to pass reform legislation.
“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate, why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in position of authority, if your answer as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, is we do nothing? What are we doing? Why are you here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?” he said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.
“I understand my Republican colleagues will not agree to everything that I may support, but there is a common denominator that we can find,” he continued.
David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, also rallied for politicians to come together and pass legislation.
“No responsible gun owner, Republican, or parent wants gun violence to continue,” he tweeted. “As Americans, we need to stop focusing on what we can’t agree on and start focusing on what we can and do something even if small and demand the same of our politicians.”
Tributes also poured in from overseas.
Pope Francis said he was “heartbroken” by news of the deadly shooting, and called for stronger gun controls.
“It is time to say ‘enough’ to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also shared a tribute, saying he was “Deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism