Caribbean American pols strongly condemn mass shooting at Texas school

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City Council Member Farah Louis at City Hall.
Office of Council Member Farah N. Louis

Two Caribbean American legislators in New York on Tuesday strongly condemned a mass shooting at an elementary school in rural Texas.

New York City Council Member Farah N. Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, and New York City Public Advocate and Candidate for New York State Governor Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, said they were outraged over the shooting in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in Uvlade, Texas on Tuesday.

Authorities said it was the deadliest American school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. a decade ago.

Texas state police said 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and one teacher on the Robb Elementary School campus.

He also shot his 66-year-old grandmother at her home prior to entering the school.

A 10-year-old girl is in critical condition, along with an unaccounted for number of injured victims, police said.

“This is incomprehensible and absolutely horrific,” Louis, who represents the 45th Council District in the epicenter of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life. “We mourn the innocent lives lost this afternoon to yet another act of gun violence. I am heartbroken that our children continue to be murdered.

“Schools are meant to be a safe environment for students,” she added. “Unfortunately, several mass violent incidents have taken or scarred precious lives.

“Today’s events echo other mass shootings, like Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Louis continued. “As a community and as a nation, we must put an end to these senseless acts of gun violence. One life lost is one too many, and it is unacceptable.

“Gun violence should not be normalized,” she said. “The use of guns and violence are woven into casual and daily lives. We must act, legislate and educate our communities to end gun violence. By dismantling this culture, we are empowering our communities to live without fear.”

Williams said gun violence “pervades every corner of our communities because guns are perversely fetishized and endlessly accessible in our country.

“There will be explanations uncovered and excuses put forward for this inexcusable violence, but all are enabled by the weapons in the hands of a shooter, and the people and systems that put them there,” he told Caribbean Life.

“Conservative politicians will try to conceal this crisis, and the Supreme Court is poised to make it easier to carry concealed weapons of war, to further facilitate mass murder of our kids and neighbors,” Williams added. “And we cannot allow them to deny their role in either the mass shootings

that make national news or the daily reality of gun violence that makes communities ache.

“As we pray for those who have had so many years of their young lives stolen, as we comfort the families and community who survive, forever scarred, we must confront the reality that without bold actions, which put the lives of victims over an ideology of violence, we will be here again and again – shamed, shaken, but never shocked,” the public advocate continued.

Police said the shootings took place just before noon in Uvalde, a small city west of San Antonio, and that the assailant, who had attended an adjacent high school, was armed with several weapons. Police said he also died at the scene of the massacre.

In an emotional, brief televised address Tuesday night, US President Joe Biden described as “just sick” the easy availability of weapons to conduct mass killings in America, deploring Tuesday’s massacre.

“I had hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again,” he said from the White House. “There’s a lot we don’t know yet. There’s a lot we do know. Parents who will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them. Parents who will never be the same.

“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” he added, imploring members of Congress to “turn this pain into action.”

“Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked. “Where in God’s name our is backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?”

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