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Mass shooting survivors, witnesses and family members testify at House committee hearing on gun control

The House committee on gun control heard testimony on Wednesday from witnesses and survivors of the Uvalde shooting. The hearing was held ahead of scheduled votes in the House on several pieces of gun control legislation, and included survivors of the shooting, several parents and a doctor who treated some of the children killed in the shooting.

Robb Elementary fourth grader Miah Cerrillo told the committee her teacher got an email alert about the shooter and attempted to close the classroom door but he’d already got there. “He told my teacher goodnight and then shot her in the head. And then he shot some of my classmates,” said Miah, telling the committee that she covered herself in blood from another student the gunman had shot and stayed quiet, playing dead, before getting to her teacher’s phone and to call 911.  Miguel Cerrillo, Miah’s father, testified:  “I wish something would change, Not only for our kids but for every single kid in the world because schools aren’t safe anymore. Something needs to really change.”

Kimberly Rubio, who lost her 10-year-old daughter Lexi in the Uvalde shooting, testified that she would like to see the legal age to buy an AR-15 rise to 21 and a ban on high-capacity magazines, as well as stronger background checks for people buying firearms. During her emotional testimony, Rubio said, “Today we stand for Lexi, And as her voice we demand action. We seek a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. To people with money, to people who fund political campaigns, guns are more important than children.” 

Zeneta Everhart, whose son was shot in the Tops Market mass shooting in Buffalo, said: “America is inherently violent, this is who we are as a nation. The very existence of this country was founded on violence, hate and racism with the near-annihilation of my native brothers and sisters.”  Everhart told the committee thoughts and prayers are not enough:“We need you to stand with us in the days, weeks, months years to come and be ready to go to work to create the change this country so desperately needs.” 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D- N.Y. said: “Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in our country, As a society are failing our children and we are failing each other.” Maloney said that no other country comes close to the United States in mass shootings, noting that between 2009 and 2018, the United States had 288 school shootings compared to the combined five in the six other G7 nations. She said “We stand alone in mass shootings — other countries pass sensible gun safety laws and protect their children.”

Editorial credit: Jinitzail Hernandez / Shutterstock.com

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