Religion Mata, whose sister Tess was murdered within the Uvalde faculty capturing earlier this 12 months, urged lawmakers on Thursday to move an assault weapons ban to stop future mass shootings.
“Is it necessary for this weapon of dying to be banned?” requested Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), chairwoman of the Home Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Safety.
“I consider it’s,” Mata responded.
“If it’s getting used a number of instances to homicide kids and lecturers then it’s the difficulty, proper,” the 21-year-old added. “I can’t even clarify to you the way it felt taking a look at my sister slain in her coffin.”
A gunman introduced an AR-15-style rifle into Robb Elementary Faculty in Uvalde, Texas, on Could 24 and shot lifeless 19 college students and two lecturers.
Thursday’s listening to analyzing the capturing actually began with a bang as Jackson Lee started her opening assertion by taking part in sounds of rapid-fire gunshots into the microphone.
“The sound we simply heard was the speedy fireplace on that day,” mentioned Jackson Lee, with images from the capturing in Uvalde displayed behind her.
Quite a lot of witnesses backed Mata’s name for an assault weapons ban in the course of the listening to, which got here a few month after President Biden mentioned that he would attempt to get such a ban handed in the course of the lame-duck session.
On Wednesday, two survivors of the November Membership Q capturing testified earlier than Congress about their expertise and urged lawmakers to take extra motion on gun reform.
Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician who responded to kids injured within the Uvalde capturing, was among the many witnesses at Thursday’s listening to.
“AR-15s or any semiautomatic weapon that holds high-capacity magazines don’t belong within the arms of on a regular basis civilians, particularly when they don’t seem to be even sufficiently old to purchase a pack of beer,” he mentioned.
Guerrero additionally mentioned that the counterargument that the issue isn’t weapons however individuals didn’t stand as much as shut scrutiny.
“It is a meritless argument — how else does an anti-Mexican extremist stroll into Walmart and kill 23 individuals in minutes and not using a semiautomatic rifle? How does an anti-LGBTQ radical slaughter 49 membership goers with out his SIG Sauer MCX?” Guerrero requested.
Nevertheless, different witnesses on the listening to disputed the effectiveness a ban on assault model rifles would have on curbing mass shootings.
“Banning all semiautomatic weapons as President Biden has repeatedly referred to as for over time would primarily have an effect on law-abiding residents,” mentioned John Lott, president of the gun rights group Crime Prevention Analysis Heart. “It could make it way more troublesome for Individuals to make use of weapons defensively.”
Lott additionally argued that arming lecturers may very well be an efficient strategy to fight faculty shootings, echoing proposals from some GOP lawmakers, citing analysis by his group that 94 p.c of mass shootings between 1950 and 2019 occurred in gun-free zones.
Nicole Melchionno, a survivor of the Sandy Hook capturing — the deadliest faculty capturing in U.S. historical past, which occurred 10 years in the past this week — mentioned that she was skeptical of arming lecturers.
“I feel coming from a excessive schooler’s standpoint, arming lecturers sounds terrifying, and including extra weapons to the equation is simply accepting that we failed,” mentioned Melcionno.
Mata mentioned that she was uninterested in incidents like Uvalde occurring yearly.
“Are we not uninterested in listening to the tales of victims, of listening to them from victims’ households? Are we not uninterested in listening to yet one more tragedy due to gun violence,” mentioned Mata. “When is sufficient, sufficient?”
Jackson Lee mentioned advancing a ban on assault weapons was essential.
“I feel it’s crucial that we’ve an assault weapons ban signed by the president of the USA,” mentioned Jackson Lee.