Quotes: ‘How many more lives?’: Reactions to Texas school shooting

May 25, 2022 - 1:26 PM
A woman offering hugs and prayers embraces a man outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022. (Reuters/Marco Bello)

U.S officials, members of Congress and other prominent Americans reacted to the Texas school shooting that killed at least 18 children and one adult on Tuesday:

U.S. President Joe Biden 

“I hoped when I became president I would not have to do this, again,” Biden said, decrying the death of “beautiful, innocent” second, third and fourth graders in “another massacre.”

Their parents “will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them,” he said.

“As a nation, we have to ask, ‘When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?'”

“We have to act,” he said and suggested reinstating the assault weapons ban and other “common sense gun laws.”

First Lady Jill Biden

“Lord, enough.

Little children and their teacher.

Stunned. Angry. Heartbroken.”

Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy:

“Spare me the bullshit about mental illness … We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world. You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we’re not an outlier on mental illness. … We’re an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the ability of criminals and very sick people to get their arms on firearms. That’s what makes America different.”

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney:

“Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents’ hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible. I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers.”

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin:

“That makes no sense at all, why we can’t do common-sense, common-sense things and try to prevent some of this from happening.”

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of transportation:

“How many more lives? How many more children? And how much longer before we reject the choices that have made ours the one country where this happens routinely? It is not inevitable, it is horrific. It must end.”

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott:

“Texans are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime & for the community of Uvalde.

“Cecilia & I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch Mcconnell:

“Horrified and heartbroken by reports of the disgusting violence directed at innocent schoolkids in Uvalde, Texas. The entire country is praying for the children, families, teachers, and staff and the first responders on the scene.”

Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr to reporters:

Addressing McConnell, he said: “I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of our children…? Because that’s what it looks like.”

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz:

“Heidi & I are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde. We are in close contact with local officials, but the precise details are still unfolding. Thank you to heroic law enforcement & first responders for acting so swiftly.”

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn:

“I’m grateful to law enforcement and everyone who worked to stop the shooter, as well as the medical staff working now to prevent further loss of life. I join my fellow Texans in lifting up the entire Uvalde community during this unimaginable tragedy.”

Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton:

“I ask you all of you to join me in praying for our fellow Texans impacted by the horrific shooting in Uvalde today. Lord, our refuge and strength, we pray for the souls of those lost, those who were wounded, their families, and our brave first responders.”

Former President Barack Obama:

“Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook — and ten days after Buffalo — our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies. It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy — a quieter but no less tragic one — for families to wait another day.”

Vice president Kamala Harris:

“Enough is enough … As a nation, we have to have the courage to take action and … to ensure something like this never happens again.”

Former President Bill Clinton:

“Our elected leaders at the local, state and federal levels, regardless of party, must find common-sense ways to keep our children and communities safe. They can do so without touching the right to hunt, sport shoot, and keep guns for self-defense. Propaganda and paranoia have kept us from helping each other on this for too long. We can do – and be – better. The time to act is now.”

—Compiled by Makini Brice, Leslie Adler, Heather Timmons and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Howard Goller