The country continues to mourn the lives lost at the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, even as more information about the incident continues to surface online. Along with other recent mass shootings, Uvalde has sparked much-needed talk regarding gun control and gun legislation nationwide. But while many officials continue to reference the tragedy in efforts to create change, some seem to be attempting to forget it.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has come under fire for skipping the funerals of the two teachers and 19 children killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting. Scheduling records obtained by local media show that not only did he not attend the funerals, but never planned to do so.
The schedule, obtained by ABC News affiliate KXXV, confirms that not only did Abbott not attend any funerals but he last visited the town of Uvalde on June 5, nine days after the mass shooting, for a memorial event. The schedule details Abbott’s whereabouts between May 25 to June 14, and included only three visits to Uvalde since the tragic incident.
Not only did Abbott not attend any funerals, but several parents have said that the governor’s office did not reach out to them since the tragedy.
Angel Garza, father of 10-year-old victim Amerie Jo Garza, was one of them.
"We've had Sen. Gutierrez in our living room, willing to come and talk to us," Garza said during a press conference on July 13, according to KXXV. "We've had Beto O'Rourke coming to our private meeting to fight with us. He marched with us. That means something to us. The fact that you're reaching out just to see how we're doing means something to us."
Garza continued: "Everybody that's getting ready to vote, I want you guys to know that. These guys don't have compassion for us. They don't care. [Abbott] doesn't care that all these children were murdered and these teachers were murdered. Y'all need to realize that."
Family members from Uvalde say they are not hearing from some Texas Lawmakers. I was able to obtain @GovAbbott schedule, the last visit to Uvalde was when @POTUS came on May 29. He did attend public vigil, nothing on his schedule about funerals. pic.twitter.com/m54zUwxEK6— Nick Bradshaw (@nbradshawtv) July 13, 2022
In response to this, Abbott's office told the Texas Chronicle that Abbott had visited "every family who requested a meeting.”
"Many families requested private funerals, and the Governor and First Lady instead sent flowers and condolences to let the loved ones know they remain in their prayers," the statement said.
But which families he visited, when, and where is unclear as per the released schedule. His schedule only shows several public vigils he attended, the last one being on June 5.
The families directly impacted by the tragedy aren’t the only ones criticizing Abbott’s lack of care, though.
In an interview Monday with MSNBC, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, criticized Abbott for not returning to Texas town. According to Chron, he alleged that Abbott has not been back since May 29, despite June 5 being the last time the governor's schedule suggests he visited.
"I don't want this to sound like some political assault on him, but at the end of the day he hasn't been there since Day 5, when the president came... We had a failed response on giving resources to families," Gutierrez said. "He did not go to one single funeral—and quite honestly, many of the families didn't want him there."
In addition to Abbott, several Texas officials have come under fire for their failure to respond to the situation during and after. Recently released footage and a report found that while over 300 officers were at the scene, police badly mishandled their response, waiting for more than an hour before confronting the shooter. Officers also prevented parents from accessing the building to try and rescue children. A mother who was successful in rescuing her children backed this claim, saying that she was not only aggressively told to stop but has faced harassment since sharing her story, Daily Kos reported.
Family members and those impacted by the shooting are asking lawmakers to change laws when it comes to buying AR-style rifles for individuals age 18 to 21.
As a result, county commissioners passed a resolution calling for a special session to raise the age to buy AR-15s. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin also said he was in favor of raising the age and requiring a class.
"This isn't some plot or anything, this is real life, this is hurting all of us," Angel Garza said.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.
- Why Gov. Abbott didn't attend any funerals for Uvalde victims | KVEO ... ›
- Gov. Greg Abbott did not attend funerals for any of the Uvalde ... ›
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott didn't go to the funerals of any Uvalde ... ›
- Gov. Abbott did not attend funerals for Uvalde victims: Report ›
- Texas Gov. Abbott Skipped All Uvalde Victim Funerals: Docs ›