Nearly three dozen relations of Uvalde shooting victims showed their support for Democratic candidate for Texas governor Beto O’ Rourke.
Thirty-five relations of those affected by the May school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead traveled five hours by bus to indicate their support for O’Rourke before a Friday debate between him and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Tribune reported.
Among the many relations of those killed within the shooting were the parents of 10-year-old Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio.
“I’m speaking on to mothers after I say our babies’ lives are on the ballot,” Lexi’s mom, Kimberly Rubio, said at a press conference before the controversy. “It happened to me; it will possibly occur to you. And this pain, it’ll bring you to your knees.”
Abbott has been routinely criticized for his response to the deadly mass shooting and unwillingness to support gun control measures. Hours after the shooting, Abbott took a jet to attend a fundraiser in Austin for several hours.
After taking a five-hour bus trip, family of the Uvalde shooting massacre stand with Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, right, during a pre-campaign debate news conference, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Edinburg, Texas. O’Rourke will face Gov. Greg Abbott in a debate Friday evening.
O’Rourke has been outspoken in regards to the need for more robust gun control and the tepid response from officials after mass shootings. When officials, including Abbott, held a press conference a day after the shooting, O’Rourke interrupted it to remind them of their inaction.
“You’re doing nothing. You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke told the officials.
And through a town hall event in August, O’Rourke shut down a heckler who laughed as O’Rourke described assault rifles as a weapon of war.
“It could be funny to you, motherfucker, however it’s not funny to me, OK?” O’Rourke said to cheers from the gang.
The Uvalde families supporting O’Rourke have expressed support for raising the minimum age to buy an AR-15-style rifle from 18 years old to 21 years old.
Through the Friday press conference, Felix Rubio, Lexi’s dad said that he fought within the war and made it home, only to have his daughter die in her school, ABC News reported.
“I went to war, and I made it home,” he said. “My daughter went to highschool and was murdered of their classroom. I fought for my country overseas, and now I’m fighting for changes.”
Gloria Cazares, the mother to 9-year-old Jackie Cazarez, who died within the shooting, said she’s fighting to forestall one other mom from suffering the best way she has.
“There’s nothing that I can try this goes to bring my daughter back,” Cazares said. “But I’m fighting for the longer term mom who will in the future be in my shoes, who will blame herself for leaving her daughter at college after the morning award ceremony.”
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